Migraine

Overview of Migraine

Migraines are severe, powerful headaches that start from one side of the brain and can affect the other side as well. It is usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Signs and Symptoms of Migraine

A migraine ( درد شقیقہ یا آدھے سر کا درد) is the severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation usually on one side of the brain. It is usually described as a strong or severe headache. Migraine can disrupt the daily life of a person. These attacks can last from a few hours to days.
Along with migraines, bouts of nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound occurs. A person is unable to focus due to severe pain. Medications can help prevent migraines but an exact treatment is not possible.

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Types of Migraine

Migraine attacks are different for everybody. It usually occurs in stages, which include:

  • Prodrome

60 percent of people notice these symptoms hours or days before a headache:

  • Sensitivity to light, sound, or smell
  • Food cravings
  • Lack of appetite
  • Severe thirst
  • Boating
  • Mood changes
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Aura

Aura involves the nervous system and often the vision. They last less than an hour for about five to twenty minutes. Symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Tunnel vision
  • Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
  • See black dots or flashes of light
  • Tinnitus
  • Changes in sensation
  • Attack

A migraine starts as a dull ache and grows into throbbing, severe pain. Physical activity usually worsens the condition. Pain moves from one side of the brain to the other side of the brain. The sensation grows and it feels like the whole head is in severe pain.
80 percent of people have nausea along with a migraine.

  • Postdrome

Postdrome can last up to an entire day. Symptoms include:

  • Tiredness
  • Crankiness
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Food cravings
  • Lack of appetite

Causes of Migraine

Migraines can be of different kinds inducing those with aura known as classic migraine and those without aura known as common migraine.

Other types of migraine include:

  • Menstrual Migraine: Linked with a woman’s period.
  • Silent Migraine: This includes aura symptoms without a headache.
  • Abdominal Migraine: It causes nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
  • Ophthalmic Migraine: These are short-lived migraines causing a dull ache behind the eye.
  • Ophthalmoplegic Migraine:  This causes pain around the eye along with paralysis of muscles and pressure on the eye.
  • Hemiplegic Migraine: This causes temporary paralysis and weakness.
  • Vestibular Migraine: This causes vertigo, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Status Migrainosus:  Migraine that lasts more than 3 days.
  • Brainstem Aura Migraine: The back of the head is affected accompanied by confusion, dizziness, and loss of balance.
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Risk Factors of Migraine

The exact cause of migraines is still undetermined. But many genetics and environmental factors play a role in it.
Neurotransmitters and serotonin might play a role in the onset of migraines.

Risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Gender
  • Hormonal changes
  • Age

Migraine Triggers

Several factors can trigger migraines including:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Loud noises
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Climate changes
  • Intense physical exertion or sexual activity
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Lack of sleep
  • Certain medications
  • Processed foods
  • Skipping meals
  • Food additives such as MSG

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Prevention

The risk factors of migraine are as follows:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Frequent clenching of teeth
  4. Gum chewing in children
  5. Tiredness
  6. Anger
  7. Stress
  8. Sleep apnea
  9. Obesity
  10. Excessive use of the screens (smartphones, laptops etc)

Health Complications of Migraine

Several health complications that are associated with migraines are:

  1. Migraine-triggered seizures
  2. Chronic migraine
  3. Persistent aura without infarction
  4. Stroke with migraine
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Diagnosis

These are the best preventive measures for migraine:

  • Sleep

Make sure to get adequate hours of sleep. Practice this by going to bed and then waking up at the same time period. Not getting enough hours of sleep can be the core reason for migraines.

  • Exercise

Regulated and moderate physical activities can make a person more active. This lowers the overall occurrence of migraines. But make sure to stay careful because too much strenuous activity can trigger these headaches.

  • Eating Balanced Meal

The sudden and significant drop in blood sugar can be the core reason for migraines. Thus make sure to eat a well-planned meal.

  • Limit the Levels of Stress

You should try to control the stress. Stay relaxed. Engage yourself in healthy activities such as listening to music, do yoga or try walking.

Treatment of Migraine | When to Consult a Doctor

A complete note of health history and symptoms is noted. Any triggers need to be mentioned to the doctor. Other tests done for a diagnosis include:

  • Blood tests
  • EEG
  • Imaging tests

Doctors to treat Migraine

Last updated on Friday 14/10/2022

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Dr. Aamir Aziz

Neurosurgeon | MBBS, FCPS

Masood HospitalRs 3000

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Dr. Habib Sultan

Neurosurgeon | MBBS, FCPS

Farooq Hospital (Westwood Branch)Rs 2500

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96%

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Dr. Rashid Imran

Neurologist | MBBS, FCPS

Hameed Latif HospitalRs 2500

Lahore General HospitalRs 2500

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96%

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