What is migraine headache?

Well, migraine headache has been described as an episodic, paroxysmal headache, usually but not necessarily affecting one side of the head; which may or may not be associated with giddiness, nausea, vomiting or visual impairment. The painful episode of migraine is usually intense and lasting for half an hour to over a couple of days.

Cause of Disease

The exact cause often remains unknown. It has been proved that migraine is a vascular disorder. Due to some triggering factors, varying from person to person, there is some kind of vasoconstriction and vasodilatation of the branches of the carotid artery ( the major neck blood vessel) which leads to typical throbbing and congestive attack of headache.

While the exact causation in unknown, it has been observed in practice that migraine is often psychosomatic in origin. There are migraine personality and we have observed in a study of a series of migraine patients at our center, that, there is also a common thread in the migraine personality type.

Many independent studies at various institutes have also shown that most migraine sufferers show one or many of the following behavioral patter conscientiousness, fastidiousness, rigidity of views, constant conflict between the environment and self, high level of expectation.

Migraine sufferers are more females than males. However, we are observing a shift. Often observed to be running in the family, showing hereditary links.

The symptomatology of migraine:

  • Migraine headache is a subjective experience. The commonly described pain is typically throbbing, bursting, hammering, or shattering. The pain might start on one side or a spot on the head and spreading to any other place. Ocular areas often affected. The pain is usually severe, intense and tends to be associated with nausea, giddiness and generalized sense of malaise. Many patients feel relieved if there is vomiting.

    The episodes of pain are periodic, may be weekly, daily , fortnightly, monthly or irregular.

Migraine and other similar headaches:

  • Migraine headache should be differentiated from other similar painful conditions where the headache could be due to high blood pressure, sinusitis, Trigeminal neuralgia, temporal arteritis, tension headache, etc. A good clinician can help the patient arrive to a correct diagnosis.

    Triggers for Migraine:
    • Your Sex Life:

      The biological events that precede orgasm can bring on migraine like headaches. Increase blood flow through dilated vessels, tensed neck and body muscles, heavy breathing and changes in serotonin levels in the brain can all trigger a migraine. Such headaches may even occur after running, lifting weights or other kinds of physical exertion and exercise.

    • Your Period:

      One of the best-known triggers [for migraines] is menstruation. This is because hormone levels in women's bodies fluctuate dramatically during this time. Changes in the levels of two hormones in particular estrogen and progesterone can bring on migraines.

    • The Weather:

      Perhaps the phrase 'tis an ill wind that blows no good originated because storms can literally make some people sick. No one knows why some people react more strongly to weather changes than others, but changes in air pressure, such as before a heavy rain or snow, can trigger migraines.

    • Your Sleep Pattern:

      It may not be thatearly to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Rather, it may be that sticking to a consistent sleeping schedule is what is worth striving for. Getting too little or too much sleep disrupts normal bodily rhythms and can trigger a migraine. Sleeping irregular hours can also interfere with normal eating patterns, causing blood sugar levels to rise and dip when they should not.

    • Your Diet:

      What you eat or don't eat can have a profound effect on how you feel. Additionally, there are a host of chemicals in food, both natural and added, that can trigger migraines. more common dietary triggers include monosodium glutamates (MSGs), chemicals used to add flavor to food; nitrates, used to preserve and add color to meats like bacon and hot dogs; and tyramines found in aged cheeses and red wine. Even chocolate and oranges, foods otherwise known for their antioxidant properties, contain chemicals that can trigger a migraine. Red wine is a particularly well-documented trigger, as they are known to bring about migraines in many people.

    • Lights and Sounds in Your Surroundings:

      People who suffer from migraines are known to be very sensitive to sensory stimuli, particularly bright lights and loud noises. Bright, fluorescent or flickering lights can be very painful to someone with a migraine. Some times, in these cases, staying in bed is the only thing that feels comfortable.

    • Your Stress Level:

      Stress seems like the cause for many diseases, but it can be particularly injurious to migraine sufferers. Migraineurs don't have any more stress than anybody else. They just can't handle it as well.

    Self-Care at Home

    Most migraineurs can manage mild-to-moderate attacks at home with the following strategies:

    • Using a cold compress to the area of pain 
    • Resting with pillows comfortably supporting the head or neck 
    • Resting in a room with little or no sensory stimulation (light, sound, odors) 
    • Withdrawing from stressful surroundings 
    • Sleeping 
    • Drinking a moderate amount of caffeine
    Prevention

    Migraine triggers should be identified and avoided. Making individual lifestyle changes is very important. Changes may include avoiding certain types of foods and certain emotional situations. If missing meals triggers headaches, the migraineur should make every effort to eat on a regular basis. In some instances, the use of biofeedback may help reduce the severity and frequency of attacks.

    Homoeopathic treatment for Migraine:

    Migraine has been believed to be an obstinate condition to treat. However, it is a common experience of the practitioners of homoeopathic system of medicine that migraine is curable.

    What is homoeopathic approach to migraine treatment ?

    The homoeopathic approach to the treatment of migraine patients is more individualistic. This means, homoeopathy believes that migraine is a personality disorder and hence the treatment should be determined only on the basis of in-depth study of the patients' personality. This approach helps treating most cases of migraine successfully.

    Homoeopathy treatment is essentially safe and absolutely harmless, which may be taken along with any other medicine, if required.