Migraine is a neurological disorder that often causes a strong one-sided headache, characterized by severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation. The headache comes in episodes and sometimes also associated with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so bad that it interferes with your daily activities.
Migraine is different in everyone. In many people, it happens in stages. These stages may include:
Hours or days before a headache, about 60% of people who have migraine notice symptoms like:
● Sensitivity to light, sound, or smell
● Food cravings or lack of appetite
● Mood changes
● Severe thirst
● Constipation or diarrhea
● Increased urination.
● Frequent yawning.
These symptoms stem from your nervous system and often involve your vision. They usually start gradually, over a 5- to 20-minute period, and usually last less than an hour. You may:
● See black dots, wavy lines, flashes of light, or things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
● Have tunnel vision
● Complete darkness of vision
● Have tingling or numbness on one side of your body
● Not be able to speak clearly
● Have a heavy feeling in your arms and legs
● Have ringing in your ears
● Notice changes in smell, taste, or touch
● A migraine headache often begins as a dull ache and grows into throbbing pain. It usually gets worse during physical activity. The pain can move from one side of your head to the other, can be in the front of your head, or can feel like it's affecting your entire head.
● About 80% of people have nausea along with a headache, and about half vomit. You may also be pale and clammy or feel faint.
● Most migraine headaches last about 4 hours, but severe ones can go for more than 3 days. It’s common to get two to four headaches per month. Some people may get migraine headaches every few days, while others get them once or twice a year.
This stage can last up to a day after a headache. Symptoms include:
● Feeling tired, wiped out, or cranky
● Feeling unusually refreshed or happy
● Muscle pain or weakness
● Food cravings or lack appetite
Though migraine causes aren't fully understood, genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role.
For many years, scientists thought migraine happened because of changes in blood flow in the brain. Most now think this can contribute to the pain but is not what starts it. Current thinking is that a migraine likely starts when overactive nerve cells send out signals that trigger your trigeminal nerve, which gives sensation to your head and face. This cues your body to release chemicals like serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP makes blood vessels in the lining of your brain swell. Then, neurotransmitters cause inflammation and pain.
There are a number of migraine triggers, including:
● Hormonal changes in women: Fluctuations in estrogen, such as before or during menstrual periods, pregnancy and menopause, seem to trigger headaches in many women.
Hormonal medications, such as oral contraceptives, also can worsen migraines. Some women, however, find that their migraines occur less often when taking these medications.
● Drinks: These include alcohol, especially wine, and too much caffeine, such as coffee.
● Stress: Stress at work or home can cause migraines.
● Sensory stimuli: Bright or flashing lights can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Strong smells — such as perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke and others — trigger migraines in some people.
● Sleep changes: Missing sleep or getting too much sleep can trigger migraines in some people.
● Physical strain: Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, might provoke migraines.
● Weather changes: A change of weather or barometric pressure can prompt a migraine.
● Medications: Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can aggravate migraines.
● Foods: Aged cheeses and salty and processed foods, fermented foods, yeast extract (e.g., canned soup) might trigger migraines. Sometimes skipping meals (fasting).
● Food additives: These include the sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG), found in many foods.
Several factors make you more prone to having migraines, including:
● Family history: If you have a family member with migraines, then you have a good chance of developing them too.
● Age: Migraines can begin at any age, though the first often occurs during adolescence. Migraines tend to peak during your 30s, and gradually become less severe and less frequent in the following decades.
● Sex: Women are three times more likely than men to have migraines.
● Hormonal changes: For women who have migraines, headaches might begin just before or shortly after onset of menstruation. They might also change during pregnancy or menopause. Migraines generally improve after menopause.
There are several kinds of migraines.
(a) Without aura (“common migraine”)
(b) With aura (“classic” or “complicated migraine”)
(I) Hemiplegic aura (temporary paralysis prior/with migraine)
(II) Retinal migraine (“ophthalmic” or “ocular migraine”)
(c) Without headache (“typical aura without headache”- also called as Silent migraine)
(d) With brainstem aura (“basilar type migraine”)
(e) Chronic migraine (more than 15 per month)
(f) Menstrual migraine
Are Migraines Curable?
There's no cure for migraines in conventional medicine yet. But medications can help prevent or stop them, or keep your symptoms from getting worse.
Taking painkillers too often can trigger serious medication-overuse headaches. The risk seems to be highest with aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and caffeine combinations. Overuse headaches may also occur if you take aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) for more than 14 days a month or triptans, sumatriptan (Imitrex, Tosymra) or rizatriptan (Maxalt) for more than nine days a month.
Medication-overuse headaches occur when medications stop relieving pain and begin to cause headaches when you are not taking them. You then use more pain medication, which continues the cycle.
Homeopathic Treatment For Migraine:
Migraine is mainly considered as a psychosomatic illness. Psychosomatic means interaction between the ‘psych’ (mind) and ‘soma’ (body), where the illness is aggravated by a mental factor. Mental stress due to anger, frustration, grief, etc. can act as a major triggering factor for migraine. Homeopathic medicines act on the ‘psych’ of the patient, thus reducing the ill-effects of the causative stress.
Homeopathic remedies for migraine are reliable and safe. They offer effective treatment for migraine. In fact, they work wonders for acute migraine attacks or even chronic migraine. These medicines for migraine are selected as per individual case. Individual symptoms are studied in detail and the appropriate medicine is suggested.
Example-1. If a person suffers from migraine, where the left side of his/her head has severe throbbing, pulsating pain. Pain starts in back of the head (occipital region) and spreads upwards, settles over left eye. Stooping seems to worsen the pain. It is associated with severe pain in the eyeballs and movement of eyeballs worsens the pain. Whereas another person has a migraine with pain on the right side of head. Pain starts from occiput, spreads upwards and settles over right eye. Pain starts in morning, gets intense during day and continues till sunset. Migraine relieved by lying down quietly in dark room. For the first person suggested homoeopathic medicine should be Spigelia while for other one Sanguinaria.
Example-2 Menstrual migraines- Natrum muriaticum is suited for migraines before and during menstrual cycle while Lachesis is suited for a migraine at the time of menopause.
An expert Homoeopath after taking the consultation can identify and help to remove it from root. The homeopathic medicine is selected based on the similarity of the patient’s symptoms. The patient’s physical and mental constitution is taken into consideration and then the medicine is chosen. Migraines with or without aura respond very well to natural homeopathic medicines.
Materia medica by Willium Boericke
Allen’s Keynotes by H.C.Allen