Migraine is one of the most common and at the same time the most troublesome headaches. It mainly affects women and can occur in people of all ages, although it is most often diagnosed in the first four decades of life. Even migraine in children is possible. Migraine is recurrent and may prevent the patient from functioning normally, as the intensity of pain symptoms and accompanying ailments can be really strong, and headache caused by migraine accompanies the patient for most of his life. People suffering from migraines should lead a healthy lifestyle and use effective methods of treatment – pharmacotherapy, as well as innovative therapy with botulinum toxin.
Where does migraine come from?
Migraine is a disease with an undetermined cause. Pain is caused by a sharp contraction and then relaxation of the blood vessels in the brain. Changes in the tension of the vascular walls result from disturbances in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Where do such disorders come from? Certainly, genetic predisposition is not without significance, as migraine often runs in families. There are a number of factors leading to the appearance of migraines. The reasons that occur most often are:
improper diet: excess caffeine, irregular meals, consumption of red wine, cheese, peanuts, citrus fruits, chocolate, monosodium glutamate or aspartame
excess or lack of sleep, irregular circadian rhythm
weather changes – especially often migraine when the weather changes is observed during pressure fluctuations
the use of certain medications – migraine is very common with hormonal contraception
strong external stimuli: noises, strong smells, light
accompanying menstruation, pregnancy or menopause.
Migraine – symptoms and forms of the disease
Migraine can occur in two forms: as migraine with aura and migraine without aura. In the former, there are characteristic neurological symptoms that precede pain, while in the latter, only pain occurs. The aura usually takes the form of visual symptoms – visual disturbances, limited field of vision, flashes of light. Sense disorders occur less frequently – tingling and numbness of the limbs or mouth, hemiparesis, tinnitus, and occasionally – disturbances of consciousness. The aura occurs a few to several dozen minutes before the onset of pain, while other migraine symptoms may appear much earlier, such as fatigue and irritability, lethargy, weariness. Interestingly, the harbingers of migraine can appear even a few days before the pain attack.
What are the characteristics of migraine pain? Most often, the pain lasts from 4 to 72 hours and is throbbing. The pain is usually unilateral, although it can affect both sides of the head. The most common location of pain is the temples, less often – the occiput area. It is not uncommon that the headache is accompanied by photophobia, nausea and vomiting or hypersensitivity to sounds. The frequency of migraine pain varies greatly, typically 2-4 attacks per month. However, chronic migraine may occur – then the headache accompanies the patient for at least 15 days a month for at least 3 months. Most often, a detailed medical history is enough to diagnose migraine, although sometimes a computed tomography of the head is required.
Can a migraine attack be prevented?
The cause of migraine has not been clearly defined, but the triggers are well recognized. Therefore, the basis of prevention is to avoid these factors. It is necessary to use a properly composed diet and eat meals regularly. The anti-migraine diet boils down primarily to the elimination of products rich in:
synthetic food additives
tyramine (ripened cheeses, ripened meats, smoked fish, fermenting food)
nitrates and nitrites (canned food, meats and sausages)
You should lead a regular lifestyle, avoid stress. However, if you notice the heralding symptoms, it is good to lie down in a quiet, dark place.
Migraine sufferers are advised to migraine diary. It is used to record valuable information that helps identify migraine triggers and recognize them as soon as possible. The most important rule is to write down everything that happened in the 24 hours before the onset of pain. It should be recalled, among others, what meals were eaten – migraine can occur even a day after eating a certain ingredient. If based on the records it is not possible to clearly determine the dietary factor causing migraine – it is good to eliminate all potential ingredients for about 6 weeks, then introduce them one at a time to the diet and observe the body. In addition to migraine prevention, migraine treatment is important, which is possible thanks to consultation with a neurologist, as well as … a visit to the office of aesthetic medicine.