Showing Page:
1/8
HEALTH AND MEDICAL
INTRODUCTION TO MIGRAINE HEADACHE
MIGRAINE HEADACHES
A migraine headache is much more than a bad headache. This neurological disease can
cause debilitating throbbing pain that can leave you in bed for days. Movement, light,
sound and other triggers may cause symptoms like pain, tiredness, nausea, visual
disturbance, numbness and tingling, irritability, difficulty speaking, temporary loss of
vision and many more.
WHAT’S A MIGRAINE
A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most
notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely
get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or
even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that it’s the
sixth most disabling disease in the world.
TYPES OF HEADACHES
There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories:
Primary headaches and Secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning
that it isn’t caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical
diagnoses, meaning there’s no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary
headache is a symptom of another health issue.
WHAT IS AN AURA
An aura is a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that usually act like warning
signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure
or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain, but can sometimes appear during
or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who
experience migraines have auras.
Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura
produces symptoms that may include:
Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights.
Blind spots in your vision.
Numb or tingling skin.
Speech changes.
Showing Page:
2/8
Ringing in your ears (tinnitus).
Temporary vision loss.
Seeing wavy or jagged lines.
Changes in smell or taste.
A “funny” feeling.
THE TYPES OF MIGRAINES
There are several types of migraines, and the same type may go by different names:
Migraine with aura (complicated migraine): Around 15% to 20% of people with
migraine headaches experience an aura.
Migraine without aura (common migraine): This type of migraine headache strikes
without the warning an aura may give you. The symptoms are the same, but that
phase doesn’t happen.
Migraine without head pain: “Silent migraine” or “acephalgic migraine,” as this type
is also known as, includes the aura symptom but not the headache that typically
follows.
Hemiplegic migraine: You'll have temporary paralysis (hemiplegia) or neurological or
sensory changes on one side of your body. The onset of the headache may be
associated with temporary numbness, extreme weakness on one side of your body, a
tingling sensation, a loss of sensation and dizziness or vision changes. Sometimes it
includes head pain and sometimes it doesn’t.
Retinal migraine (ocular migraine): You may notice temporary, partial or complete
loss of vision in one of your eyes, along with a dull ache behind the eye that may
spread to the rest of your head. That vision loss may last a minute, or as long as
months. You should always report a retinal migraine to a healthcare provider
because it could be a sign of a more serious issue.
Chronic migraine: A chronic migraine is when a migraine occurs at least 15 days
per month. The symptoms may change frequently, and so may the severity of the
pain. Those who get chronic migraines might be using headache pain medications
more than 10 to 15 days a month and that, unfortunately, can lead to headaches
that happen even more frequently.
Migraine with brainstem aura: With this migraine, you'll have vertigo, slurred
speech, double vision or loss of balance, which occur before the headache. The
headache pain may affect the back of your head. These symptoms usually occur
suddenly and can be associated with the inability to speak properly ringing in the
ears and vomiting.
Status migraineurs: This is a rare and severe type of migraine that can last longer
than 72 hours. The headache pain and nausea can be extremely bad. Certain
medications, or medication withdrawal, can cause you to have this type of migraine.
Showing Page:
3/8
FOUR STAGES OR PHASES OF A MIGRAINE
The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome (pre-monitory), aura, headache and
postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.
The phases are:
1. Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not
experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the “preheadache” or
“premonitory” phase.
2. Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people
don’t experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the
same time.
3. Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word
“ache” doesn’t do the pain justice because sometimes it’s mild, but usually, it’s
described as drilling, throbbing or you may feel the sensation of an icepick in your
head. Typically, it starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other side.
4. Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. It’s often called a migraine
“hangover” and 80% of those who have migraines experience it.
It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.
Showing Page:
4/8
WHO GETS MIGRAINES AND WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS
It’s difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors
that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include:
Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree
relative with the disease.
Gender: Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women
between the ages of 15 and 55. It’s likely more common in women because of the
influence of hormones.
Stress level: You may get migraines more often if you’re high-stress. Stress can
trigger a migraine.
Smoking.
Showing Page:
5/8
MIGRAINES HEREDITARY
Migraines tend to run in families. As many as four out of five people with migraines have a
family history. If one parent has a history of migraines, their child has a 50% chance of
having them. If both parents have a history of migraines, the risk jumps to 75%. Again, up
to 80% of people with migraines have a first-degree relative with the disease.
THE SYMPTOMS OF MIGRAINES
The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding
or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild,
moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe.
Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your
head, the back of your head or feel like it’s affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain
around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.
Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:
Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
Loss of appetite.
Feeling very warm (sweating) or cold (chills).
Pale skin color (pallor).
Feeling tired.
Dizziness and blurred vision.
Tender scalp.
Diarrhea (rare).
Fever (rare).
Most migraines last about four hours, although severe ones can last much longer.
Each phase of the migraine attack can come with different symptoms:
Prodrome symptoms:
Problems concentrating.
Irritability and/or depression.
Difficulty speaking and reading.
Difficulty sleeping. Yawning.
Nausea.
Fatigue.
Showing Page:
6/8
Sensitivity to light and sound.
Food cravings.
Increased urination.
Muscle stiffness.
Aura symptoms:
Numbness and tingling.
Visual disturbances. You might be seeing the world as if through a kaleidoscope,
have blurry spots or see sparkles or lines.
Temporary loss of sight.
Weakness on one side of the body.
Speech changes.
Headache symptoms:
Neck pain, stiffness.
Depression, giddiness and/or anxiety.
Sensitivity to light, smell and sound.
Nasal congestion.
Insomnia.
Nausea and vomiting.
Postdrome symptoms:
Inability to concentrate.
Depressed mood.
Fatigue.
Lack of comprehension.
Euphoric mood.
WHAT CAUSES A MIGRAINE
The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have
a headache it’s because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your
brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your
head. It’s unclear why your nerves do that.
WHAT TRIGGERS A MIGRAINE
Migraine attacks can be triggered by a variety of factors. Common triggers include:
Showing Page:
7/8
Emotional Stress: Emotional stress is one of the most common triggers of migraine
headaches. During stressful events, certain chemicals in the brain are released to
combat the situation (known as the "flight or fight" response). The release of these
chemicals can bring on a migraine. Other emotions like anxiety, worry and
excitement can increase muscle tension and dilate blood vessels. That can make your
migraine more severe.
Missing a meal: Delaying a meal might also trigger your migraine headache.
Sensitivity to specific chemicals and preservatives in foods: Certain foods and
beverages such as aged cheese, alcoholic beverages, chocolate and food additives
such as nitrates (found in pepperoni, hot dogs and luncheon meats) and fermented or
pickled foods may be responsible for triggering up to 30% of migraines.
Caffeine: Having too much caffeine or withdrawal from caffeine can cause headaches
when the caffeine level abruptly drops. Your blood vessels seem to become sensitized
to caffeine and when you don't get it, a headache may occur. Caffeine is sometimes
recommended by healthcare providers to help with treating acute migraine attacks
but should not be used frequently.
Daily use of pain-relieving medications: If you use medicine meant to relieve
headache pain too often, that can cause a rebound headache.
Hormonal changes in women: Migraines in women are more common around the
time of their menstrual period. The abrupt drop in estrogen that triggers menses can
also trigger migraines. Hormonal changes can also be brought on by birth control
pills and hormone replacement therapy. Migraines are generally worse between
puberty and menopause since these estrogen fluctuations generally don’t occur in
young girls and post-menopausal women. If your hormones are a strong factor in
your migraines, you may have fewer headaches after menopause. Hormonal changes
do not appear to trigger migraines in men.
Light: Flashing lights, fluorescent lights, light from the TV or computer and sunlight
can trigger you.
Other possible triggers include:
Changing weather conditions such as storm fronts, barometric pressure changes,
strong winds or changes in altitude.
Being overly tired. Overexertion.
Dieting, or not drinking enough water.
Changes in your normal sleep pattern.
Loud noises.
Exposure to smoke, perfumes or other odors.
Certain medications cause blood vessels to swell.
Showing Page:
8/8
PREVENTION OF MIGRAINE HEADACHES
There is no cure for migraine headaches, but you can take an active role in managing them,
maybe reducing how often you get them and possibly controlling how severe they are by
following these tips:
Keep a migraine diary. Take notes about any foods and other triggers that you think
may have caused you to develop a migraine. Make changes in your diet and avoid
those triggers as much as possible.
Get a prescription for CGRP monoclonal antibodies. This injection was created
specifically to help with migraines.
Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
Eat at regular intervals. Don't skip meals. Drink plenty of water.
Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
Learn techniques to control stress such as meditation, yoga, relaxation training, or
mindful breathing.
Take medication as directed by your healthcare provider. Preventative medications
include antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, calcitonin gene-related peptides,
medicines that lower blood pressure and Botox injections. You might be prescribed
timolol, amitriptyline, topiramate and divalproex sodium. Notice that some of the
same medications that can help you manage a migraine may also help prevent one.
Talk to your healthcare provider about hormone therapy if your migraines are
thought to be linked to your menstrual cycle.
Consider trying a transcutaneous supraorbital nerve stimulation device. This battery-
powered electrical stimulator device is approved by the Food and Drug
Administration to prevent migraines. The device, worn like a headband or on your
arm, emits electrical charges. The charge stimulates the nerve that transmits some of
the pain experienced in migraine headaches. (The device may not be covered by your
health insurance.)
Get counseling from a therapist for help controlling your stress. Ask your healthcare
provider for a referral.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

HEALTH AND MEDICAL INTRODUCTION TO MIGRAINE HEADACHE MIGRAINE HEADACHES A migraine headache is much more than a bad headache. This neurological disease can cause debilitating throbbing pain that can leave you in bed for days. Movement, light, sound and other triggers may cause symptoms like pain, tiredness, nausea, visual disturbance, numbness and tingling, irritability, difficulty speaking, temporary loss of vision and many more. WHAT’S A MIGRAINE A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that it’s the sixth most disabling disease in the world. TYPES OF HEADACHES There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: Primary headaches and Secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning that it isn’t caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning there’s no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue. WHAT IS AN AURA An aura is a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that usually act like warning signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain, but can sometimes appear during or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who experience migraines have auras. Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura produces symptoms that may include: • • • • Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights. Blind spots in your vision. Numb or tingling skin. Speech changes. • • • • • Ringing in your ears (tinnitus). Temporary vision loss. Seeing wavy or jagged lines. Changes in smell or taste. A “funny” feeling. THE TYPES OF MIGRAINES There are several types of migraines, and the same type may go by different names: • • • • • • • • Migraine with aura (complicated migraine): Around 15% to 20% of people with migraine headaches experience an aura. Migraine without aura (common migraine): This type of migraine headache strikes without the warning an aura may give you. The symptoms are the same, but that phase doesn’t happen. Migraine without head pain: “Silent migraine” or “acephalgic migraine,” as this type is also known as, includes the aura symptom but not the headache that typically follows. Hemiplegic migraine: You'll have temporary paralysis (hemiplegia) or neurological or sensory changes on one side of your body. The onset of the headache may be associated with temporary numbness, extreme weakness on one side of your body, a tingling sensation, a loss of sensation and dizziness or vision changes. Sometimes it includes head pain and sometimes it doesn’t. Retinal migraine (ocular migraine): You may notice temporary, partial or complete loss of vision in one of your eyes, along with a dull ache behind the eye that may spread to the rest of your head. That vision loss may last a minute, or as long as months. You should always report a retinal migraine to a healthcare provider because it could be a sign of a more serious issue. Chronic migraine: A chronic migraine is when a migraine occurs at least 15 days per month. The symptoms may change frequently, and so may the severity of the pain. Those who get chronic migraines might be using headache pain medications more than 10 to 15 days a month and that, unfortunately, can lead to headaches that happen even more frequently. Migraine with brainstem aura: With this migraine, you'll have vertigo, slurred speech, double vision or loss of balance, which occur before the headache. The headache pain may affect the back of your head. These symptoms usually occur suddenly and can be associated with the inability to speak properly ringing in the ears and vomiting. Status migraineurs: This is a rare and severe type of migraine that can last longer than 72 hours. The headache pain and nausea can be extremely bad. Certain medications, or medication withdrawal, can cause you to have this type of migraine. FOUR STAGES OR PHASES OF A MIGRAINE The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome (pre-monitory), aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts. The phases are: 1. Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the “preheadache” or “premonitory” phase. 2. Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people don’t experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time. 3. Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word “ache” doesn’t do the pain justice because sometimes it’s mild, but usually, it’s described as drilling, throbbing or you may feel the sensation of an icepick in your head. Typically, it starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other side. 4. Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. It’s often called a migraine “hangover” and 80% of those who have migraines experience it. It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages. WHO GETS MIGRAINES AND WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS It’s difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include: • • • • Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease. Gender: Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women between the ages of 15 and 55. It’s likely more common in women because of the influence of hormones. Stress level: You may get migraines more often if you’re high-stress. Stress can trigger a migraine. Smoking. MIGRAINES HEREDITARY Migraines tend to run in families. As many as four out of five people with migraines have a family history. If one parent has a history of migraines, their child has a 50% chance of having them. If both parents have a history of migraines, the risk jumps to 75%. Again, up to 80% of people with migraines have a first-degree relative with the disease. THE SYMPTOMS OF MIGRAINES The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like it’s affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck. Other symptoms of migraine headaches include: • • • • • • • • • • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors. Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain. Loss of appetite. Feeling very warm (sweating) or cold (chills). Pale skin color (pallor). Feeling tired. Dizziness and blurred vision. Tender scalp. Diarrhea (rare). Fever (rare). Most migraines last about four hours, although severe ones can last much longer. Each phase of the migraine attack can come with different symptoms: Prodrome symptoms: • • • • • • Problems concentrating. Irritability and/or depression. Difficulty speaking and reading. Difficulty sleeping. Yawning. Nausea. Fatigue. • • • • Sensitivity to light and sound. Food cravings. Increased urination. Muscle stiffness. Aura symptoms: • • • • • Numbness and tingling. Visual disturbances. You might be seeing the world as if through a kaleidoscope, have blurry spots or see sparkles or lines. Temporary loss of sight. Weakness on one side of the body. Speech changes. Headache symptoms: • • • • • • Neck pain, stiffness. Depression, giddiness and/or anxiety. Sensitivity to light, smell and sound. Nasal congestion. Insomnia. Nausea and vomiting. Postdrome symptoms: • • • • • Inability to concentrate. Depressed mood. Fatigue. Lack of comprehension. Euphoric mood. WHAT CAUSES A MIGRAINE The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache it’s because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. It’s unclear why your nerves do that. WHAT TRIGGERS A MIGRAINE Migraine attacks can be triggered by a variety of factors. Common triggers include: • • • • • • • Emotional Stress: Emotional stress is one of the most common triggers of migraine headaches. During stressful events, certain chemicals in the brain are released to combat the situation (known as the "flight or fight" response). The release of these chemicals can bring on a migraine. Other emotions like anxiety, worry and excitement can increase muscle tension and dilate blood vessels. That can make your migraine more severe. Missing a meal: Delaying a meal might also trigger your migraine headache. Sensitivity to specific chemicals and preservatives in foods: Certain foods and beverages such as aged cheese, alcoholic beverages, chocolate and food additives such as nitrates (found in pepperoni, hot dogs and luncheon meats) and fermented or pickled foods may be responsible for triggering up to 30% of migraines. Caffeine: Having too much caffeine or withdrawal from caffeine can cause headaches when the caffeine level abruptly drops. Your blood vessels seem to become sensitized to caffeine and when you don't get it, a headache may occur. Caffeine is sometimes recommended by healthcare providers to help with treating acute migraine attacks but should not be used frequently. Daily use of pain-relieving medications: If you use medicine meant to relieve headache pain too often, that can cause a rebound headache. Hormonal changes in women: Migraines in women are more common around the time of their menstrual period. The abrupt drop in estrogen that triggers menses can also trigger migraines. Hormonal changes can also be brought on by birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. Migraines are generally worse between puberty and menopause since these estrogen fluctuations generally don’t occur in young girls and post-menopausal women. If your hormones are a strong factor in your migraines, you may have fewer headaches after menopause. Hormonal changes do not appear to trigger migraines in men. Light: Flashing lights, fluorescent lights, light from the TV or computer and sunlight can trigger you. Other possible triggers include: • • • • • • • Changing weather conditions such as storm fronts, barometric pressure changes, strong winds or changes in altitude. Being overly tired. Overexertion. Dieting, or not drinking enough water. Changes in your normal sleep pattern. Loud noises. Exposure to smoke, perfumes or other odors. Certain medications cause blood vessels to swell. PREVENTION OF MIGRAINE HEADACHES There is no cure for migraine headaches, but you can take an active role in managing them, maybe reducing how often you get them and possibly controlling how severe they are by following these tips: • • • • • • • • • • Keep a migraine diary. Take notes about any foods and other triggers that you think may have caused you to develop a migraine. Make changes in your diet and avoid those triggers as much as possible. Get a prescription for CGRP monoclonal antibodies. This injection was created specifically to help with migraines. Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Eat at regular intervals. Don't skip meals. Drink plenty of water. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Learn techniques to control stress such as meditation, yoga, relaxation training, or mindful breathing. Take medication as directed by your healthcare provider. Preventative medications include antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, calcitonin gene-related peptides, medicines that lower blood pressure and Botox injections. You might be prescribed timolol, amitriptyline, topiramate and divalproex sodium. Notice that some of the same medications that can help you manage a migraine may also help prevent one. Talk to your healthcare provider about hormone therapy if your migraines are thought to be linked to your menstrual cycle. Consider trying a transcutaneous supraorbital nerve stimulation device. This batterypowered electrical stimulator device is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent migraines. The device, worn like a headband or on your arm, emits electrical charges. The charge stimulates the nerve that transmits some of the pain experienced in migraine headaches. (The device may not be covered by your health insurance.) Get counseling from a therapist for help controlling your stress. Ask your healthcare provider for a referral. Name: Description: ...
User generated content is uploaded by users for the purposes of learning and should be used following Studypool's honor code & terms of service.
Studypool
4.7
Trustpilot
4.5
Sitejabber
4.4