Suffering from migraines is more common than you think, isolated or chronic. This neurological disorder negatively affects the quality of life, as it prevents you from carrying out normal daily activities.
For this reason, suffering from migraines can cause despair and even depression and isolation. Today we will find out the causes of this disorder, how it is diagnosed and what treatment to follow.
What is migraine?
Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by a severe headache. Many people who experience these pains associate them with moments of tension, stress or anxiety, but in reality they suffer from migraines.
Migraine presents as localized pain on one or both sides of the head. Suffering from migraines totally blocks the person, who cannot carry out any activities due to the severe pain. This disorder affects a large part of the population: about 18% of adult women and 6% of men.
Classic migraine begins with a vision disorder. Flashes of light appear in one side of the field of view. Zigzag lines or colored lights may also be seen. These optical effects typically last 10 to 30 minutes.
Causes of migraines
Among people who suffer from migraines, different pain patterns and forms can be recognized. Even in the same patient, the location of the pain fulcrum can vary at different times in life.
For this, it is particularly important to find out the causes that trigger the onset of migraines. Thanks to this, it will be possible to reduce the frequency and, sometimes, also the intensity. The triggers of migraines are:
- Smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Sleep disorders.
- Exposure to strong odors.
- Abrupt climate change.
- Consumption of certain foods (sodium glutamate, artificial sweeteners, soy, dairy products, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, etc.)
- Overexposure to bright light.
- Some medications.
Symptoms of migraine sufferers
The symptoms of those suffering from this pathology are characteristic and recognizable:
- The main symptom is a headache with intense pain, which extends to the entire surface of the head, neck and facial muscles. The pain can last from 4 to 72 hours
- Gastric alteration: nausea and vomiting.
- Photophobia and phonophobia: episodes of hypersensitivity to light and sound are common.
- Visual symptoms: Lightning, flashes, zigzag lines, blurry images, partial loss of vision, or eye pain may appear.
- Psychological alterations: nervous breakdowns, anxiety, insomnia, depression, nervousness and aggression.
Suffering from migraines prevents the person from performing any type of activity and causes disabling disorders. Other less common symptoms that may appear are:
- Itching and tingling.
- Involuntary body spasms.
- Difficulty speaking.
Suffering from migraines: Diagnosis is important
Diagnosis of migraine depends on the symptoms the patient presents. For this reason, a complete medical history is carried out, in which the patient will have to describe in particular detail the pains he experiences during headache attacks.
Typically, the diagnosis is made by the primary care physician, and it is not common practice to go to the neurologist for a diagnosis of migraine. Cases in which a secondary headache or other underlying disease is suspected will be analyzed with an imaging diagnosis. The tests indicated in these cases are an MRI and a CT scan.
Treatment of migraine
The choice of medication used will depend on the cause of the migraine. Let’s see the alternatives:
- Analgesics and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol, etc. They only work on mild to moderate migraines.
- Antiemetics: Used to calm vomiting and nausea.
- Antihypertensives: indicated for migraines caused by arterial hypertension.
- Antidepressants : for migraines and headaches caused by depression or pressure changes.
Suffering from migraines: a natural approach
Natural therapies to treat migraines always rely on nutrition. It is essential to increase the consumption of natural foods and eliminate all processed products (yeasts, snacks, precooked foods, etc.) from the diet. Furthermore, it is particularly important to rule out the presence of some food intolerances, such as lactose or gluten.
These therapies take into account the general health of the patient to treat any type of pathology. The hormonal system, the functioning of the liver, kidneys and intestines, emotions, etc. Very positive results can be obtained with regard to migraines thanks to techniques such as acupuncture, magnetotherapy, chromotherapy, etc.