Top Points You Must Know About Migraine
Introduction to Migraine and the feeling Associated with it
Migraine has been referred to as a neurological disorder by the medical fraternity and is more than a regular headache. This neurological disorder can cause severe throbbing pain that can leave you glued to the bed for many days. Movement, sound, light, and other triggers may cause a series of symptoms like nausea, pain, tiredness, numbness, disturbances in visuals, irritability, difficulty in speaking, temporary loss of vision, and many more.
World Health Organization (WHO) estimates an approximate ten percent of the global percentage and twelve percent of Americans have migraine disorder. The research reflects that migraine is the sixth most disabling disease in the world.
Type of Headache of Migraine
Headaches are of roughly 150 types and are divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine is put into the category of primary headache, meaning it is not caused by a different medical condition. Primary headaches disorders are clinical diagnoses meaning there’s no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. The secondary headache is a indicative of underlying another health issue.
All About Aura
An aura is a group of sensory, motor, and speech symptoms that usually act as a warning signal that a migraine is about to begin. It is commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache however this may not always be the case and can be even experienced during or after. An aura lasts for 10 to 60 minutes. An average of 15% to 20% of migraine patients has auras.
Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be healed or stopped altogether.
Symptoms produced by aura include:
- Blind spots in your vision
- Numb or tingling skin
- Temporary vision loss
- Changes in smell or taste
- Ringing in your ears(tinnitus)
- Seeing jagged or wavy lines
- A “funny” feeling.
Different types Of Migraines
There are several types of migraines and they are listed below:
- Migraine with Aura( Complicated Migraine): Globally around 15 to 20 % of migraine patients fall under this category.
- Migraine without Aura (Common Migraine):This type of migraine comes without any warning, the symptoms are the same just the phase of the aura is not seen here.
- Migraine without head pain: This can be referred to as “silent migraine” or “acephalgic migraine”. It includes the aura symptoms however the headache is not there that typically follows in common migraine.
- Hemiplegic migraine: You will experience temporary paralysis or neurological or sensory changes on one side of the body. This may or may not include head pain.
- Retinal Migraine:You may notice a temporary, partial, or complete loss of vision in one of your eyes, along with a dull ache behind your eyes that may spread to the rest of the head. Retinal migraine could be a sign of a more serious disease so you must report it to a healthcare provider.
- Chronic migraine:It occurs at least 15 days per month. There is a frequent change in symptoms and so is the change in the severity of the pain.
- Migraine with brainstem aura:With this migraine, you’ll have slurred speech, blurred or double vision, or loss of balance, which occur before the headache. The headache pain affects the back of your head. Ringing in the ear and vomiting are the noticeable symptoms of this type of migraine.
- Status migrainous:This is a rare and severe type of migraine that can last longer than 72 hours. The headache pain and nausea can be extremely bad and unbearable.
4 Phases of migraine & the associated timeline
In chronological order, the four phases of migraine are Prodrome (pre-monitory), aura, headache, and Postdrome. About 30% of migraine patients experience symptoms before their migraine starts.
The Phases are:
- Prodrome:The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not experience it as it may happen or may not happen every time.
- Aura: This phase may last from as less as 5 minutes to as long as 60 minutes. Most of the migraine patients don’t experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time.
- Headache: It lasts for 4 hours to 72 hours. Typically it starts on one side of your head and gradually spreads to another side.
- Postdrome: This stage goes on for a day or two. It is often referred to as a “migraine hangover” and 80% of those who have migraine experience it.
It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the entire four stages.
Risk factors associated with Migraine
The risk factors that make you vulnerable to migraine include:
- Genetics: About 80% who have migraine have a first- degree relatives with the disease.
- Gender:Women are more susceptible than men when it comes to migraine, especially between the ages of 15 to 55. Women are more prone to it because of the influence of hormones.
- Stress Level:Stress can be a trigger for migraine. High stress is often seen as the initial cause of migraine development.
What are the symptoms of migraine?
- Sensitivity to light, noise, and odors.
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Upset stomach and abdominal pain
- Feeling tired and fatigued
- Dizziness and blurred vision
- Tender scalp
Triggers for Migraine
Common triggers include:
- Emotional stress: is one of the most common triggers of migraine headaches. The flight or fight response triggers stress and that leads to headaches and migraine.
- Missing a Meal:Delaying a meal can also trigger migraine headaches.
- Sensitivity to specific preservatives and chemicals in food:Certain foods and beverages are responsible for triggering as much as 30% of migraine cases.
- Caffeine:Having too much caffeine or withdrawal from it can cause headaches.
- Hormonal changes in women:Migraine is more common during menstrual periods in women.
- Light:Flashing lights, fluorescent lights, lights from Tv, sunlights, etc can trigger the migraine headache.
Treatment and Diagnosis of Migraine
The Conventional approach takes into account following for treating migraine headache:
- Migraine drugs (pills, nasal sprays, or shots)
- Anti-nausea drugs
- Antiseizure drugs
- Botox injections
- Lifestyle changes
- Self-care remedies
Ayurveda and Migraine
Ayurveda uses a holistic approach to health. It considers body, mind, and soul when treating a condition. It focuses on balancing the five elements of the body i.e.fire, earth, water, space, and ether, and treating three doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Ayurveda includes the following methods to heal and treat migraine:
- Body detoxification
- Herbal remedies
- Dietary and lifestyle changes
- Relaxation techniques
What types of Ayurvedic treatments are used for healing Migraine?
Ayurveda promotes a natural way of healing any condition through doshic balance.
The treatment may include a combination of the following:
- Panchkarma therapy: It is meant to detoxify or purify your body. This is said to remove the toxins contributing to your migraine.
A few examples of this therapy include:
- Whole-body oil massage
- Eating medicated ghee
- Sweating therapy
- Lifestyle changes:This includes adding yoga, especially poses like child pose, downward-facing dog pose, and bridge pose, to your daily routine.
- Relaxation Therapy: Practicing mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, mental imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation techniques to calm the mind and body.
- Pathyadi: For migraine treatment, pathyadi decoction will include ayurvedic herbs with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Examples are turmeric, neem, amla berry, beleric, etc.
Other Natural remedies for migraine relief
In addition to ayurvedic treatment, there are other natural remedies available to prevent migraine or ease the symptoms.
Some examples include:
- Acupuncture: It may reduce chronic pain, including migraine attacks.
- Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraine attacks. Nuts, seeds, eggs, and leafy greens are some of the rich sources of magnesium.
- Ginger: It has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce migraine symptoms. You can try drinking ginger tea or adding fresh ginger to your food.
- Gingko Biloba: Made from the leaves of a tree native to China, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidants effects of ginkgo Biloba may help ease migraine symptoms.
Ayurvedic medicines available in the market to treat migraine
We listed above different therapies available in ayurvedic culture to treat and prevent migraine headaches.
In addition to those available therapies, there are several ayurvedic and herbal medicines available in the market that can help you to treat and prevent the symptoms of migraine.
Some of the drugs, medicines, and supplements are:
These drugs offer a plethora of benefits to overall health and thus help to relieve migraine pain and headache.
The Bottom Line
Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal treatment that promises holistic health through different therapies and treatments. In addition to the conventional approach of treating migraine, Ayurveda offers an excellent substitute for the conventional approach. However, one must be cautious about the unproven methods of treatment and be careful with the potential risks involved in the treatment process. Also, be sure to speak to your doctor to make sure it's safe for you to try any new treatment for your migraine.