Migraine attacks were known in antiquity, famous people were subject to them, and headache is one of the most unpleasant conditions to this day. Almost every woman and about three-quarters of men have experienced a migraine at least once in their life. This is a very serious condition, capable of putting a person to bed for many hours.
What is a migraine?
Migraine is defined in medicine as a special paroxysmal condition of very severe pain in the head, which pulsates, repeats in periods and, according to localization, usually occupies one half of the head. Most of the pain manifests itself in the forehead, eye socket or temple. At the same time, migraine is accompanied by severe symptoms from the body – it can feel sick, there are bouts of vomiting.
These pains are aggravated by sharp sounds, bright light, drowsiness and poor health.
Women are more prone to migraines due to hormonal and physiological characteristics, usually attacks occur in young girls aged 20 to 40 years. After this age, there is no such thing as a migraine.
Migraine has a specificity to be inherited through the female line, the probability of developing migraine in daughters is up to 70%. At the same time, the peculiarity of the metabolism of serotonin in the brain is inherited – a special substance that has sedative and analgesic effects. In addition, the peculiarity of the response of vessels to environmental conditions is also inherited.
Forms of migraine
Each person has his own migraine: there are no two identical attacks, although there are general patterns in their development. Unlike the banal headache from fatigue or stress, migraines have manifestations not only in the head, but also on the part of the body, they may have precursors, or the so-called “aura”.
According to modern classifications, physicians distinguish two types of migraines:
- simple migraine, or attacks without aura.
- aura-associated migraine. This is a combination of pain with neurological disorders in terms of vision, hearing, or range of motion. With this form, there may be various variations of disturbances in well-being – with short or prolonged attacks of the aura, with a headache of a constant or episodic nature. Visual and hearing impairments can occur alone or in combination with movement problems and pain.
A special place is occupied by a panic migraine associated with panic attacks against the background of a severe headache – this form is dangerous, as it causes mental disorders up to suicidal attempts.
Before migraine attacks
Usually those who suffer from migraines know their beginning – mood changes, irritability, anxiety and anxiety appear, there may be yawning, swelling, tearfulness. May occur visual impairment (people seem elongated, fall out of sight, “flies” flash) and auditory phenomena – tinnitus, ear congestion and excessive sensitivity to sound.
After half an hour or an hour, there are pains that increase in intensity. If the attack is not stopped at the stage of precursors, a typical picture of migraine develops.
Manifestations of typical migraines
The migraine clinic is quite typical, and whoever met her at least once will not confuse her with anything. Headaches are localized clearly in one half of the head, usually the temple pulsates, radiates to the eye, and the frontal part may hurt, although the entire half of the head, from the top of the head to the neck, may be involved.
The pains throb so that it seems as if someone is pressing on the bones. Pain increases with movement, changes in body position and physical activity, with sharp or loud sounds, turning on the light. The pain may increase to nausea and vomiting. Vomiting may provide some relief.
Attacks last from several hours to two or even more days. At the same time, a person lies, as they say, a “layer”. Panic attacks of migraine are also accompanied by a feeling of lack of air, suffocation, copious urine output and obsessive movements like chills.
With pain, there is a sharp excitation of the senses – touching the body, smells, sounds and light cause pain. The pulse in the head of the patients is given, “like blows with a hammer on the skull.” Patients try to retire, cover their heads with pillows, lie in complete darkness and silence.
The arteries in the head can swell and throb, sometimes squeezing the arteries relieves the pain a little. The vessels of the eye on the side of the pain are red, the tissues around the eyes are swollen, and the skin is pale. At the peak of pain, there may be cold hands and feet, chills. Gradually, the attack subsides. According to such data, neurologists and therapists almost unmistakably diagnose migraine.
How to treat a migraine?
First of all, you should not experiment with traditional medicine and various dubious means, they can harm more than help. It is necessary to contact a neurologist and exclude formations in the cranial cavity, which can give similar symptoms. The neurologist will treat you further.
First of all, drugs to relieve headaches. Conventional analgesics will not help with migraine and are practically useless to use, they can prevent an attack at the stage of its precursors, but when a migraine attack has developed, they are no longer effective.
To relieve the attacks themselves, doctors prescribe powerful drugs with a vasoconstrictor effect. But these drugs have an impressive list of side effects and should be used strictly as prescribed by a doctor and, if possible, in the form of nasal sprays or syrups, drops.
The main means of treating migraine are drugs that affect the metabolism of serotonin, the amino acid, due to metabolic disorders of which migraines occur. They help most actively, although they are also not without drawbacks.
To prevent new attacks and prevent migraine attacks, drugs that block serotonin are prescribed for long courses, for one month or more, under the supervision of a neurologist. Prescribe sedative therapy, drugs to improve brain nutrition and vitamin therapy.
Psychotherapy courses are prescribed to relieve fear of seizures and tension, acupuncture, myostimulation and osteopathic practices. Considering the role of circulatory disorders in the back and neck area, physical exercises and normalization of vascular function are necessary.
It is important to follow the right diet, because some foods can provoke a migraine – these are spicy cheeses, nuts and chocolate, cocoa and citrus fruits, red wine, champagne and tomatoes. They contain a lot of a special amino acid – tyranine, which in the body is transformed into serotonin. It is important for all people prone to migraine to lead a healthy lifestyle. Bad habits are migraine friends, just like stress.
Do you have migraines?