Migraines can be debilitating and can suck the energy out of you. A pounding headache is the most common symptom of migraine. This can occur across the head, on one side of the head, only on the temples and the pulse points or at the back of the head too. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and light and sound sensitivity.
Types of Migraines
There are essentially 7 kinds of migraines that have been identified. These are:
- Migraine without aura – This is the most common kind of migraine characterized with pulsating headache on one side of the head. Other symptoms are blurred vision, nausea, light sensitivity, mood swings and irritability.
- Migraine with aura – Called classic or complicated migraine, this headache is known to occur with neurological symptoms that include visual issues.
- Migraine without headache – This is a different kind of migraine where there is no headache. However, other symptoms of migraine with aura present themselves in a significant manner. Symptoms such as slurred speech, twitches, tingling in the face and tinnitus are common.
- Retinal migraine – Sometimes with and sometimes without a headache, these migraines are identified with a heightened issue in vision clarity and visual loss.
- Hemiplegic migraine – A severe and less common form of migraine, this type can cause temporary paralysis for days. Swallowing and speaking can also become an issue during an attack.
- Brainstem aura migraine – Typically seen in teenagers and children, this migraine shows symptoms like dizziness, issues with muscular co-ordination, fatigue, fainting and tinnitus.
- Chronic migraine – One of the most common types of migraines, the chronic migraine lasts for more than 15 days in a month. This is also the migraine that one hears about most often. This type of migraine is known to be treatable only with preventive medication with only about half the patients feeling a reduction in migraine episodes after drug withdrawal.
Conventional Treatment for Migraine
The treatment of migraine has evaded doctors, physicians and scientists for many years. There have been a few drugs that have shown promise. However, none have shown conclusive and outstanding results.
Typically, pain relief drugs are prescribed for migraine patients to alleviate symptoms after the attack has set in. These include ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Preventive drugs include triptans that constrict blood vessels and block pain pathways. Ergotamine are drugs prescribed for those who have an attack that lasts for more than 48 hours. These seem to work only if the medication is taken quickly after the pain starts. Other conventional medication used to manage migraine symptoms include nausea medication, opioids, and glucocorticoids.
Of late Cefaly, a device that provides electrical stimulation, has been used for migraine management. This is especially helpful for those that have issues with drug side effects. CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) inhibitors are also being used now to treat migraine more effectively.
Long Term Managing Migraine
Despite copious amounts of research in the migraine arena, an effective and universal cure for this issue has not been found. Add to that the side effects caused by long term use makes them undesirable. While alternate methods of migraine management take longer to show positive effects, they are devoid of side effects and treat the issue from the root.
Some things that you can try to manage migraines have been listed below. You may have to try some of these to arrive at the ones that suit you best.
- Identify your trigger. One of the most important things is to find out the things that set off your migraine. Many people have discovered that some foods trigger their migraine very easily. In addition to that you should also try and figure out what causes the migraine to get worse. While this may be loud sounds for some, it could be light for others. Avoidance of triggers can help in controlling the number of episodes that occur.
- Ayurvedic solutions to migraine include a complete cleansing of the system to uproot the issue. It includes a cleansing of the toxins in the body, establishing a balance of chemicals, diet and lifestyle restrictions to de-stress and a sustainable plan for long term relief. Such a treatment typically requires a few weeks where the physician can identify your specific migraine symptoms and customize the treatment.
- Herbal medicines for migraine have also known to work. Much like other alternate therapies, it is important for you to arrive at the specific herbal mix that works best for you. Some of the most popular migraine herbs include lavender, feverfew, butterbur, peppermint, willow, valerian, coriander seeds, dong quai, horseradish, honeysuckle, mullein, teaberry, and betony. A trained herbalist can help you understand the combination of herbs that you should consume for the specific set of symptoms that you experience during your migraine.
- Some foods that have been known to trigger migraines include cheese, chocolates, processed meats, yeast extracts, dairy products, alcohol and eggs. Some experimentation with removing them from your diet for some time can help you identify your culprit.
Given that migraines last for years before they can be cured, it is best to try some remedy that does not harm you with side effects. If you start with home remedies and alternate remedies, you are sure to find a suitable option that can help you get rid of the issue forever.