MIGRAINE; WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Migraine, unlike headaches follow a random reoccurring pattern. The condition is severe enough to make the sufferer abandon normal activities. What are the symptoms of migraine? The pain throbs and may affect only one side of the head. The sufferer may also become nauseated and unable to bear bright light. The attack can last anywhere from several hours to several days.
Although most people have occasional tension headaches, only 1 person in 10 suffers from migraine. More women are affected than men. Some cases are more severe than others, but most victims lose several days of work each year. Migraine causes loss of income and can adversely affect family and social life. Thus, the world health organization ranks it among the world’s 20 leading causes of disability.
Shortly before a migraine attack, some victims have such symptoms as cold hand, fatigue, hunger, or mood changes. Then, just before the headaches starts, there may be dizziness, abuzzing sound in the ears, a pinsand-needles sensation, double vision, speech difficulty, or muscle weakness.
The causes of migraine are not completely understood, but it is thought to be a disorder of the nervous system that affects blood vessels in the head. The throbbing nature of the pain apparently corresponds to blood going through irritated vessels. The journal emergency medicine says; “patients with migraine inherit a uniquely sensitive nervous system, which can be disrupted by numerous life events, such as sleep deprivation, strong odors, traveling, skipping meals, stress, and changes in hormone levels.” People who suffer from migraine may also be susceptible to irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety attacks, and depression.
You cannot change the nervous system you have inherited. But you may be able to prevent migraine attacks from being triggered. By keeping a diary, some have been able to identify certain foods or circumstances that provoke attacks. Don’t forget also, that each person’s case is different.
Identifying triggers is not easy because several factors usually combines to produce an attack. For example, on one occasion you may eat chocolate with no ill effect, but at another time it gives you migraine, perhaps because of an additional contributing factor. Even if you are unable to identify or avoid things that trigger your migraine, there are other ways to reduce the possibility of an attack. Experts recommend trying to maintain a regular pattern of sleep seven days a week. If you want to sleep later on the weekend, they recommend that you get up at the usual time, do something for a few minutes, and then return to bed. Since hunger provoke migraine, avoid skipping meals.
What treatment for migraine?
A wide range of options are available to help treat migraine. For example, sleep is one of the best remedies. Nonprescription painkillers may bring sufficient relief for the sufferer to be able to sleep.
In 1993, triptans, a new class of prescription medicines, became available, specifically for treating migraine. Migraine is not life threatening. So the cure for migraine does not save lives, as did the cure for infections. Nevertheless, triptans have brought dramatic relief to some who for years were regularly disabled by migraine. Patients must still make the changes in activities mentioned earlier, but some migraineurs have called triptans miracle drugs.