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Migraine - The Final Word on Causes and Prevention

What is Migraine Disorder?

A neurological condition that causes various symptoms usually set apart from intense headaches is called a migraine.

The symptoms generally include numbness, tingling sensation, nausea, sensitivity to bright light and loud sounds, difficulty in speaking.

Migraines normally begin in childhood and women are more likely to have migraines than men. In addition to this, there are many types of migraines and the two major and common out of these are migraines with aura and migraine without aura. A migraine with an aura includes tingling sensations, dizziness, speech problems, vertigo, diplopia, etc.

A migraine without aura is when a headache usually lasts for 4 to 72 hours without treatment, is unilateral, the pain level is moderate to severe, pain level increases due to movement in the body, makes an individual sensitive to light and sound.

Are Migraines Genetically Inherited?

Migraines are possibly genetic and hereditary. If either of the parents or both have a migraine problem, then the offspring is very much likely to experience the same intense headache problems.

In spite of the fact that migraine genetics is generally not completely understood, both the genetics and the surroundings play a role.
According to researchers, there is a specific gene that affects the development of a migraine.

It is not necessary that it is inherited in all cases. In some cases, a high number of neurotransmission contributes to a migraine.

Symptoms of Migraine

There are numerous ways through which migraine can be identified and these symptoms may sometimes start one or two days before the intense headache which is also known as the Prodrome stage. 

Some migraine symptoms are unusual food cravings, fatigue, frequent yawning, depression, hyperactivity, stiffness in the neck and nausea.

Sometimes, there can be problems with the vision, body movement, sensation, etc., and this is called an ‘Aura’. The various symptoms that could occur during the aura are feeling a pricking or tingling sensation on the facial areas, difficulty in speaking clearly, blind spots, light flashes or seeing shapes or even temporarily losing your vision.

After the aura phase comes to the ‘attack phase’. This phase causes symptoms like dizziness or fainting, pulsing or throbbing and intense pain in the head, pain in either one side of the head- left, right, front or back or either of the temples.

This is followed by the postdrome phase or the last phase of a migraine and this phase often causes a change in the mood which goes to either feeling very happy and content or extremely tired and low energy.

What Causes A Migraine?

A definitive migraine causes for migraine is yet to be found out according to researchers. Nevertheless, they have found some factors that contribute to triggering this condition. This includes a decrease in brain chemical Serotonin. Other factors can be dehydration, loud sounds, bright lights, over stressing, skipping meals, smoking, excess intake of alcohol, hormonal changes in women such as menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.

Certain foods trigger a migraine such as artificial sugars like aspartame, preservatives like nitrates, or monosodium glutamate (MSG), and caffeinated beverages.

In addition to this, a migraine is also caused by taking excessive oral contraceptives and birth control or nitroglycerine, frequent changes in sleep pattern, unusual or strong smells of deodorant or perfumes or foul smells, traveling, etc.

How Can Migraines be Treated?

To treat a migraine, it is important to first look into the kind of migraine that has occurred along with stressing on the importance of how to manage one. Some of the ways to manage are to consider the age, how often a migraine occurs, the type of migraine one has, the severity of a migraine - how often they last, how intense is the pain and how often they become a hindrance in the day to day life, whether or not they include vomiting sensations.

Generally, migraine treatment may include self-care migraine remedies, change in the lifestyle, managing stress, prescriptions for helping when a headache starts, a prescription for vomiting sensation, therapy or counseling, acupuncture, prescription to assuage the symptoms, avoiding the factors that trigger migraine, meditation, yoga, etc.

Natural Remedies for Treating a Migraine

Although migraines can be treated with medications, some migraines, which are not as severe and worse as the ones that need a prescription or a doctor’s help, they can also be treated with self-care and natural remedies.

Some of these remedies include lying down in a calm, quiet and darkroom, massaging the scalp and the temples, placing a cold cloth on the forehead and the back of the neck or using an ice pack. 

Additionally, there are herbal natural remedies for migraine and a few are using peppermint leaves or their essential oils, willow bark extract, butterbur, ginger, etc. 

In the final analysis, treating a migraine completely depends upon the type of migraine it is, how severe it is, what age group it is occurring to, factors that trigger a migraine, etc. It was always advisable to visit a doctor to know what exactly is the cause and how to manage a migraine to treat it the right way.

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