Migraine is a headache usually an intense , throbbing pain on one or sometimes both sides of the head. Women experience migraine differently than men. Women report episodic pain (Often for a longer duration) and chronic pain more frequently than men. More severe and more frequent migraine attacks often results from changes in estrogen levels. Research has connected hormones to migraine , but not all migraines are hormonal
During childhood , migraine is more prevalent in boys then in girls , but after puberty ,when estrogen influence begins , the prevalence rises in girls. Girls are more likely to have their first migraine during the year their periods begin than at any other time in their lives. After puberty , migraine in women increases until age of 40 or so ,when it begins to decrease.
As already told it is an intense , throbbing pain ,most of the people feel the pain in the temples or behind one eye or ear , although any part of the head can be involved. Besides pain , migraine can also cause nausea , vomitting and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people also may see spots or flashing lights or have a temporary loss of vision.
It can occur at any time of the day usually it starts in the morning . The pain can last for a few hours or up to one or two days. As migraine are not a threat to your overall health , but migraine attacks can interfere with your day to day life.
1) Abnormal changes in the level of substances that are naturally produced in the brain.
2) Genetic factors.
3) Different hormonal changes at different phases in life of women.
People react to a variety of factors and events called triggers. Many women with migraine tend to have attacks triggered by :-
1) Lack of or too much sleep.
2) Skipped meals.
3) Bright light , loud noises or strong odors.
4) Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle.
5) Stress or anxiety , or relaxation after stress.
6) Weather changes.
7) Alcohol , caffeine like substances use.
8) Intense physical exertion.
9) Oral contraceptives or vasodilators use.
Types of Migraine –
1) Classical Migraine ( Migraine with Aura) –
With a migraine with Aura, a person might have these sensory symptoms (called Aura),10-30 minutes before an attack –
a) Seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines or blind spots.
b) Numbness or tingling in the face or hands .
c) Disturbed sense of smell ,taste or touch.
d) Feeling mentally fuzzy.
Only 1 in 5 people who get migraine experience an aura . Women have this form of migraine less often then men.
2) Common Migraine ( Migraine without Aura) –
With this form of migraine, a person does not have an aura but has all other features of an attack.
Migraine, which often begin in childhood , adolescence or early adulthood, can progress through four stages. Not everyone who has migraine goes through all stages.Here are these 4 stages –
One or two days before a migraine , following symptoms appear as warning of upcoming migraine attacks –
b) Food cravings
c) Mood changes from depression to euphoria
d) Neck stiffness
e) Increased thirst and urination
f) Frequent yawning
2) Aura –
These symptoms usually begins gradually, builds up over several minutes and last for 20-60 minutes. Following are symptoms :-
a) Visual phenomena such as seeing various shapes.
b) Vision loss.
c) Pins and needles like pricking sensation in an arm or leg.
d) Numbness in the face or one side of the body.
e) Difficulty in speaking.
f) Hearing noises.
It usually lasts from 4-72 hrs if untreated . During a migraine attack, you might have –
a) Pain usually on one side of your head but often on both sides.
b) Pain that throbs or pulses.
c) Sensitivity to light , sound and sometimes smell and touch.
d) Nausea and vomiting.
4) Post drome –
After migraine attack, you might feel drained , confused and washed out for up to a day. Sudden head movement might bring on the pain again briefly.
If you take combination pain killers such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin for more than 15 days a month can trigger serious medication overuse headaches.
1) Pain relieving medications like Ibuprofen,Aspirin etc.
2) Preventive medications like BP lowering medications , antidepressants and antiseizure drugs.
3) Lifestyle changes like try relaxation techniques , develop a sleeping and eating routine , drink plenty of fluids , keep a headache diary , exercise regularly.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
Migraine Headaches are caused by tridoshic condition , due to pitta – vata imbalance or accumulation of Ama.
Ayurvedic principle for treatment –
1) Body detoxification
2) Herbal Remedies
3) Dietary and lifestyle changes
4) Relaxation techniques
Treatment Plan –
1) Panchkarma Therapy –
These are meant to detoxify or purify the body.e.g.
1) Nasya karma –
Pouring medicated oil into the nose .e.g. shadbindu tail or anu tail
2) Sarvangabhyanga –
Whole body oil massage e.g. Tila tail ,Mahanarayan tail.
3) Eating medicated ghee .eg. Brahmi ghrit
4) Swedan –
5) Shirodhara –
e.g. Til taila , Buttermilk, Milk
6) Shirolepa –
e.g. sandalwood , Jatamansi
7) Shirovasti –
E.g. Buttermilk ,Milk
8) Kawalgrah –
Holding oil in mouth for some time for gargling.e.g. chandanadi oil
2) Yoga –
It incorporates various breathing techniques and poses to promote relaxation. By calming your mind and body, yoga helps ease stress and anxiety and may also reduce sensitivity to pain, including migraine pain.
Special yoga poses may help boost your circulation and increase blood flow to your brain specifically . following are the poses –
2) Downward facing pose
3) Bridge pose
3) Regular exercise –
When you exercise your body releases endotrophins ,which are natural pain relievers and also elevate your mood Moderate exercises like brisk walking , swimming may help in relieving stress and support overall wellness.
4)Some herbal remedies –
a) Ginger tea
c) Jatamansi churna
d) Mahavatvidhvansan Ras
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