It’s literally in your head

Published: 07th May 2013 01:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th May 2013 01:42 PM   |  A+A-

Headaches are quite normal in today’s world with the ever increasing competition, but migraine headaches are not to be taken lightly. The excruciating pain that migraines bring can last for hours or even days. It is quite a complex syndrome which is a result of  interactions between the nervous system and the vascular system as well as alterations in brain chemicals. What distinguishes this headache from others, is periodic or episodic ache.


A migraine headache includes throbbing pain (usually on one side of the head), nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. It is a painful headache that is often preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in  the arms and legs. The patient feels uneasy in bright light and loud sounds. One feels better after sleeping and would usually like to take rest in a dark and silent room. Migraine can be episodic and can get recurrent i.e. daily or 15 days and more. This is the condition of chronic migraine and it can last anywhere between four to 24 hours. A regular sufferer of migraines can identify the onset of another migraine attack. One may feel unease, may feel low and sad, fatigued, experience stiffness in neck, can feel excessively hungry and also confusion or mild disorientation. There is something called menstrual migraine that affects a woman each month between the second day before the start of the menstrual period and the end of menstruation. Compared with other times in the menstrual cycle, a migraine is more than twice as likely to occur during the first three days of menstruation and more than three times as likely to be severe.

The causes of migraine is very uncertain. It can range from environmental reasons to lifestyle mistakes. For example heat, high intensity light, increased humidity, changes in weather conditions, skipping breakfast and fasting, consumption of certain types of cheese and chocolates, red wines, fermented foods, foods with MSG (Monosodium glutamate) such as Chinese food and excessive consumption of colas.

Prevention and cure

The best way to go about preventing the pain to maintain a diary and note down the timings of the pain. It can also help you and your doctor monitor the effectiveness of treatments that you are undergoing. And it is advisable to visit a doctor as soon as possible. However, eating and sleeping right will help reducing the frequency of the pain.


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