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What Is Migraine? What Causes Migraines?

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A migraine is a severe, painful migraine that is repeatedly preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to aglow and sound. The excruciating sadness that migraines bring can at the end for hours or even days.
Migraine headaches result from a combination of blood vessel enlargement and the release of chemicals from nerve fibers that coil enclosing these blood vessels. During the headache, an artery enlarges that is located on the out of the skull honest under the skin of the temple (temporal artery). This causes a proceeds of chemicals that cause inflammation, pain, and further enlargement of the artery.
A headache headache causes the sympathetic disturbed system to respond with feelings of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. This response again delays the emptying of the stomach into the inconsequential gut (affecting food absorption), decreases blood circulation (leading to chilled hands and feet), and increases sensitivity to lucent and sound.
Augmented than 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, and females are much besides imaginable to get them than males.

What causes migraines?

Some citizens who suffer from migraines can clearly identify triggers or factors that rationale the headaches, but alive with cannot. Potential migraine triggers include:
  • Allergies and hypersensitive reactions

  • Bright lights, loud noises, and sure odours or perfumes

  • Physical or emotional stress

  • Changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep

  • Smoking or exposure to smoke

  • Skipping meals or fasting

  • Alcohol

  • Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth check pills, hormone fluctuations during menopause inception

  • Tension headaches

  • Foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)

  • Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods.
Triggers complete not always reason migraines, and avoiding triggers does not always prevent migraines.

What are the symptoms of migraine?

Symptoms of migraine can occur a while before the headache, promptly before the headache, during the headache, and after the headache. Although not all migraines are the same, general symptoms include:
  • Moderate to severe pain, normally confined to one side of the head, on the contrary switching in successive migraines
  • Pulsing and throbbing purpose anxiety
  • Increasing pain during physical activity
  • Inability to perform universal activities due to distress
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased sensitivity to illumination and sound
Many citizens familiarity migraines with auras decent before or during the mind pain, but most discharge not. Auras are perceptual disturbances such as confusing thoughts or experiences and the insight of strange lights, sparkling or flashing lights, lines in the visual field, blind spots, pins and needles in an arm or leg, or disagreeable smells.
Migraine sufferers besides may have premonitions called prodrome that can transpire several hours or a generation or so before the headache. These premonitions may consist of feelings of elation or intense energy, cravings for sweets, thirst, drowsiness, irritability, or depression.

How is migraine diagnosed?

Physicians testament beholding at family medical history and check the patient for the symptoms described above in order to diagnose migraine. The International Headache Sovereign state recommends the "5, 4, 3, 2, 1 criteria" to diagnose migraines without aura. This stands for:
  • 5 or bounteous attacks

  • 4 hours to 3 days in life

  • At least 2 of unilateral location, pulsating quality, transform to severe pain, aggravation by or avoidance of routine physical life

  • At least 1 further symptom such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound.
Tests such as electroencephalography (EEG), computed tomography (CT), attractive resonance imaging (MRI), and spinal tap may further be performed that evaluation for:
  • Bleeding within the skull
  • Blood clot within the membrane that covers the brain
  • Stroke
  • Dilated blood vessel in the brain
  • Too much or besides little cerebrospinal fluid
  • Inflammation of the membranes of the brain or spinal cord
  • Nasal sinus blockage
  • Postictal headache (after stroke or seizure)
  • Tumors

How is migraine treated and prevented?

Migraine treatment (abortive therapies) and prevention (prophylactic therapies) hub on avoiding triggers, controlling symptoms, and taking medicines. Over-the-counter medications such as naproxen, ibuprofen, acetaminophen (paracetamol), and other analgesics like Excedrin (aspirin with caffeine) are much the first abortive therapies to eliminate the headache or substantially chop pain. Anti-emetics may very be employed to management symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Serotonin agonists such as sumatriptan may and be prescribed for severe migraines or for migraines that are not responding to the over-the-counter medications. Similarly, some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - antidepressants such as tricyclics - are prescribed to reduce migraine symptoms although they are not approved in all countries for this purpose.
Another aggregation of abortive treatments are called ergots, which are usually competent if administered at the first letter of migraine. Other drugs hold also been used to treat migraine such as combinations of barbituates, paracetamol or aspirin, and caffeine (Fioricet or Fiorinal) and combinations of acetaminophen, dichloralphenazone, and isometheptene (Amidrine, Duadrin, and Midrin). Whether vomiting makes drugs difficult to ingest, anti-emetics will be prescribed.
Migraine prevention begins with avoiding things that trigger the condition. The leading goals of prophylactic therapies are to cut the frequency, painfulness, and lifetime of migraine headaches and to elaboration the effectiveness of abortive therapies. There are many categories of preventive migraine medicine, ranging from diet changes and exercise to prescription drugs. Some of these include:
  • Prescription beta blockers, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants

  • Botulinum toxin A (Botox)

  • Herbs and vitamins such as butterbur, cannabis, coenzyme Q10, feverfew, magnesium citrate, riboflavin, B12, melatonin

  • Surgery that severs corrugator supercilii muscle and zygomaticotemporal nerve in the brain

  • Spinal cord stimulator implantation

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

  • Vision correction

  • Exercise, sleep, sexual activity

  • Visualization and self-hypnosis

  • Chiropractic care or acupuncture

  • Special diets such as gluten free
It is likely for humans to excite medication overuse headache (MOH), or rebound headache, when taking extremely many medications in an attempt to prevent migraine.

Video: Migraine Pathophysiology

News on Headache / Migraine

For the latest information and trial on migraine please vacation our Headache / Migraine data section.
Written by Peter M. Crosta M.A.
View narcotic information on Botox Cosmetic; Excedrin Migraine.
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