Before the ladies said: I have a terrible headache! and they spent the afternoon lying down with their eyes covered and fresh compresses at the temples; while the spouses thought it was just drama. Today it is known that these intense headaches really exist and are capable of incapacitating the person who suffers them. The name of this condition is migraine .
But do we know how to differentiate migraine from ordinary headache? Is there any way to foresee its beginning? Continue reading this article and you will know how to detect the symptoms of migraine.
Let’s talk about the migraine
Migraine is a neurological disease that appears more frequently in women between 15 and 45 years. It is characterized by causing episodes of acute pain interspersed with long periods free of symptoms. The most usual is that they occur from 1 to 4 episodes a month with a duration of 4 to 72 hours, depending on whether a treatment is performed or not.
More and more people go to the doctor to find relief for this condition, so it is important to know the factors that can trigger an attack. Numerous studies are aimed at unraveling the neurological processes that cause this condition but still only different theories are handled. What have been determined are certain factors that influence its appearance: there is a genetic component that makes us susceptible to suffering from migraine, although scientists say that lifestyle and environmental conditions play a fundamental role as facilitators of its appearance .
Periods of prolonged fasting or ingestion of foods such as sausages, chocolate, aged or melted cheeses, banana, soy sauce, coffee, alcoholic beverages and products with additives and flavorings, can cause a migraine crisis in susceptible people.
Hours of sleep
The maladjustments in sleep schedules frequently cause the appearance of crises, this especially occurs on weekends, which is when we try to rest more in the morning and go for a walk until late at night. To combat this disease, it is recommended to follow a regular and uniform pattern during rest hours.
Stress, anxiety, worries or emotional impacts are related to the development of migraine attacks. The pain may appear before or after the moment of maximum tension. Tranquility is the best way to prevent migraine.
The days before menstruation are usually the most common for the onset of migraines. 50% of women affected by this condition report a relationship between the presence of a crisis and a certain moment of the female hormonal cycle. It is believed that this is due to the decrease in circulating estrogen levels related to this process.
Sudden changes in atmospheric pressure and intense wind also act as triggers for migraine, although pain can sometimes be confused with that caused by tension-type headache.
How to detect the symptoms of migraine
Below I show you what are the symptoms so that you can recognize them and treat them quickly. These symptoms worsen with physical activity, patients usually retire to a dark room and remain inactive.
Symptoms of migraine
- Sensitivity to light or photophobia
- Photophobia or sensitivity to sounds, especially noise
- Sensitivity to some odors
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
This symptom usually appears in many patients a few hours or minutes before the attack, in the form of transitory crises with a variable duration between 4 and 60 minutes. It is believed that it appears due to the small contractions that the blood vessels suffer before the dilatation caused by the migraine.
The decrease in blood flow causes the set of characteristic signs of the aura:
- Visual symptoms: Points, light flashes, rays, fractional or mosaic images or visual field decrease
- Alterations of sensitivity: Itching, tingling or tingling in the lips, tongue, face, arms or hand.
- Motor deficits : Involuntary movements of some part of the body, tremors, vertigo or loss of mobility of the middle of the body. There may also be language disorders or difficulty speaking.
All the symptoms are reversible and disappear without leaving any sequela.
- Changes in head temperature
- Anxiety, Fatigue, Palpitations
Treatments for migraine
Change your lifestyle in such a way that you suffer the least number of possible attacks: keep a regular life pattern especially with respect to sleep hours and meal times. It is suggested that you perform physical exercises that will strengthen and improve your circulation. Avoid crowded places, as well as emotional situations that raise your stress level.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, triptans and ergotamine are very efficient. Anti-inflammatory agents such as naproxen and ibuprofen are used to interrupt migraine. Triptans such as sumatriptan and zolmitriptan eliminate pain in a high percentage of patients, but have varied and dangerous side effects. Ergotamine, on the other hand, should be used only twice a week because it can cause rebound headache.
When attacks occur more than twice a week, the use of certain medications is recommended as preventive, always under medical prescription: Beta-blockers such as propranolol and atenolol, calcium channel blockers such as flunarizine, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and anticonvulsants. such as valproic acid and topiramate.
Now you know how to identify the migraine and how to treat it.