Get Rid of Migraines

By: Juliet Cohen


Migraine is a type of headache and a recognised medical condition. Migraine is widespread in the population. In the U.S., 18% of women and 6% of men report having had at least one migraine episode in the previous year. Migraines afflict about 30 million people in the United States. They may occur at any age, but usually begin between the ages of 10 and 40 and diminish after age 50. Some people experience several migraines a month, while others have only a few migraines throughout their lifetime. Approximately 75% of migraine sufferers are women. Migraines' secondary characteristics are inconsistent. Triggers precipitating a particular episode of migraine vary widely. The efficacy of the simplest treatment, applying warmth or coolness to the affected area of the head, varies between persons, sometimes worsening the migraine. Migraines are classified as either "with aura" or "without aura." Migraine is a neurological disorder that generally involves recurring headaches. Other symptoms may occur with the headaches. Migraines are often classified based on whether they include an early symptom called an aura. Visual aura is the most common of the neurological events.

Migraine is a true organic neurological disease. Migraine with aura is characterized by a neurological phenomenon (aura) that is experienced 10 to 30 minutes before the headache. Most auras are visual and are described as bright shimmering lights around objects or at the edges of the field of vision (called scintillating scotomas) or zigzag lines, wavy images, or hallucinations. Migraine without aura is the most prevalent type and may occur on one or both sides (bilateral) of the head. Tiredness or mood changes may be experienced the day before the headache. Nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light (photophobia) often accompany migraine without aura. Migraine headaches affect about 11 out of 100 people. They are a common type of chronic, recurring headache. They most commonly occur in women and usually begin between the ages of 10 and 46. In some cases, they appear to run in families. A migraine is caused by abnormal brain activity, which is triggered by stress, food, or some other factor.

Migraine-specific therapies are designed specifically to treat migraine attacks. Ergotamine preparations are no longer readily available. Several medications may need to be tried before you find one that works. A class of drugs known as triptans can relieve a migraine once it starts. Rest in a quiet, darkened room. Drink fluids to prevent dehydration, especially if vomiting occurs. Several medications may help relieve symptoms. However, the effectiveness of migraine medications is highly variable in different people. Some medicines can prevent migraines. These include propranolol, amitriptyline, ergonovine, cyproheptadine, clonidine, methysergide, calcium channel antagonists, valproic acid, carbamazepine, topiramate (Topamax), and many others. Ergotamine tartrate preparations constrict the arteries of the head and may be used alone or in combination with other drugs such as caffeine (Cafergot), phenobarbital, or Fioricet. Propoxyphene or other medications that relieve pain or inflammation may provide relief for some people. Nausea should be treated early with Reglan, Compazine, or other anti-emetics.

Migraines Treatment Tips

1. Conventional treatment focuses on three areas: trigger avoidance, symptomatic control, and preventive drugs.

2. Moderation in alcohol and caffeine intake, consistency in sleep habits, and regular meals may be helpful.

3. Triptans are a mid-line treatment suitable for many migraineurs with typical migraines.

4. Ergot drugs can be used either as a preventive or abortive therapy, though their relative expense.

5. Sumatriptan and related selective serotonin receptor agonists are now the therapy of choice for chronic migraine attacks.

6. Anti-emetics by suppository or injection may be needed in cases where vomiting dominates the symptoms.

7. Amidrine is sometimes prescribed for migraine headaches.

8. Intravenous chlorpromazine has proven very effective in treating status migrainosus—intractable and unremitting migraine.

9. Diet, visualization, and self-hypnosis are also alternative treatments and prevention approaches.

10. Massage therapy and physical therapy are often very effective forms of treatment to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.

11. Massage therapy of the jaw area can also reduce such pain.

12. Botox is being used by many headache specialists for patients with frequent or chronic migraines with encouraging results.

13. Try to avoid any factors that have triggered a migraine in the past.

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Juliet Cohen writes articles for home remedies and homemade recipes. Learn how to give first aid in emergency situations.

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