Migraines are the most severe type of headache. People who suffer from them will do anything to find relief. Migraines can be difficult to identify, so it is important to know how to recognize them. Recurrent migraines can cause paralysis and incapacitation in millions of people. They can last up to 72 hours. When you are experiencing such severe pain, it can seem like a lifetime.
Many people who suffer from migraines don’t seek medical attention because they don’t know what to do. Although it is not clear what causes migraines, it is believed that low levels serotonin in the brain stem cause neurochemicals to be released that cause cerebral blood vessels to expand. The brain’s tissue is irritated by tiny amounts of blood plasma that leaks from the blood vessels.
This inflammation is what causes headache pain. It can last even after blood vessels shrink back to their normal size. Migraines can last for days before they subside. There are three phases to migraines: the pre-headache phase (or headache phase), and the post-headache stage (or migraine phase). While not everyone experiences all three phases of headaches, most people do.
It is the most important phase because it can help you avoid the headache or at least reduce its effects. The pre-headache phase, also known as Prodrome, can cause a rapid mood swing, food cravings or anorexia. Auras can cause one or more senses to become hypersensitive. You may experience flashes of light or partial loss of vision.
Within an hour, the full throbbing or stabbing pain that started with the pre-headache symptoms will begin. The headache phase is characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of your head. It can also cause sensitivity to light.
Even the smallest amount of light can be too much for this phase. The person may choose to lie down in a dark, cool place until the pain stops. The migraine may last for hours or days before it passes and the sufferer enters the post-headache phase. The person may feel physically exhausted for up to 24 hours during the post-headache phase. You may experience irritability and inability to focus.
Once you recognize a migraine, you can create a plan of treatment that will help you quickly recover. Keep a headache log and talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Find out which migraine triggers you have and how to avoid them.
There are two types: one that is taken immediately after the onset of migraine symptoms, in the pre-headache phase; and one that is taken daily to prevent future migraines. Your doctor can provide information about natural remedies like herbal supplements, relaxation techniques, and exercises. Do not suffer silently from a migraine. You will soon be able to recognize a migraine headache if you pay attention to your triggers.