Facts and Tips About Migraines
A migraine is usually experienced by women because of falling estrogen levels before menstruation that causes severe head pain often accompanied by sensitivity to sound, smells or light. The common manifestations of a migraine is the one-sided “pounding” a headache, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, and sensitivity to light or sound. Hormonal changes, stress, certain foods, oversleeping, and strong stimuli such as loud noises are the common triggering factors of a migraine attack. Some forms of birth control pills can trigger a migraine attack, and so as with certain foods like chocolate, aged cheese, smoked meats, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, artificial sweeteners and monosodium glutamate. If you are unsure what triggers your migraine, you need to keep a diary in order to identify individual factors that lead to your migraine attack.
The pharmacologic treatment for migraines include over-the-counter (OTC) such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen sodium, or prescription drugs like triptans. It is important to engage in regular exercise and balanced diet to reduce the frequency of your migraine attacks. Avoid eating foods that are known to trigger your migraines. For some people, meditation and relaxation strategies help them in preventing migraine attacks and reducing the severity of headaches such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation. Most people with migraines combine pharmacologic treatments and lifestyle changes in managing their condition. On the other hand, some people really require prescription medications because their migraine attacks are too severe. How do we define the aura of a migraine? Migraine aura refers to specific warning symptoms before the onset of a migraine attack that may range from a blind spot in one eye, flashing lights or numbness involving one side of the body. An aura may last for several minutes and it is resolved once the head pain starts or it may also last until a migraine is resolved. There are patients who never experience migraine aura and this can be because it can mimic the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
Many women find their migraines are resolved during pregnancy because of high levels of estrogen during pregnancy. In order to prevent the risk of birth defects, it is important to discontinue any medication that was used prior to pregnancy. If you notice locking of your jaw, swollen or you’re grinding your teeth a lot, your migraine might be related to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ, so you need to contact a TMJ specialist who will recommend effective exercises and routine changes to help in your condition. Generally, the best management treatment for a migraine is the combination of healthy diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, pharmacologic treatments, and avoiding triggering factors.