All About Migraines: Warning Signs, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
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You’re probably familiar with migraine headaches. They’re one of the most common types of headaches and can be quite debilitating. But did you know that there are different types of migraine headaches? Or that there are certain things you can do to help prevent them?
In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of migraine headaches, the warning signs that you might be experiencing a migraine, and some of the most common treatment options.
We’ll also answer some common questions about migraines, such as “what causes migraines?” and “how long do they last?” So if you or someone you love suffers from migraines, be sure to read on.
Common Symptoms of a Migraine
Migraines are a common neurological disorder that can cause a wide range of symptoms. While everyone’s experience is unique, there are some common symptoms that are associated with migraines.
A migraine is often accompanied by bouts of nausea and vision disturbances. The pain can vary in intensity, and other sensory symptoms may also be present, such as sensitivity to light and sound. Certain individuals may even experience occasional vomiting.
Other symptoms can include pulsing or throbbing pain on one side of the head and increased fatigue. In some cases, people may also experience changes in mood or behaviour, such as feeling irritable or depressed.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical help to determine if you’re experiencing a migraine. Left untreated, migraines can cause significant pain and disability.
Causes & Triggers of Migraines
There are a number of potential causes and triggers of migraines, and they can vary from person to person. Some of the most common ones include:
- Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause
- Stress, depression and anxiety
- Lack of sleep or disrupted sleep patterns
- High/Low blood sugar
- Eye strain/wearing the incorrect prescription glasses
- Exposure to loud noises or bright lights
- Allergies – seasonal or food (caffeine, chocolate, dairy products such as cheese, processed meat, monosodium glutamate)
- Fasting/Restrictive diets
- Teeth grinding at night
- Certain medicines may trigger migraines
- Sensitivity to certain perfumes
If you’re experiencing recurrent migraines, it’s important to be aware of your personal triggers so that you can attempt to avoid them. You may also want to keep a migraine journal to track your symptoms and any potential triggers.
Different Types of Migraines
There are different types of migraines, and each one has its own set of symptoms. Some people might only experience a migraine occasionally, while others might have them more often.
There are three main types of migraine headaches: :
- Classic migraines are the most severe type, and they usually have a throbbing sensation on one side of the head.
- Common migraines are less severe, and they usually cause a dull headache that affects both sides of the head.
- Complicated migraines are a rare type that can be very severe and can cause temporary paralysis or loss of consciousness.
There are also five subtypes of migraine headaches: with aura, without aura, status migrainosus, chronic migraine, and medication overuse headache.
- Migraine with aura is a type that includes visual disturbances like bright flashes of light or blind spots.
- Migraine without aura is a type that doesn’t include visual disturbances.
- Status migrainosus is a rare and severe type lasting more than 72 hours.
- Retinal migraine (ocular migraine): a type of migraine that includes severe pain in one eye, usually accompanied by visual disturbances. If you have these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
- Chronic migraine is a type that occurs more than 15 days per month.
- Medication overuse headache is a type that occurs when you take too many pain medications.
Symptoms in Men vs Women
Migraines affect more than 10% of the world’s population. Interestingly, it affects more women than men and is three times more likely to occur.
The main reason for this disparity is due to a hormonal influence. As hormone fluctuations can cause migraines, women are subject to many hormonal disruptions in their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, as well as menopause.
Treatment Options for Migraine Sufferers
Seeing as migraines are such a common problem, it has received a lot of attention in scientific circles in recent years. Treatment usually consists of medication to alleviate pain. However, other alternatives and natural remedies are becoming increasingly popular.
Conventional medicine usually involves medications—both over-the-counter and prescription—to reduce pain and inflammation.
Analgesics are the most commonly used medication for mild migraines. Some of the options available include ibuprofen, ketoprofen and acetaminophen.
More severe migraines may be treated with acute medications such as triptans, which block the brain’s pain pathways.
Many people prefer a more natural approach to treating their condition, such as acupressure, acupuncture, or the use of essential oils. These may offer some relief, although not all migraine patients will find that these alternative treatments help.
There are also reports that a cold pack can relieve migraine symptoms. Use any cold pack, or even a towel containing an ice cube or a bag of frozen peas, against your forehead. Keep it in place for about 15 minutes.
Lying in a quiet, dark environment is one of the best ways to handle a migraine naturally. Switch off your computer and television screens nearby (but if you have to look at one, dim the brightness).
Considering that stress, depression and insomnia have been noted as possible causes of migraines, in some cases, lifestyle changes may be of great benefit in relieving symptoms.
This means getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, minimising stress, and avoiding migraine triggers like strong smells or flickering lights.
Bright lights and glare are common causes for up to 60% of migraine attacks. Protect your eyes with sunglasses when venturing outdoors, and get blackout curtains if your home is prone to a lot of bright light.
Meditation or yoga, and even talking to a counsellor or therapist about stress and anxiety could also be beneficial.
As migraines are often caused by dietary allergies, changes to your diet may help reduce the symptoms.
Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting what you eat each day and whether you experience any migraines. You may see a pattern forming, indicating which food you should avoid.
Dietary changes are also important in managing migraine symptoms—avoid processed foods, reduce your caffeine intake, and increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
A migraine may also be caused by dehydration (from fasting or excessive alcohol use); hydration is key in order to managing these symptoms.
These strategies may take some time to implement, but they can make a huge difference in the long run if you commit to them. Consult your healthcare professional before making any drastic changes in your diet or lifestyle.
The Role of Magnesium in Migraine Treatment
Migraine sufferers are reported to have lower levels of magnesium than non-migraine sufferers. This has led to much research into the role of magnesium in migraine treatment.
The reason why magnesium levels are lower in migraine patients isn’t clear. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you will never have to take your prescribed migraine medication again. However, migraine supplementation may reduce the incidence of migraines and lower the need for such medications.
This is promising news for migraine sufferers who would prefer a natural approach to their condition. Some scientists have concluded that this warrants the administering of oral magnesium to migraine patients.
Many people don’t know that magnesium plays a key role in migraine treatment. This essential mineral helps reduce inflammation and regulate blood flow, both of which are important for migraine sufferers. This explains why many people find relief from migraines by supplementing with magnesium.
Magnesium is found in food, particularly leafy greens, whole grains, legumes and nuts. The amount needed to prevent a migraine, however, may only be possible through supplementation.
Migraines can be a pain in more ways than one. They often arise unexpectedly and can severy disrupt your daily routine.
If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs or symptoms of migraines, it’s important to see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and to find a treatment plan that works for you.
There are a variety of different treatment options available for migraines, including medication, lifestyle changes, and natural remedies. While there is no cure for migraines, the goal of treatment is to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines and to make them more manageable when they do occur.
If you’re struggling with migraines, know that you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world experience migraines, and there is a wealth of information and resources available to help you manage migraine attacks.
With the right natural supplements, a few simple lifestyle changes, and medical interventions for more extreme cases, your migraine symptoms can be properly managed and even avoided altogether.
The Best Magnesium Supplement For The Prevention And Treatment Of Migraines
Vegan-friendly Chelated Magnesium Bisglycinate capsules provide a pure, activated form of magnesium.
Unlike other magnesium supplements on the market, this product will not cause bloating, diarrhoea and other unpleasant side effects associated with magnesium supplements.
And since it contains absolutely no artificial fillers, it is a very safe way of adding magnesium to your diet.