Migraines 101: How To Avoid, Prevent and Treat Them – Health and Fitness Blog

Migraines 101: How To Avoid, Prevent and Treat Them

A migraine, you might know, runs a but deeper than your average headache. Meaning it is typically a hell of a lot more painful. Nearly 30 million people in the United States alone experience migraines. And, interestingly, women are three times as likely to experience migraines than men. Here we will detail a number of symptoms that are tell-tale signs that a migraine might be brewing.

Auras

Auras

Auras can be anything visual, sensory, motor or verbal. And they can begin slowly and then increase in intensity while a migraine develops.

Aura: Visual

Aura: Visual

Visual auras occur when one sees a variety of shapes, vibrant spots or flashes of light. Sometimes folks even experience temporary vision loss.

Aura: Sensory

Aura: Sensory

Sensory auras come on through touching sensations. These can manifest in a pins-and-needles feeling in the legs or arms. These symptoms are usually short-lived but can cause great discomfort.

Aura: Motor

Aura: Motor

Motor auras impair movement and can cause temporary weakness in the limbs. They can even cause temporary paralysis.

Verbal problems

Verbal problems

Speech problems are the most common of verbal auras. People experiencing verbal auras will usually have to struggle to get their words out.

How long will an aura last?

How long will an aura last?

Auras typically last about five minutes to an hour, followed by a 60 minute “skip phase” before the actual headache sets in.

Depression

Depression

Some patients have noted that they will suddenly feel down or depressed before a migraine settles in. A Dutch research study has conclusively linked feelings of depression with migraines headaches.

Irritability

Irritability

Other migraine sufferers notice that they feel extremely irritable or short of temper, right before a migraine strikes.

Excitement

Excitement

Another feeling some people tend to get a bit overexcited before a migraine. It may sound strange, but it’s an uncomfortable, anxious feeling.

Sleepiness

Sleepiness

For those that suffer from migraines, waking up tired is a common event. And insomnia, or trouble sleeping, is also experienced by many people prior to a migraine’s onset.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy Nose

One study found that nearly 90 percent of those who had sinus issues also mentioned that they suffer from migraines.

Watery Eyes

Watery Eyes

Watery eyes or droopy eyelids could also be a sign that a migraine is coming. Sudden clear nasal drainage is another indicator of an oncoming migraine.

Cravings

Cravings

An interesting symptom one might notice during migraine onsets is that they suddenly experience strong food cravings. Chocolate is a common one.

Throbbing

Throbbing

When a migraine strikes, sometimes a pulsating pain will be one of the first signs. The throbbing pain can occur on both sides of the head or just one.

Eye Pain

Eye Pain

Sometimes the eyes will feel strained prior or during a migraine. Looking into a computer screen can intensify this symptom – people who suffer from migraines should cease computer use immediately if they experience eye pain.

Neck Pain

Neck Pain

One survey revealed that 38 percent of migraine patients always have neck pain. The neck can especially become stuff after a migraine.

Frequent Peeing

Frequent Peeing

A sudden increase in the bladder’s output can sometimes indicate that a migraine is on its way. This is often accompanied by increased thirst and bloating/fluid retention.

Frequent Yawning

Frequent Yawning

Some people experience frequent yawning prior to a migraine headache. This type of excessive yawning can be a warning.

Numbness

Numbness

Numbness is a feeling of a lack of sensation. Sensory auras can bring this sensation on. This numbness is usually felt as tingling in one hand or in the face.

Tingling

Tingling

Sensory aura can also make one side of the body feel like pins and needles are moving through it.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and Vomiting

The American Migraine Study found that 73 percent of people experience nausea and 29 percent experience vomiting.

Noise and Light Triggers

Noise and Light Triggers

When a migraine strikes the best remedy is to sometimes find a dark and quiet place. Sharp noises and bright lights can greatly intensify the migraine.

Smell Triggers

Smell Triggers

Certain scents can also trigger a migraine. Strong smells are especially likely to cause headaches. Perfumes, colognes, and air fresheners are all common culprits.

Activity-Induced Migraines

Activity-Induced Migraines

Sometimes certain activities can trigger a migraine. Walking or climbing stairs can make migraine pain worse, and sex or exercise can also induce migraines.

Speech Difficulty

Speech Difficulty

Sometimes experiencing speech difficulties can be a clue that a migraine is coming. This can include having trouble getting words out, stuttering, or slurring words.

Weakness

Weakness

Often times when the body feels weak, or if a limb suddenly goes limp, it can be a sign of a migraine.

Vertigo

Vertigo

Some folks that suffer from migraines experience a loss of balance. The stronger the migraine the more likely one is to experience vertigo. This type of dizziness can be severe enough to cause nausea.

Double Vision

Double Vision

A migraine can also bring on dizziness and a sense of double vision, or even vision loss.

Migraine Hangover

Migraine Hangover

Many people have shared that once the migraine passes, they feel extremely fatigued and sluggish. Just like with an alcohol-induced hangover, sufferers should stay well hydrated.

Prevention: Diet

Prevention: Diet

To avoid a migraine it is important to eat often, and eat nutritious foods. Don’t let yourself get too hungry.

Prevention: Avoid alcohol

Prevention: Avoid alcohol

Bad news: wine, especially red varieties, has been found to be a trigger for migraines. If you’re prone to headaches, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether.

Prevention: Supplements

Prevention: Supplements

Certain supplements can prevent migraines: B2, magnesium, melatonin, Feverfew, and coenzyme Q10 are all doctor-recommended and are all available over-the-counter.

Prevention: Get Plenty of Rest

Prevention: Get Plenty of Rest

Because most people are busy they don’t take the time they need to relax. Turning down the lights or closing the blinds for just ten minutes while relaxing can make all the difference.

Prevention: Exercise

Prevention: Exercise

Cardio, in particular, has been known to help migraine sufferers experience less frequent headaches.

Prevention: Check Your Birth Control

Prevention: Check Your Birth Control

Medications with estrogen can cause hormones to fluctuate, and that can cause migraines. Women who tend to get migraines and use birth control methods that involve two or more hormones are also at greater risk of blood clots and stroke.

Treatment: Ice Your Forehead

Treatment: Ice Your Forehead

Some find that lying down with a chilled washcloth can bring on relief to a migraine.

Treatment: Get A Massage

Treatment: Get A Massage

Gentle, low pressure to the temple region can alleviate the strain a migraine brings on.

Treatment: Stay Hydrated

Treatment: Stay Hydrated

Sometimes a headache can be the first sign that one is dehydrated. Making sure you are drinking plenty of water will be a helpful way to get rid of a migraine.

Treatment: Get Off Your Computer

Treatment: Get Off Your Computer

Too much tech use can strain the eyes, so it is common for a migraine to worsen when one is using the computer. Take breaks to relive migraine symptoms.

Treatment: Biofeedback

Treatment: Biofeedback

Biofeedback is one way to get data specifically linked to your migraines; through electronic sensors, body functions are recorded and can reveal migraine type.

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