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How to treat migraines.

Migraine is a characterized by altered bodily perceptions, severe, and. This condition more common to women than to men. The typical migraine headache is unilateral (affecting one half of the head) and pulsating, lasting from 4 to 72 hours; symptoms include,, (increased sensitivity to light), and (increased sensitivity to sound). Initial treatment is with for the headache, an for the nausea, and the avoidance of triggering conditions. The cause of migraine headache is; the most common theory is a disorder of the control system. There are migraine headache variants, some originate in the brainstem (featuring intercellular transport dysfunction of calcium and potassium ions) and some are genetically disposed.


There are two different kinds of migraine headaches

The most common are classic migraine and common migraine.


Classic migraines start with a warning sign, called an aura. The aura often involves changes in the way you see.

* You may see flashing lights and colors.

* You may temporarily lose some of your vision, such as your side vision.

* You may also feel a strange prickly or burning sensation, or have muscle weakness on one side of your body.

* You may have trouble communicating.

* You may also feel depressed, irritable and restless.

Auras last about 15 to 30 minutes. Auras may occur before or after your head pain, and sometimes the pain and aura overlap, or the pain never occurs. The head pain of classic migraines may occur on one side of your head or on both sides.

Common migraines Common migraines may start more slowly than classic migraines, last longer and interfere more with daily activities. The pain of common migraines may be on only one side of your head.


What causes migraine headaches?

Migraine headaches seem to be caused in part by changes in the level of a chemical made in the brain called serotonin. Serotonin plays many roles in the body, and it can have an effect on blood vessels. When serotonin levels are high, blood vessels constrict (shrink). When serotonin levels fall, the blood vessels dilate (swell). This swelling can cause pain or other problems.

Many things can affect the level of serotonin in your body, including your level of blood sugar, certain foods and changes in your estrogen level if you're a woman.

Triggers: Any factor that, on exposure or withdrawal, leads to the development of an acute migraine headache. Triggers may be categorized as behavioral, environmental, infectious, dietary, chemical, or hormonal.

Migraine attacks may be triggered by:

* Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes

* Physical or emotional


* Changes in

* or exposure to smoke

* Skipping meals

* fluctuations,, hormone fluctuations during the transition

* Foods containing (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), (MSG) or (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)

* Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods.

Foods that may trigger migraines:

Aged, canned, cured or processed meat, including bologna, game, ham, herring, hot dogs, pepperoni and sausage, Aged cheese, Beans, including pole, broad, lima, Italian, navy, pinto and garbanzo, Brewer's yeast, including fresh yeast coffee cake, donuts and sourdough bread, Caffeine (in excess), Canned soup or bouillon cubes, Cultured dairy products, such as buttermilk and sour cream, Figs, Lentils, Meat tenderizer, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), Nuts and peanut butter, Onions, except small amounts for flavoring, Papaya, Passion fruit, Pea pods, Pickled, preserved or marinated foods, such as olives and pickles, and some snack foods, Raisins, Red plums, Seasoned salt, Soy sauce.

Possible symptoms of migraines

* Intense throbbing or dull aching pain on one side of your head or both sides

* Pain that worsens with physical activity

* Nausea or vomiting

* Changes in how you see, including blurred vision or blind spots

* Being bothered by light, noise or odors

* Feeling tired and/or confused

* Stopped-up nose

* Feeling cold or sweaty

* Stiff or tender neck

* Light-headedness

* Tender scalp

Prevention: The goals of preventive therapy are to reduce the frequency, painfulness, and/or duration of migraines, and to increase the effectiveness of abortive therapy. Another reason to pursue these goals is to avoid medication overuse headache (MOH), otherwise known as, which is a common problem among migraneurs due to overuse of pain medications, and can result in chronic daily headache.


Management Conventional treatment focuses on three areas: trigger avoidance, symptomatic control, and prophylactic (preventive) pharmacological drugs. Researchers find that the recommended migraine treatments are not 100% effective at preventing migraines, and sometimes may not be effective at all. Pharmacological treatments are considered effective if they reduce the frequency or severity of migraine attacks by 50%.

Paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) The first line of treatment is.

* (known as acetaminophen in North America) benefited over half of patients with mild or moderate migraines in a.

* Simple analgesics combined with may help. During a migraine attack, emptying of the stomach is slowed, resulting in nausea and a delay in absorbing medication. Caffeine has been shown to partially reverse this effect. is an example of an aspirin with caffeine product. Caffeine is recognized by the as an Over The Counter Drug (OTC) treatment for migraine when compounded with aspirin and paracetamol. Even by itself, caffeine can be helpful during an attack,

* Patients themselves often start off with,,, or other simple that are useful for.

Ayurvedic Remedy:

As per the Indian Medicine System of Ayurveda, most of the Migraines are caused by Eating Disorders, where the (Acids) of the Stomach plays a vital role. This is the reason for nausea and vomitting. The remedy provided is - Warm Milk taken with a pinch of Turmeric and 1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper Powder. This has an effect within 30 mins of intake and alleviates the pain.

Tips on reducing the pain

* Lie down in a dark, quiet room.

* Put a cold compress or cloth over your forehead.

* Massage your scalp using a lot of pressure.

* Put pressure on your temples.
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Title Annotation:Health
Author:Ibrahim, Saima
Publication:Economic Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2010
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