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Migraine Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Migraine?

Migraine is characterized as pulsing sensation or intense throbbing in a particular head area. Usually, this disease is accompanied by vomiting, nausea and sensitivity to sound and light. Attacks of this disease tend to cause intense pain for several hours or may stretch to even days. Few migraines are accompanied by aura- the sensory warning signs, for example tingling in the leg or arm or light flashes. Medications help lessening the severity and frequency of the disease attacks.

What are the symptoms of Migraine?

Certain alarming signs called aura occurs prior or during an attack. Few aura symptoms are:

  • Slurred speech.
  • Co-ordination problem.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Tingling or numbness in face, arm or hands.
  • Visual disturbances for example temporary blindness, blurred vision, zigzag lines, flickering or flashing lights.

General symptoms of the disease are:

  • Headache that can last from 4-72 hours.
  • Urge to vomit or feeling sick.
  • Throbbing or pulsating pain, usually at a particular side of head.
  • Increased noise and light sensitivity.
  • Pain that worse while being active.

What causes Migraine?

What exactly causes the disease is unknown till date, however, environmental and genetics factors are considered in playing a major role. Few triggers of migraine are:

  • Changes of hormone in females.
  • Processed and salty foods.
  • Food additives such as sweetener aspartame.
  • Too much sleep or missing sleep.
  • Sun glare, loud sounds, unusual smells and bright light.
  • Intense physical exertion.
  • Change of weather.
  • Certain medications for example oral contraceptives.

Lastly, consuming alcohol, missing meals and too much stress can also lead migraine.

What are the risk factors of Migraine?

Few factors that make you more likely of experiencing the disease attacks include:

  • If any of your parent has migraine.
  • It is more common in adolescents.
  • Females have more chances of migraine then men.
  • During hormonal changes in women (menstruation onset, menopause or pregnancy) makes them more likely of having migraine.

What are the possible complications of Migraine?

Complications linked with the disease include:

  • Abdominal problem.
  • Medication-overuse headache.
  • Serotonin syndrome.
  • Chronic migraine.

How is Migraine diagnosed?

Firstly, you need to visit a neurologist. He or she may diagnose the disease using the details provided by you which include:

  • Your symptoms and
  • Family/personal medical history.

Besides performing a neurological and physical examination, the doctor can recommend the following tests to identify the triggering cause of your pain. (in case your condition is severe or complex):

  • CT scan.
  • Blood tests.
  • MRI.
  • Lumbar puncture.

How is Migraine treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for migraine; however few medications can help ease the severity of pain and minimize the frequency of its occurence, they include:

  • Preventive medications (cardiovascular drugs, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, pain relievers, onabotulinumtoxinA [Botox])
  • Pain relieving drugs (Pain relievers, triptans, ergots, anti-nausea medication, opioid medications and glucocorticoids).

Self care measures:

  • Perform muscle relaxation exercises.
  • Get proper rest and sleep, avoid oversleeping.
  • Avoid the triggers.

By : Natural Health News

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