What You Need to Know About Migraines

What is a Migraine?

Migraine is defined as a condition that results in severe headaches. These headaches are accompanied by symptoms such as feeling sick (nausea) or vomiting. Migraine is a common condition affecting one in every five women.

What are the Phases of a Migraine Attack?

A regular migraine attack can be divided into four phases:Migraine headaches

  • The Premonitory phase also known as the warning phase. It occurs to about half of the people with migraine. The common symptoms associated with this phase are; irritation, tired, depression, food cravings, etc. These feelings may last for hours or even days before the headache sets in
  • The aura phase
  • Headache phase
  • The resolution phase as the headache fades. At this time, you may experience incidences of irritability, feel tired, depressed or have difficulty concentrating.

Types of Migraine

There are several types of migraines as given below;

  • Migraine with aura: This is referred to as the classic migraine. It sends some warning signs such as seeing flashing lights before the migraine begins.
  • Migraine attack without aura: This is the most common form of migraine. It occurs without warning signs
  • Migraine aura attack without headache: This type is also known as silent migraine where an aura or other symptoms of the migraine are experienced, with no incidences of a headache.

In some case, you will find that some people have migraines quite frequently, for up to several times in a week while others have occasional migraines.

What are the Causes of Migraines?

The exact causes of migraines are not known though they are said to be as a result of the temporary changes in chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. Migraine is not classified as an inherited condition; however, studies show that about half of the people who experience migraines have a close relative with this condition. Which could bring to the conclusion that genes could play a role as the cause.

In some people, migraine attacks could be associated with certain triggers such as;

  • Migraine HeadacheDiet: Irregular meals or dieting too fast can trigger migraines. Other foods involved in this include, chocolate, red wines, cheese and citrus fruits.
  • Psychological: These include anxiety, tiredness, anger, depression, etc.
  • Environmental: Such include glaring light, smoking or smoky areas, loud noises, flickering TV sets or VDU screens, strong smells, etc.

Others are periods (menstruation), different sleeping patterns, the shift of work, menopause, etc.

Which are the Available Treatment Options for Migraines?

Though migraines have no permanent cure, there are a number of treatments available with pain management doctors in Boulder, Greely and Loveland to help lessen its symptoms. These include;

Painkillers

These include over the counter drugs such as Paracetamol/aspirin and ibuprofen. The dose should be taken immediately the symptoms begin. When painkillers are taken early enough, they reduce the possibility of a severe headache or stop it completely.

Triptans: These are medications that can help reverse the changes in the brain that may latter cause migraines.

Anti-emetics: These are medication used to reduce nausea and vomiting.

In case you suspect a certain trigger which may result to migraines such as stress or a certain type of food, ensure you avoid it completely. Also, ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle including good sleep, regular exercises and ensure you stay well hydrated and at the same time reduce the intake of caffeine and alcohol.

Chronic migraines can be debilitating. Colorado Clinic offers exceptional migraine treatment that includes both medication management and interventional procedures. There is a Double Board Certified pain management doctor who sees patients at three pain clinics in Boulder, Greeley and Loveland.

Call Colorado Clinic today to help reduce both the frequency and severity of migraines!