Migraines, these severe impairing headaches

Migraines are severe headaches, that cause extreme pain and impair your daily life. Sensitivity to lights and sounds, nausea, and even vomiting are other common associated symptoms. Discover the other various symptoms of migraines, their causes and origins, and how to handle and treat them.



Is migraine a mere headache?

As you surely already know, migraines typically show a severe impairing headache that can ruin your everyday life. But there is something specific in migraine, as it causes a throbbing pain, that usually affects one side of the head, and is often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and disturbed vision. But these are not the only signs and symptoms of a migraine, and being aware of these signs could help you prevent or better deal with your migraines so that it does not impede your daily activities that much any longer.

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Most common symptoms of a migraine

Migraines show as severe headaches, but often come with other symptoms such as severe sensitivity to light and sound.

Sensitivity to light

One of the most common symptoms of a migraine will show as flashes of visual disturbances. People either suffer from painful flashes of light or see blind spots.

Sensitivity to sound

Another very common symptom will deal with the perception of sound. People suffering from migraines often hear sounds either painfully or louder.

First signs of a migraine

You might be able to notice that a migraine is on its way, if you pay attention to these tiny signs.

What are the very first signs that you might be having a migraine?

A couple of days before a migraine, you might notice these first symptoms:

  • Some mood shifts remindful of depression symptoms such as irritability or anxiety or moodiness
  • Some changes in your appetite, and digestive issues such as a decreased appetite or on a contrary food craving, being thirstier and consequently peeing a lot, or even constipation
  • Extreme fatigue possibly with a lot of yawning

Visual symptoms forecasting a migraine

These symptoms are called an aura. They can either appear before a migraine actually breaks out or during a migraine. They build up gradually and last from 20 minutes to an hour.

  • Flashing lights, zig-zag visions, or seeing wavy lines when watching at something.
  • Blind spots or loss of vision
  • Blurry vision

Physical symptoms foreshadowing a migraine

  • Stiffness, especially of the neck
  • Stingy feelings that remind pins or needles, usually in the arms or legs
  • Uncontrollable movements, such as jerking or weakness and numbness on one side of your body
  • Trouble talking and articulating
  • Distorted hearing, hearing sounds too loud, feeling pain while listening to loud or shriek sounds, or hearing tinnituses.

What happens when the migraine strikes?

A migraine might last a couple of hours to a couple of days if untreated. They can either occur frequently or on a more random basis, and vary from person to person. Some people might only have a migraine now and then, while others will have several crises each month.

Signs that you are getting an attack

A migraine attack shows as a massive headache, associated with some other symptoms, which might have broken out beforehand.

This is the headache itself. Most of the time:

  • It usually comes as a severe throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of your head or eye.
  • It causes extra-sensitivity to light. This symptom might be so severe that you may need to retreat to a darkened room.
  • It causes extra-sensitivity to odors, and might even make you feel nauseated, sick or even throw up.
  • It also increases sensitivity to sound as already described, alteration of vision, and alteration of the sense of touch.
  • It might trigger lightheadedness or fainting.

What happens to your body when the attack fades out?

The last phase of a migraine usually lasts for about a day. It materializes through diverse symptoms.

The aftermath of a migraine

  • You most certainly feel elated, drained and washed out
  • You might feel confused, moody
  • You might still feel a little dizzy and sensitive to light and sound

When should you need to resort to medical care?

You should immediately go to your doctor or to the ER if symptoms appear such as:

  • An abrupt, severe and striking headache like a thunderclap, or a headache unlike any regular headache pattern you usually have
  • If your headache goes along with fever and unusual or severe neck stiffness
  • If your headache starts after a head injury, especially if it worsens
  • If you should feel that your headache worsens when active, or after coughing, exertion, straining or a sudden movement
  • If your numbness swifts to severe weakness or impossibility to move, trouble with balance or inability to walk
  • Your headaches begin for the first time after the age of 50.

Where do migraines arise from?

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Causes of migraines

It would seem that genetics, environmental factors play a role in triggering migraines, even though the causes of migraines are not fully understood.

Researchers seem to imply that some changes involve the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway. They also reckon imbalances in brain chemicals such as serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate pain in your nervous system are also a factor of migraines.

What triggers migraines?

Way of life and environmental factors

  • Hormones. It seems that hormonal changes in women could be linked to migraines. Fluctuations in estrogen, contraceptive pills hormone replacement therapies could trigger and worsen migraines.
  • Medications. Some medications could induce or aggravate migraines, such as vasodilators.
  • Alcohol. Drinking alcohol, especially wine, could not only trigger a bad hangover but also a migraine.
  • Coffee. It seems that drinking too much coffee could not only prevent you from sleeping but could also cause migraines.
  • Stress. Stress at work or within your family life could also trigger migraines.
  • Sensory stimuli. External factors are also thought to induce or aggravate migraine symptoms. They include bright or stroboscopic lights or sun glare, loud, shriek, or piercing sounds. It seems that strong smells like perfume, paint thinner, or smoke also trigger migraines in some people.
  • Weather changes or barometric pressure can prompt a migraine in some people too.
  • Sleep issues. Missing sleep, or on the contrary getting too much sleep or jet lag can trigger migraines.
  • Food habits. Additives such as aspartame or preservatives found in many foods might be a cause of migraines.

Risk factors and aggravating factors

Several factors make you more prone to having migraines, including:

  • Genetics. If some of your family members suffer from migraines, then you have a good chance of suffering from migraines too.
  • Aging. Migraines can begin at any age, though it usually starts when you’re a teenager. Migraines tend to reach a peak during your 30s.
  • Gender. Women are much more likely to suffer from migraines than men.
  • Hormonal changes. For women who have migraines and headaches might be related to menstruation. They often also occur during pregnancy or menopause. Migraines tend to improve after menopause.

Possible complications

Taking painkillers on a regular basis might lessen their effect and lead to serious medication-overuse headaches or turn out to prove useless to future headaches or pains.

How can your diet help you reduce your migraines?

What type of food can trigger a migraine?

  • Salty food and ingredients
  • Sugary food
  • Fat food, making digesting difficult, such as cheese or dairy products
  • Food containing aspartame and additives
  • Alcohol, caffeine

What type of food should you favor?

  • Vegetables
  • Carbonated water or spring water
  • Rice, grains, and seeds
  • Dried or cooked fruits, especially berries
  • Natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey or stevia
  • Natural flavors such as vanilla extract
  • Fresh meats, poultry, and fresh fish also seem to be migraine-safe types of food.
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  1. Get Headache Relief for Migraines with Diet Changes 2. Home Remedies for Migraines 3. Cure Migraine with Professional Help 4. How To Tell if A Stress Migraine Is Coming 5. Migraine Causes and Symptoms 6. Avoid these foods if you have Migraines 7. Migraine Risk Factors 8. Signs that You Are Getting a Migraine Attack 9. Everything You Need to Know About Migraine Symptoms