How much can you handle headaches? When your head is pounding with a throbbing pain and as if it is being ripped apart, you are probably having a migraine. Usually it happens only to one side of your head; nevertheless, it sure is tough to manage. The pulsing sensation it gives you can be severely painful for hours to the point of you wanting to drill your head just to ease the pressure and alleviate the hellish feeling.
The fact that it can destroy your day, it is something you mustn’t take lightly as a mere disturbance in your everyday life. Yes, it can happen to anyone and no one is an exception to it but you don’t have to endure it as its’ a normal occurrence that will soon pass by. You have to learn to understand what causes it in order to fend off the potential detrimental effects on your health.
So let us share with you the facts you need to know about it. Plus the effective and quick-acting coping tips to manage a migraine so you can truly enjoy your day without any stress, complete relaxation, and no annoyingly hellish headache!
Causes and Symptoms that Triggers a Migraine
If you are experiencing nausea, extreme sensitivity to lights or sound along with the feeling of wanting to vomit while your head is pounding like crazy, then you might be having a migraine attack. Unlike the pain from sore muscles, the throbbing pain in your head is way agonizing and disabling. When the headache strikes, all you can do is seek a dark, quiet room, crawl into bed and hopefully wait for it to quickly go away. Unfortunately, it can go for hours.
But whether you are living a fairly positive and healthy lifestyle, there are still chances of you experiencing this kind of pain. This condition can happen for many reasons and certain cause you least expect. For those who suffer from it, it is best to have an in-depth understanding of what could you be doing that causes the pain. There are also some uncontrollable factors that could be the culprit for the distressing discomfort you are feeling.
Generally, when there are any irregularities in your brain’s blood vessel system it may set off the pain. As such, the abnormalities and change in the brainstem along with the undulated interaction with the trigeminal nerve you can then experience a migraine. Imbalances in your brain chemicals particularly with serotonin as pinpointed by many types of research could also behind a headache. Serotonin is actually responsible for regulating pain in your nervous system and when your serotonin levels drop, that is when a migraine attacks.
Though there is still a relative amount of mystery for the possible causes, here are some of the identified reasons and potential theories of what starts them in the first place are also included in the list below:
- Hormonal Change for Women. Most women develop migraine headaches during the times of their menstruation (either before or after their dates), during pregnancy and menopause period. Due to the fluctuations and potentially major drop in estrogen which happens usually in those mentioned periods, migraine is trigged for most women.
- Wake-Sleep Pattern. It is understandable how we usually sleep less than what is required because of our busy schedule. But missing sleep can cause a migraine. So when you have jetlag, there is a high probability you’ll trigger it. Your sleep cycle does matter so when there is a sudden change in your routine, you may experience a migraine. Though too much sleep is also no good. Therefore pay extra care to your sleep cycle and have a regular sleep as much as possible.
- Though there isn’t actually an age set for a person to experience it, this factor is included in the list because there is a certain age that migraines possibly tend to peak. According to many types of research, this can affect boys more than girls and it often occurs during their adolescence. However, once they are in their puberty period, girls become more affected. When you’re in your 30’s a migraine tend to peak but then it gradually comes to be less to occur in the following years.
On the other hand, here are the common things or activities that can trigger a migraine:
- Weather Changes. The sudden change in environment, weather, and shifts in barometric pressure can prompt a migraine.
- Usually, this pertains to mental stress. It is indeed difficult to handle both home life and work life; plus finding time to squeeze in some of “alone-time” can cause a lot of stress. However, physical stress like intense physical exertion or even sexual activity can activate a migraine.
- Food Choices and Drinking Habits. Salty, aged and highly processed foods. It is advisable to refrain yourself from eating too many cheeses and salami. Artificial sweeteners and popular preservatives are also a big NO. Also, it is best to avoid alcohol, wines and caffeinated drinks if you don’t want to trigger such a headache.
- Sensory stimuli. Avoid bright lights and loud noises. Even strong smells from paint, perfume and cigarette smoke can also trigger it.
- Hormonal medications can also worsen your migraine episode. Examples are birth control, hormone therapies and even other medications like Vasodilators or Nitroglycerin can also aggravate a migraine. Though there are some women who find hormonal medications quite comforting as it helps them to experience a headache less to occur.
Though it is mostly due to environmental and lifestyle factors, another reason for the suffering can be Genetics. Actually, it is also considered to be a genetic condition wherein family is involved. Most cases of migraine patients are in fact due to having a strong family history of a migraine. Your best predictors are your parents. If you have one parent who gets a migraine, you are mostly to suffer from it as well at some point in your life.
Ways on How to Treat It and Get Rid of the Pain
Though there is no cure for a migraine, there are ways that can help you ease the pain. Usually, we often wait for warnings or possible symptoms that can tell if we are to suffer a migraine. But why wait when you can take precautionary measures and master the ways on how to cope with it once it strikes. Here are some of the treatments that can give you instant relief:
- Find a calm environment where you can avoid lights, sounds, and any distractions. Take time to close your eyes and let them rest.
- When you are currently having a migraine, place a cold pack on your forehead and keep compressing for 15 minutes. A cold shower can help too.
- Massaging your neck and temple can make you relax and release the tension on your body resulting to a better blood flow.
- You have to watch what you eat and drink. So eat wisely and say no to processed food. Limit your caffeinated drinks, alcohol and cigarettes. Though you must not skip meals too. It is advisable to keep a food journal so you can effectively track your diet and eating habits.
- Always remind yourself that you have to keep your stress to a minimum.
- Sleep well and regularly. If in case you can’t sleep, don’t force yourself. You can try doing any activity that can make you drowsy.
- Talk and make an appointment with your doctor or healthcare provider. It is best to let the professionals diagnose your condition and provide specific prescriptions suited for you.
You don’t have to fear a migraine as long as you know how to treat it. By following these tips, taking the right medications and a healthy lifestyle, you can effectively manage and handle the possible hellish pain in no time!
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