News For This Month: Wellness

Learn Effective Ways to Stop Migraines

Women usually experience a migraine due to falling estrogen before menstruation, causing severe head pain that is accompanied by sensitivity to sound, smells or light. The common manifestations of a migraine is the one-sided “pounding” a headache, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, and sensitivity to light or sound. The common triggering factors of migraine attacks include hormonal changes, stress, certain foods, oversleeping, and strong stimuli such as loud noises. Some forms of birth control pills can trigger a migraine attack, and so as with certain foods like chocolate, aged cheese, smoked meats, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, artificial sweeteners and monosodium glutamate. Keep a headache diary if you’re unsure what triggers your headache so you are able to easily identify the cause in case you’ll experience a migraine attack.

The treatment for a migraine is usually over-the-counter (OTC) such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium, or prescription drugs like triptans. Exercise and healthy diet may help in reducing the frequency of your migraine attacks. If you have identified the foods that trigger your migraine, avoid them as much as possible. For some people, meditation and relaxation strategies help them in preventing migraine attacks and reducing the severity of headaches such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation. Most people are usually capable of managing their migraines with the right combination of lifestyle changes and medications. For those patients experiencing severe migraine attacks, prescription medications are usually recommended. How do we define the aura of a migraine? A migraine aura is defined as a set of specific symptoms that the patient experiences prior to a headache or migraine attack such as a blind spot in one eye, flashing lights or numbness involving one side of the body. A migraine aura usually last for several minutes and it is usually resolved once the head pain starts, though there are instances when a migraine aura may also last until a migraine is resolved. The symptoms may be frightening for those patients who have never experienced aura because it can mimic the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

Many women find their migraines are resolved during pregnancy because of high levels of estrogen during pregnancy. It is important to discontinue any medication that was used prior to pregnancy to prevent birth defects. If you notice locking of your jaw, swollen or you’re grinding your teeth a lot, your migraine might be related to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ, so you need to contact a TMJ specialist who will recommend effective exercises and routine changes to help in your condition. Generally, the best management treatment for a migraine is the combination of healthy diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, pharmacologic treatments, and avoiding triggering factors.

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