Migraines- A guide to everything you need to know
A migraine is a severe headache with symptoms that may include a throbbing pain affecting the front or side of the head, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to lights. Migraines can least between a few hours to around 3 days. Migraines are reasonable common in the UK with women affect more than men, 1 in 5 women suffer from them whilst only 1 in 15 men do.
What causes you to get a migraine?
The exact causes of migraines are fully known. These severe headaches are linked to changes in the brain as well as genetic causes. Some experts believe that they are actually caused by abnormalities in the brain that can be affected by certain triggers such as tiredness and bright lights. Additional triggers are;
- Food and drink- certain food and drinks contain chemicals that react with the brain to cause a migraine
- Caffeine- if you never have any caffeine consuming it may cause you to have a migraine, alternatively if you regularly consume it then suddenly stop you may also have problems
- The weather- the constant changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure that is cause by the weather.
- Skipping meals
- Fatigue and irregular sleeping patterns
Symptoms of a Migraine and types of migraine
A migraine often starts feeling like a standard head ache with a dull pain in your head but then they tend to develop into a much harsher throbbing pain. The pain can often be quite debilitating as it is made worse by any sort of physical activity. Other symptoms of migraines can include;
- Sensitivity to light, sound, or smell
- Vomiting and nausea
- Loss of appetite
There are two types of migraine that you can suffer from, a migraine with or without aura. A migraine with aura starts with a visual disturbance such as blurred vision and spots of light appearing and a migraine without aura, which accounts for 80% of all migraines, which starts just like a standard headache.
Treatments for Migraines
If you suffer from migraines you will know how much they can hinder your day to day life, just being awake and moving can aggravate the symptoms even more. So, you are probably looking for any remedies that can help. The good news for you is that medication isn’t your only option, there are other solutions to help you avoid those hellish migraines.
- Manage your triggers- the best solution to painful migraines is prevention, if you can learn what is triggering your migraines you can plan and take precautions to avoid them and prevent another attack. A great tip would be to make a note when you get a migraine of what you have just eaten, drank or what you have been doing.
- Relax in a dark room- when you are suffering from a migraine the sensitivity of your senses is often heightened which can make you feel worse. Laying down and relaxing in a darkened room takes away all this stimulation to allow your body to recover. You could also use a massage cover to help you to relax even more.
- Cool down-placing an ice pack on your scalp, forehead or neck will give you some pain relief. A fantastic product to use is the CranioCradle , it combines a cold/hot treatment pack with a cradle for your neck, as well as the pain reliving benefits of the pack the cradle takes the pressure off the neck for extra relief, find out more about the CranioCradle here.
- A small dose of caffeine- a small amount of caffeine can give you a small amount of relief and may also help your body absorb your medication quicker. Be careful though as too much could actually lead you to have withdrawal symptoms, causing further headaches.
- A good night’s sleep- lack of regular sleep with a consistent pattern can cause you to suffer more, try to go to bed the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, using a wake-up light will wake you up much more regularly which will make you feel much more awake. An uncomfortable pillow or rubbish duvet can disturb your sleep, you can improve the quality of your sleep by changing your bedding, shop our range here.
- Yoga- getting your heart pumping can do wonders for your migraines however anything too vigorous can also aggravate them. Yoga is a much safer alternative with research showing that regular yoga sessions cut the number of migraines you will get and make them less intense when they do happen. The Yoga Tune Up Train Kit gives you everything you need to get going with your yoga.
- Herbal treatments- there are a few herbal remedies that will have a positive effect on your migraines and there are many ways to take these remedies but we like using aromatherapy as it surrounds you with a constant source of the remedies. FitAir’s Relax and Mindfulness Aromatherapy oil contains lavender that will help you to relax and unwind and their Strength and harmony blend contains peppermint which has anti-inflammatory properties that are great for migraines.
The wide range of different triggers and symptoms of migraines can mean it can be difficult to treat and there really isn’t one solution that will cure it for you for the rest of your life, however you don’t have to despair there are things you can do to either avoid them or reduce the effects.