A migraine often misunderstood and dismissed as “just a headache” can disrupt a person’s sense of well-being. It can be a throbbing pain in the head that forces people to retreat into a dark room, shut the blinds and burrow themselves under the covers. People suffering from a migraine are often overwhelmed by the pain, which is so severe that it turns the faintest sound into an agonizing roar and launches waves of nausea with the slightest movement.
A migraine is not as uncommon as people think. In fact, a recent survey by the Migraine Research Foundation states that about one billion people are affected by this health condition globally and it is more common in women than men.
A migraine is described as an excruciating pain that recurs with varying intensities usually on one side of the head and is triggered by specific compounds or situations.The common triggers of a migraine include:
- ● Flashing lights, flickering lights, loud noises, smoky rooms, temperature changes, strong smells, and certain odors or perfumes
- ● Emotional triggers such as stress, anxiety, depression, and excitement
- ● Dehydration
- ● Consumption of alcohol
- ● Physical triggers such as tiredness, jet lag, and exercise
- ● Lack of food or sleep
- ● Smoking or exposure to smoke
- ● Hormonal triggers such as menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, and menopause
- ● Certain foods (red wine, cheese, chocolate, processed meat, soy sauce, fermented or pickled foods and MSG)
- ● Caffeine
- ● Allergies and allergic reactions
- ● Prodrome
- ● Aura
- ● Migraine attack
- ● Post-drome
- Stage 1: Prodrome
- ● Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
- ● Constipation
- ● Food cravings
- ● Neck stiffness
- ● Frequent yawning
- ● Increased thirst and urination
- ● Visual phenomena, such as bright spots or flashes of light
- ● Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
- ● Vision loss
- ● Difficulty in speaking
- ● Uncontrollable jerking or other movements
- ● Weakness or numbness in face or one side of the body
- ● Limb weakness (a hemiplegic migraine)
An attack usually lasts from four to 72 hours if left untreated. The frequency of a headache varies from person to person. Migraines attacks may either be rare or may strike several times a month. But during an attack, one may experience:
- ● Throbbing or pulsing pain
- ● One-sided headache
- ● Sensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and touch
- ● Nausea and vomiting
- ● Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting
- ● Blurred vision
- ● Dizziness
- ● Confusion
- ● Moodiness
- ● Weakness
- ● Sensitivity to light and sound
There are still many people who choose to live with a migraine and gradually begin depending on painkillers to get rid of this mind-numbing pain. But to deal with this incapacitating pain, there are some lifestyle changes aimed to reduce the frequency of a full-blown attack and alleviates the symptoms. They include:
- ● Getting enough sleep
- ● Drinking plenty of water
- ● Reducing stress
- ● Regular physical exercise
- ● Avoiding certain foods
- ● Alternative methods - Yoga. meditation, acupuncture, homeopathy
A migraine isn’t just a health condition. Living with a chronic pain, or constant worry that a migraine can strike at any moment can take an emotional toll. If the above lifestyle changes do not alleviate the symptoms or frequency of migraines, then prefer a treatment that focuses on controlling symptoms, avoiding triggers along with certain medications.
Apollo Hospitals has now introduced the “Apollo Headache and Migraine Clinic”, a comprehensive multidisciplinary center that uses a collaborative approach to treat experienced, complex or difficult-to-treat headache conditions. This initiative is a major step towards specialized care and betterment of health because it is time to take charge of your headaches and live a healthier and pain-free life.Are you one of those individuals who has a migraine and are you suffering in silence? Then it’s time to act wisely. Consult a neurologist at the earliest. For an online consultation with our best neurologists logon to www.askapollo.com
- ● Stiffness
- ● Muscle spasms
- ● Decreased motion
- ● Shifted posture
- ● Numbness in groin
- ● Muscle weakness and much more
- ● Infection in spine
- ● Spinal fracture due to injury
- ● Spinal stenosis
- ● Tumor in spine
- ● Loss of control of bladder/bowel
- ● Weakness or loss of feeling in back or legs, which may get worse over the time
- ● Spinal fusion
- ● Discectomy
- ● Surgery for tumour and infection
- ● Laminectomy for spinal stenosis
- ● Kyphoplasty
- ● Vertebroplasty
- ● Percutaneous discectomy
- To increase the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines naturally by body mechanism in the presence of sunlight.
- To suppress the calcification of vascular system. It means a healthy heart muscle is possible with the help of vitamin D.
- To inhibit the growth of vascular smooth muscle growth and hence adds flexibility and elasticity to the cardiac muscles.
What’s the difference between a heart attack and a stroke?When we refer to a condition called heart attack, we refer to a condition where the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked. The heart muscle dies out without oxygenated blood. This is, in most cases, a result of a clot in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. When the heart muscle starves for oxygenated blood, it causes the symptoms of a heart attack. A stroke refers to a condition where the artery that supplies blood to the brain is clogged by a clot and a section of the brain, when deprived of oxygenated blood dies off. Symptoms of a heart attack and a stroke vary and most times, a stroke affects only one side of the body. The term stroke is often misunderstood to be a synonym of heart attack, which is not the case.
Types Of Stroke:There are different types of a stroke and the symptoms of a stroke are not so apparent that one rushes to the ER as fast as one does in the case of a heart attack. There are:
- • Ischemic Strokes
- • Hemorrhagic Strokes
- • Transient Ischemic Attacks
Stroke Symptoms & Warning Signs:
- • Trouble Speaking, Confusion.
- • Trouble Understanding.
- • Headache (one sided)
- • Altered Conscious.
- • Vomiting.
- • Numbness of the face, or extremities.
- • Trouble with vision.
- • Lack of coordination and dizziness.
- • Keeping blood pressure under control.
- • Getting periodical checkups.
- • Managing diabetes.
- • Controlling Sleep Apnea.
- • Healthy diet.
- • Moderate and regular exercise.
- • Quitting smoking and alcohol.
- • Eat more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and lean meats.
- • Regulating cholesterol levels.
- • Reducing salt intake.
- • Maintaining healthy BMI.