Monday, October 27, 2008

Things You Should Know About Migraine Headache

At first, it begins as a dull, tiny throbbing pain in the temples. Dizziness steps in. As the pain escalates, sensitivity of the senses heightens unfavorably, aggravating the pain further. It would not be long before vision blurs and the presence of light becomes a burden. The slightest sound seems to be amplified, and the tiniest whiff of odor is enough to become a major psychological irritant. All these combined, piles up, forming a thick layer of pain that seems to bore through the skull with every passing second...

What is migraine?

Anyone who has experienced a migraine attack would know how it is like to have one's world stop temporarily due to a debilitating pain that could not be dismissed too easily. A neurological syndrome, migraine is described by these syndromes: severe headache, nausea, and changes in physical experiences. Usually, an episode would affect one side of the head with a distinctive throbbing sensation. This could take place anywhere between four hours up to 72 hours, which is equivalent to three days. Hence, it has been one of the major reasons for absenteeism and withdrawal from usual activities. At present, the exact reason for the occurrence of migraine has yet to be determined, but theory has it that it could be due to a malfunction in the release of serotonin in our brain. This occurs when the level of serotonin decreases during a headache. Researchers explained that the pain could probably be due to the trigeminal nerve that releases neuropeptides when the serotonin level falls. These neuropeptides then go to the meninges, the exterior cover of the brain. When this happens, the blood vessels are enlarged and become inflamed, leading to a headache.

What triggers migraine?

Migraine pain relief now comes in an array of specially formulated remedies. Moreover, other pain relievers created for other kinds of pain could also ease the pain. At times, when taken during its initial onset, these could even prevent the actual occurrence of migraine. However, apart from the treatment used to address migraine, another way to prevent migraine would be through avoiding its triggers.


Changes in Hormone

For women, a decrease in their estrogen level could result to a migraine attack. Those who typically experience migraines have this either prior to or during their menstruation period, which are the times when their estrogen level goes down. On top of this, taking contraceptives and other hormonal drugs can aggravate migraine.



For some individuals, specific kinds of food set off migraine attacks. Included in these food triggers are: alcohol, aged cheeses, pickled and/or marinated food, chocolate, aspartame, excessive caffeine, processed/canned food, some seasonings, and monosodium glutamate. In some cases, fasting and/or skipping meals can set off migraine.



Some drugs are known to set off migraine.


Environmental Changes

Changes in the environment such as the weather, altitude, timezone, and barometric pressure can trigger a migraine episode.


Physically Related Factors

Physically strenuous activities can cause migraine.



Stressful situations can trigger migraine episodes. They are also known to occur after undergoing a stressful week which would then be followed by a period of relaxation.


Sensory Stimuli

Bright lights and certain odors can trigger migraine.

Keyword: migraine pain relief

Resource Box: Maricel Modesto is a writer and editor who writes for various health and lifestyle magazines.

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