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Migraine Management
Disclaimer:

This information provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. The information is NOT a substitute for you visiting your doctor. However, as Medical Science is constantly changing and human error is always possible, the authors, editors, and publisher of this information do not warrant the accuracy or completeness of this information nor are they responsible for omissions or errors as a result of using this information.
What is Migraine?
There are several types of migraine and symptoms vary from person to person. The most common feature of a migraine attack is a persistent one-sided headache. The headache is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, and you may be hypersensitive to light and noise. You will probably feel unwell and look pale. Migraine symptoms vary widely - sometimes there is only mild or even no headache.

In some people, the headache and nausea are preceded by visual disturbances known as an "aura", which lasts between a few minutes and an hour, and by other 'warning' symptoms which may start up to 24 hours earlier. These 'warnings' include tingling or numbness in the limbs, a change in sense of smell, difficulty in expressing themselves, a feeling of tiredness, hunger or feeling 'high'. Migraine attacks can last between two and 72 hours, but there are no symptoms between attacks.

The exact cause of migrane is not known. However, it is believed that the headache develops as a result of swollen blood vessels in the head pulsating, causing the surrounding nerves to feel pain, while visual disturbances are caused by blood vessels to the eyes contracting.

Who Gets Migraine?
It's small comfort but you're not alone - migraine is remarkably common. More than one in ten people suffer from migraine - some find that migraine strikes only two or three times in a lifetime, but others can suffer recurring attacks as frequently as two or three times a week. Because it is such a common condition, sufferers generally get little sympathy. Anyone can get migraine regardless of age, race, intelligence or occupation. Women, however are three times more likely than men to suffer. There may also be a hereditary tendency. If you suspect that you are a migraine sufferer, you should consult your doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

Getting a Head Start
Although the cause of migraine is not known, it is widely accepted that there are a number of factors that can trigger an attack. Knowing what is likely to precipitate an attack will give you a head start in learning to manage your migraine. Migraine 'triggers' can be grouped as follows:
  • Physical (fatigue, over-exertion, relaxation)
  • Psycological (stress, excitement, worry, shock, anxiety)
  • Diet (consumption of alcohol or particular foods, missing meals)
  • Medical (blood pressure, dental problems)
  • Hormonal ()menstruation or oral contraceptives
  • Other factors (loud noise, bright lights, TV, strong smells)
Self Help - Tips to help avoid migraine
  • Eat regularly - missing meals is a well-known cause of migraine, particularly for children. Always try to have breakfast but if you can't, have a snack mid mornig instead.
  • Psycological (stress, excitement, worry, shock, anxiety)
  • Diet (consumption of alcohol or particular foods, missing meals)
  • Medical (blood pressure, dental problems)
  • Hormonal ()menstruation or oral contraceptives
  • Other factors (loud noise, bright lights, TV, strong smells)
Eating healthily is an important step we can all take to reducing our risk of heart disease. A healthy diet can help lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure and control weight. A few simple changes can make a big difference.
 
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Last modified October 2015