Migraine- a chronic and ongoing neurological disorder

migraine

Introduction

A migraine is a chronic neurological condition which is characterized by severe head pain accompanied by other disabling symptoms. It is not just a normal headache. In fact, it is a kind of a severe headache which usually occur on one side of the head. It is often accompanied by vomiting, nausea and sensitivity to sound and light.

Symptoms

The symptoms and severity of a migraine may vary from person to person. However, some symptoms such as- nausea and vomiting are common in all the patients suffering from this condition. Some of the common symptoms are- Mood changes, food cravings, frequent urination, visual disturbance, neck stiffness, fatigue, hyperactivity, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.

What happens during a Migraine?

When a person is suffering from this condition, he/she may face the problem of migraine attacks. If remain untreated, the attack may last from 4 to 72 hours. The frequency with which a headache occur may also vary from person to person. During a migraine, a person may experience recurrence in pain on one side of the head, the problem of blurred vision and sometimes headache followed by fainting.

Causes 

 The exact cause is unknown but they are thought to be the result of the abnormal brain activity. The condition of migraine may arise because of several reasons. Researchers believe that almost all causes either directly or indirectly have a connection with the Central Nervous System. Therefore, disturbance in the CNS is the major cause of this disease.

Let us have a look at the different causes.

1. Magnesium deficiency

Magnesium is one of the natural minerals which is required by the human body for its cellular growth. It plays a crucial role in the biochemical process takes places inside the cell. Magnesium enables the growth and development of the energy molecule in the cell. It is also helpful in relaxing the smooth muscles in the arteries.

A decline in the level of magnesium may become a cause of a migraine headache. One study suggests that people suffering from this condition do not get enough magnesium through their diet. In fact, magnesium supplements can be used to treat it especially the magnesium oxide. One study actually found that regular intake of magnesium reduces the frequency of migraine attacks by 41.6 percent.

2. Imbalance in brain chemicals

It can also be caused by the imbalance in the brain chemicals. Serotonin is also one of them. It helps in regulating the pain in the nervous system. The level of serotonin generally decreases during migraine attacks. As a result, nerve releases a substance called neuropeptide. This substance travels to the brain’s outer covering (meninges) which results in the migraine pain.

What are migraine triggers?

The trigger means to activate. There are various factors which increase the tendency to develop migraine. Those factors are known as the migraine triggers. Below mentioned are some of the factors:

a. Food

Many kinds of food items such as food preservatives, artificial sweeteners and caffeine can trigger this condition. The food additives found in various food items seem to act as the migraine triggers. Therefore, people suffering from such a condition should avoid these types of food. Even they should not skip their meal because fasting or skipping meal can also trigger this condition.

b. Environmental factors

The environmental factors such as changes in the climatic and weather conditions, high winds, altitudes or change in routine can trigger this condition. These weather changes can cause biological disturbances in the body. It can also increase the severity of a headache associated with such condition. Therefore, the changes in the environmental factor can trigger the migraine attacks.

c. Physical factors

There are many physical factors which contribute to an increase in the tendency to develop this condition. Physical factors such as overexertion, pain and inflammation can trigger the headaches associated with this condition. Therefore, it is very necessary for such patients to take care of themselves and avoid physical exertion.

d. Sensory stimuli

There are various stimuli present in our surroundings which can stimulate the intensity of migraine attacks. The stimuli like bright lights, loud sounds and certain strong smells (perfume fragrance, paint thinner) can trigger migraine in some people.

Preventions

As it is a chronic and ongoing neurological disorder which is difficult to treat. Therefore, it is very necessary to manage and control this condition to protect patients from further damage. The researchers believe that avoiding migraine triggers can help in getting relief from its symptoms. A person suffering from a migraine who want to get rid of its symptoms should take some preventive measures

There are certain steps which a migraine sufferer can adopt in order to get relief from the symptoms. Following are the steps

I. Identify migraine trigger

The triggers of the migraine may vary from person to person. Therefore, it is very necessary for a  patient to identify the things which increase the intensity of a headache in them. Whenever a person gets a headache, he/she should maintain a record of its cause, so that such things can be avoided. If possible he/she should maintain a diary of triggers.

II. Never Skip Meal

It is recommended to the migraine patients that they should not skip their meal. It is very necessary for them to eat regularly. Skipping meal may cause various complications to them.

III. Regular physical activity

Physical exercise plays a crucial role in everyone’s life. It helps a person to stay fit and fine. But, in the case of a migraine, a patient should be very careful about physical activity also. It is advised to consult a doctor before following any set of physical exercise. A patient should be very careful with exercises because they may act as a headache trigger.

IV. Take proper rest or sleep

The sleeping disturbance is very common in migraine patients. But, it is very necessary for them to take a proper sleep. Sleep is essential for everyone because this is a time when the body recovers itself. Therefore, everyone should sleep at least for seven hours for the proper functioning of the body. But,  patients suffering from this condition should be more careful in this case.

V. Stress management

It is very necessary to manage stress because it can trigger a headache. A person can manage his/her stress through meditation, spending time in performing activities of interest, exercise and praying. He/she can also take help from a counsellor to calm down stress.

VI. Keep yourself energetic

It is recommended for migraine patients to eat on regular basis and never skip a meal. They should keep themselves hydrated by drinking plenty of water and juices. They should consume healthy fruits and green vegetables.

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/migraine

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077351/

https://headaches.org/2007/10/25/environmental-physical-factors/

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