Migraine experiences can vary greatly depending on the individual. Some migraines may last for several hours while others may last for several days. Some people experience migraines once or twice a year while others endure them several times a week. The good news is that with the proper medical assistance and your personal observation, you can anticipate and minimize your suffering and prevent future migraines.
Migraine sufferers may cycle through four common migraine stages although they may not experience each stage. These stages are prodrome, aura, attach, and post-drome.
This stage is usually a warning sign for an upcoming attack. This stage is characterized by irritability or mood swings, depression, light sensitivity, food cravings, fatigue and nausea. Produme can last anywhere from 60 minutes to several days.
The aura stage is much less common than produme and many people experience migraines without aura. It is a physiological event caused by changes in the brain. These changes are visual disturbances and sufferers can experience flashing lights, blind spots or even a temporary loss of sight. There may experience numbness or tingling sensations. This stage typically subsides shortly before the migraine occurs.
This is the stage that most people think of when they envision a migraine. The attack stage can include debilitating pain that may include throbbing or pulsating, light and sound sensitivity, nausea, blurred vision and lightheadedness. This stage can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.
Migraines are different for each individual but sufferers often share common symptoms. Severe throbbing and pain can occur. Sensitivity to light and sound are common side effects as well as having a stiff neck. The pain and discomfort may induce nausea and vomiting as well.
What Can You Do?
Anyone who has experienced a migraine can attest that enduring even one minute of migraine symptoms is too long. There are many things you can do to help prevent migraines and identify your migraine triggers.
The first step is to keep a migraine journal. Migraines can be brought on by a number of triggers, some preventable, others not. It is incredibly helpful to be able to track your migraines as this can give you valuable information. Do your headaches happen at the same time of the month or day? How long do your migraines last? What are your predominant symptoms? Keep a log and keep it handy so that as soon as you feel able, you can make notes about your migraine. A journal of your experiences will give you the ability to see any patterns and gain insight into what may be causing your migraines.
It is also important to adjust your lifestyle as needed. Monitor your diet and stress level. Keeping your stress levels down can help you have fewer and less intense migraines. Certain foods and beverages such as chocolate, cheese, alcohol and caffeine can all trigger migraines. Exercise can be helpful in raising your serotonin levels and mitigating the effects of a migraine.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are excellent habits to add into your lifestyle. If you find yourself suffering from stress regularly, look for healthy ways to decompress. Exercise may help but there are other tools available as well. Strive for a healthy work/life balance. Try mediation or a new hobby. Take a nature walk. Find the things that make you happy and grounded and make room for them in your life.
Seek Medical Advice
The best way to treat or shorten your migraines is to seek medical advice. An experienced physician can help you determine what type of migraines headaches are occurring and help pinpoint any possible triggers. A medical team can assist you establish a migraine treatment plan and help you take preemptive measures to alleviate your pain.
Medical assistance also gives you the benefit of treatment through medication. For instance, if you suffer from cluster headaches, you can shorten your headaches with oxygen treatments and/or prescription medications such as triptans. Triptans are a class of medications called selective serotonin receptor agonists. They work best when taken at the first sign of a migraine and stimulate serotonin. In turn, this constricts blood vessels and reduces inflammation helping to alleviate the migraine and its symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe pain relievers as well.
In conjunction with medical advice, it is also important to identify your triggers as part of your overall treatment strategy. If you are able to identify what triggers your migraines, you may be able to eliminate them. For instance, many women experience migraines prior to their menstrual cycle. This is commonly attributed to hormone changes that occur. Taking medication just before your cycle can shorten and possibly eliminate your regularly occurring migraines. There are a multitude of medications that you can discuss with your doctor to find the best fit for you.
Some foods and beverages such as coffee and alcohol can also contribute to severe migraine attacks. Document your migraines in a journal to help pinpoint which foods and drinks you need to avoid or cutback on. Aged cheese and salty foods as well as additives may play a part in triggering your migraines.
If you are suffering from migraines it is important to work with a medical professional to find relief. If you are combating migraines, call our office today. We can provide you with a qualified team with years of experience to tackle your problem and we have a sincere desire to help our patients. Contact us today!