Did you know there are several types of migraine headaches?
Not another migraine headache! Throbbing, pulsing, migraine pain…blinding, scorching, searing…
You’re stressed out, blamed for shirking work, called emotionally weak because you cannot function…
Collapsing, nauseous, wishing you were dead…head bursting with pounding pain.
If only there was a way to prevent or cure migraine headaches!
Ahh. . . Hang on now. . .
There are some very good natural products and techniques that you can use to get relief from the pain induced by migraines.
Can A Home Remedy Relieve My Migraine?
The answer really depends on the type of migraine you suffer from. If your migraine is on the mild side, some of these home treatments for migraines can give relief from the pain and related symptoms.
If you suffer from more severe or frequent migraines, you will need professional medical care.
What is Migraine?
Migraine headaches are a source of pain and frustration for millions of people. About 18% of women and 6% of men claim to have had a migraine within the last year, making it a pretty common problem.
Often times you’ll be surrounded by people who simply cannot understand that migraine, although commonly known as a type of headache, is actually very different from normal headaches.
Sometimes, friends, families, and colleagues will expect you to recover as quickly as you normally would from a headache simply because they’re both head pains.
They’re not the same as normal headaches that everyone will experience from time to time. Migraines are described as sudden and strong pounding headaches on one side of the head.
Even just a tiny movement or any physical activities can alleviate the pain of migraines .
It’s an unbearable pain that can often last for hours to days and make you almost impossible to be physically active.
Sometimes those who suffer from migraines would experience symptoms such as blind spots and/or tingling on one side of the face, leg or arm before or when it happens.
There are many types of migraine headaches, and the symptoms can vary. Many people experience moderate to severe headaches, nausea, gastrointestinal upset, and other symptoms.
There are many treatments available for migraines. There is a wide variety of drugs available, both over the counter and by prescription.
There are also lifestyle changes that can be made, especially for people who discover their migraines are aggravated by certain things like foods or situations.
For some people, it may simply be a matter of avoiding a certain food. For others, it may not be so simple.
Many migraine sufferers simply can’t find a trigger, so they’re left wondering what it could be that’s causing them so much pain.
These are some of the symptoms that may manifest themselves in people experiencing migraines . Different symptoms may manifest during different phases of a migraine.
- Excessive Yawning
- Excessive Sleepiness
- Food Cravings
- Stiff Muscles
- Constipation or Diarrhea
- Increased Urination
- Flashes of White, Black, or Colors
- Cloudy Vision
- Wavy Lines Before the Eyes
- Tunnel Vision
- Pins and Needles Sensations
- Numbness of Hands or Face
- Nasal Stuffiness
When a cause isn’t found, it can be difficult to treat. As with most illnesses, knowing the cause of symptoms for your migraine headaches can make a world of difference in finding the proper treatment.
There are also some symptoms that may occur one or 2 days before you experience a migraine and those include constipation, mood swings, neck stiffness, frequent urination, frequent yawning, and increased thirst.
Types of Migraines
There are several different types of migraine headaches. These vary in their symptoms and their manifestations.
This is a list of the most common types of migraine headaches:
- A migraine without Aura- Also known as the “common migraine”, this is the type that usually occurs without any before warning symptoms like the one with aura (below).
- A migraine with Aura- This is when you experience migraines with temporary visual, sensory, and language disturbances. It usually occurs within an hour before the migraine pain and usually lasts less than an hour.
- Basilar Migraine- Also known as Basilar artery or Bickerstaff migraine, this is a rare type of migraine that starts in the brain stem. Some symptoms that are specific to BM include loss of muscle control, blacking out or fainting, double vision, and slurred speech.
- Familial Hemiplegic Migraine- This is a genetically related form of migraine, which means it runs in your families. Common symptoms specific to FHM include flashing lights, double vision, and zig-zagging lines.
- Abdominal Migraine- This is commonly seen in children aged 5-9 years but adults can also experience it. As the name says, this type of migraine is related to abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- Acephalgic Migraine- Commonly known as the “silent migraine”, this is the one where you’re likely to experience all the symptoms of Aura but without a headache.
- Menstrual Migraine- This type of migraine is a result of hormone (estrogen) fluctuation during menstrual cycles and it can also occur in women who use birth controls and anything that plays with the hormones.
The Four Phases of Migraine Headaches:
PHASE ONE: The Prodrome Phase
This phase occurs in about 40% to 60% of migraine sufferers. During this phase, the sufferer may experience irritability, depression, excessive tiredness, sleepiness, fatigue, yawning, cravings, constipation or diarrhea, or other symptoms.
These symptoms usually manifest several or days before an actual migraine begins.
PHASE TWO: The Aura Phase
Only about 20% to 30% of migraine sufferers experience this phase. During the aura phase, people may experience bizarre hallucinations such as wavy lights, black and white or colored spots before the eyes, blurred or cloudy vision, tunnel vision, strange smells, tingling in the hands, arms, or face, and many other strange sensations and hallucinations.
PHASE THREE: The Pain Phase
Most migraine headaches are unilateral, meaning they occur on one side of the head. They typically feel like a dull, throbbing pain, and might be made worse by physical activity.
Sometimes the pain can be felt on both sides, or can even alternate from side to side. The pain usually lasts anywhere from four to 72 hours, and usually builds gradually to a peak, then it wanes.
About 90% of sufferers experience nausea during this phase, and about 30% experience vomiting.
There may be other symptoms during this phase, such as blurred vision, nasal congestion, diarrhea, sweating, and photophobia. Mild dizziness or lightheadedness is common.
PHASE FOUR: Postdrome Phase
During this phase, people usually feel very tired and lethargic. Concentration may be impaired, and general cognitive function may be lowered.
Although some people may feel some sort of euphoria during this phase, many people experience depression or anxiety during this phase.
Migraines can be triggered by a great many things. This is a list of some of the more common triggers:
- Allergic Reactions
- Physical Stress
- Emotional Stress
- Bright Lights
- Loud Sounds
- Certain Scents
- Smoke or Smoking
- Extreme Thirst
- Lack of Sleep
- Tension Headaches
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Weather Changes
This is a list of some of the more commonly prescribed medications for migraines, as well as some over the counter (OTC) migraine medicines.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Aspirin (OTC)
- Excedrin Migraine (OTC)
Herbal Remedies for Migraines
There are a number of alternative treatments for migraine sufferers. Many people who don’t find relief in modern medicine do find help in some of these herbal cures.
Cannabis has been reported to halt migraines in many people when they smoke it during the prodrome or aura phases . Some people report reducing their migraines if they smoke it on a semi-regular basis.
There are clinical trials ongoing for a spray of cannabis extract that could be used to treat migraines. Since the use of cannabis is illegal in many areas, it is best to check with your doctor about the possibility of receiving a prescription for medicinal use.
This may not be possible in many areas, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if you’ve tried other things and nothing else has helped.
Some studies have reported that Coenzyme Q10 may help many migraine sufferers. Studies are ongoing .
Kudzu root may be effective in treating menstrual migraines . Kudzu not only mimics the effects of estrogen on the body but also acts on the serotonin receptors in the body. This helps treat migraines from two different angles.
Magnesium has been shown to reduce migraines in about 45% of test subjects, as compared to 15% in the placebo group. Magnesium may help a great many migraine sufferers.
Studies have shown that about half of migraine sufferers are low in magnesium, so it could be very beneficial to take magnesium supplements to see if they help .
Migraine headache sufferers, you know how debilitating and painful migraine is. There is nothing you would want more than to stop having migraines. Usually, when you go to the doctor, they only give you meds to remedy the symptoms.
And they say there is no medicine to cure migraine. That is true, but you can do something to completely remedy migraine by treating the problem in the source by exercises and more.
Food intolerance and allergies can play their part in migraine pains. What food to avoid will vary from each migraine sufferer but there are a few food types that seem to pop up frequently on the food warning labels and those include dairy, eggs, soy, corn, citrus, coffee, yeast, and preservatives.
To identify these top offenders physicians use a hypoallergenic “elimination” diet, consisting of a selection of foods that are presumably well tolerated.
During their studies, patients are told to eat only the “safe” foods outlined on their version of the oligoantigenic diet in an effort to eliminate any symptoms.
Once the symptoms have subsided, the “high risk” foods can be slowly added into the diet, one at a time to accurately evaluate which food may be acting as a potential trigger to migraine pains.
This type of diet should be undertaken with the assistance of a physician, in order to ensure adequate nutritional intake.
A study was conducted on 60 migraine patients to follow an elimination diet after a 5-day withdrawal from their normal diet.
Once the foods were reintroduced into their diet, certain food types induced migraine reactions in a high percentage of patients.
For instance, 78% reacted to wheat, 65% oranges, 45% eggs, 40% tea and coffee, and 35% beef. When 10 of these common trigger foods were avoided, there was a huge decline in the number of headaches per month and a lot of patients became headache-free .
An added benefit was welcomed by the 25% of these patients who also had hypertension – their blood pressure returned to normal levels.
In a clinical trial 93% of 88 children who suffered frequent and severe migraines recovered on oligoantigenic diets.
Most of the patients responded to several foods, which suggested the probability of an allergic rather than a metabolic cause.
An added bonus is that abdominal pain, behavior disorder, fits, asthma, and eczema also improved in several of these patients.
A research study was conducted on 63 children with epilepsy, out of which 45 of them suffered from migraines, hyperkinetic behavior, or both. There was no improvement from the oligoantigenic diet on those 18 children who had epilepsy .
However, out of the 45 children who had other symptoms, 25 stopped having seizures and 11 had reduced seizures on this diet.
There was also a reduction of migraines, abdominal pain, and hyperkinetic behavior in the 25 children who stopped having seizures, and also in some who didn’t stop.
Reintroducing the foods one by one helped draw the conclusion that the seizures, migraines, abdominal pain, etc that these children suffered from had a close connection to 42 different “trigger” foods.
It can be hard to cut out on your favorite food items, especially if you don’t even have to lose weight but when you compare it to the thoughts of being free or almost free from migraine symptoms, then it’s definitely worth experimenting with the elimination diet.
Be sure to consult with your physician before doing so.
What’s your experience as a migraine sufferer? What’s working and not working for you?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.