Migraine is a headache that can cause severe throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head (1). Most women face this neurological disease compared to men. It can occur any time of the day, and this pain can last for hours or even days. The pulsing pain usually starts in the forehead or around the eyes.
Symptoms of Migraine
The foremost symptom of a migraine is a headache. Migraines vary from person to person. In many people, they happen in phases, and every stage has different symptoms. There are four different phases (2). The phases are:
These are the early warnings of migraine. 1 or 2 days before the migraine, and sometimes even the day before you may feel;
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Food cravings
- Muscles stiffness
- Increased urination
- Difficulty sleeping
Aura is the term for any sensory changes that typically happen before or along with migraine attacks. Symptoms include;
- Visualizing different shapes, bright spots, or flashes of light
- Not being able to speak clearly
- Changes in smell or taste
- Have ringing in your ears
- Temporary vision loss
A migraine headache generally begins as a dull ache and develops into throbbing pain. Most migraine headaches last about four hours to more than 3 days. And it usually gets worse while doing physical activities. Symptoms include;
- Sensitivity to smells, light
- Neck pain
- Nausea & vomiting
It’s otherwise known as a “Migraine Hangover”; this is the final stage of migraine. 80% of people who have migraines experience it. Symptoms include;
- Feeling tired
- Unable to concentrate
- Sensitivity to light
- Neck stiffness
What Causes Migraine?
Multiple factors can prompt migraine in some people. Causes may vary in each person. Some common causes are;
- Hormonal changes in women
- Insufficient or excessive sleep
- Weather changes
- Excess stress
- Fasting or skipping meals
- Bright light or strong odors
- Loud sounds
- Certain foods & food additives
- Head injury
Treatments for Migraine
You may ease migraine headaches by;
- Use Over the counter (OTC) drugs, such as aspirin, caffeine, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen for quick pain relief (3). Be careful when taking OTC pain relievers because excess intake of OTC might also increase your headache. And avoid OTC pain meds if you are under the age of 19 because it creates Reye’s syndrome risk. Talk to your doctor before taking any pain reliever because they will suggest the perfect medication depending on your stage.
- Triptans, these drugs help to balance the chemicals in your brain (4). Instances include eletriptan (Relpax), almotriptan (Axert), sumatriptan (Imitrex), and zolmitriptan (Zomig).
- Nausea Medicines.
- Ergotamine (Cafergot, Migergot, Ergomar). It also works well for your headache (5).
- Sometimes, your doctor can prescribe you ubrogepant (Ubrelvy) or rimegepant (Nurtec) if other treatments do not work.
- Lasmiditan (Reyvow), this drug assists prevent nausea, sensitivity to sound or light, and nausea.
- CGRP antagonists like eptinezumab (Vyepti), atonement (Qulipta), fremanezumab (Ajovy), and erenumab (Aimovig) can also stave off migraines (6).
Home Remedies for Migraine
Natural remedies are medication-free and the easiest choice to prevent migraines at home sometimes. Here are some natural ways to ease migraine symptoms;
- Lavender oil is more beneficial to relieve migraine pain. So, add 2-3 drops of lavender in 2-3 cups of boiled water and inhale for a few minutes. You can also use lavender oil to massage your skin.
- Try acupressure for quick relief.
- Try to include magnesium in your diet because magnesium deficiency can also create headaches and migraines. Magnesium-rich foods are;
- Cashew nut
- Sesame seeds
- Brazil seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Peanut butter
- Applying peppermint oil on your forehead can help prevent migraine symptoms like nausea, pain, and sensitivity to light.
- Ginger is also more beneficial for migraine reliefs.
- Massage your scalp or temple once a week, which helps improve the quality of sleep, and also reduces stress, anxiety, and heart rate.
- Avoid migraine triggering foods
- Exercise regularly
- Manage stress
- Sleep well
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Take your medications as advised by your doctor