Migraines, why we get them? who gets them? treatments and loads more well I’m going to answer that question along with many other questions in this article.
Let’s begin with the common symptoms of a migraine, it’s usually an intense headache on one side of the head, typically on the front of the head where it can be on both sides or it can start on one side and spread to both sides. The pain is usually a moderate or severe throbbing sensation, and it gets worse as we move which is why it’s so debilitating having a migraine, because it stops you from doing all your normal activities.
Now in addition to these you may also experience other symptoms like feeling sick, having an increased sensitivity to sounds and lights, sweating, having poor concentration.. this list goes on. An important fact for you to remember is that yes some people may get these additional symptoms that we just spoke about with their headache, but some people may not even get a headache, they might just get the additional symptoms that we just spoke about with their migraine. So what i’m trying to say is we’re all different everyone’s different and everyone reacts differently, and has different symptoms with their migraines. The symptoms of a migraine can last between four hours and three days, and you may feel really tired and shattered for up to a week afterwards. So if you’re not someone who suffers from migraines and you’re now learning about it I hope you realize just how debilitating they can be.
One in three people with migraines have a temporary warning symptom known as an aura, before a migraine they develop over five minutes and last up to an hour. The symptoms of an aura are different for each individual, some people experience visual symptoms such as blind spots flashing lights, and other people experience symptoms like pins and needles and loads more, the list is quite vast.
What causes the migraine? Well the exact science is actually unknown. where it’s thought to be a result of abnormal brain activity which affects the nerve signals, blood vessels and chemicals within the brain. So it’s not quite clear what’s causing this abnormal brain activity but it’s thought that our genes can make us more susceptible to migraines from triggers, and there’s loads of different triggers that can potentially cause migraines from hormonal to emotional to dietary to environmental to medicinal, there’s loads of different causes.
Let’s move on to treatments: there’s currently no cure for migraines but we do have treatments for symptomatic relief of them, and what i mean by there’s no cure for migraines is, let me give you an example: let’s say for example you have a bacterial respiratory tract infection and you get prescribed antibiotics and then the antibiotics kill the bacteria, so you’re cured, so with migraines we don’t have that cure and instead we have symptomatic relief which is why it can take some time to find out the best treatment for you. So it might mean one treatment it might need a combination to give you the best symptomatic relief.
So let’s work through it step by step and please remember certain techniques may work for you and it may not work for others and vice versa, because migraines are quite unique to the individual so i guess it all comes down to a bit of trial and error.
Now at the start of a migraine attack the best thing that you can do is either go to sleep or lie down in a quiet darkened room, this is one of the best things that you can do at the start of an attack. but I do appreciate this is quite idealistic because you never know where you’re going to be when you’re having an attack, you could be at work or you could be at home. So if you’re at home this is a good thing to know other people find that eating a little something makes them feel better, and some people find that once they’ve been sick they feel much better.
Now let’s move on to painkillers many people who suffer from migraines find symptomatic relief from painkillers that you can get over the counter for example paracetamol or ibuprofen, but please remember before taking any medication always speak to your pharmacist first, so they can check that you’re safe and suitable to use that medication, and always read the information leaflet that comes with it, this is one of the most important things that everyone should do. Whilst we’re on the subject of painkillers there’s two things that i want you to remember one take the painkiller as soon as you get those symptoms of a migraine, the ones that we spoke about earlier as soon as you get your first symptoms of a migraine you need to take your painkiller, this is going to give it time to absorb and get into your bloodstream and start working two. Don’t wait until it’s too late if you’re gonna take your painkiller once your migraine symptoms are fully there it’s probably not gonna be effective. So we now know that with painkillers speed is probably one of the most important factors about getting the most symptomatic relief, because it’s gonna absorb into your bloodstream quicker and it’s going to have an effect sooner. Also bear in mind it might be worth speaking to your health care professional about getting soluble medication, soluble medication actually absorbs faster than a tablet or a capsule will, so it’s going to have that onset effect a lot faster. But please bear in mind soluble medication well it tastes really bad it’s also worth mentioning because I know there will be people watching this video who vomit quite regularly when they have a migraine, if you are one of those people and if you’re taking a painkiller orally and you’re throwing up, then that painkiller doesn’t have enough time to absorb so it’s not really going to work properly. An option for someone who vomits quite often when they have a migraine would be to get painkiller in a suppository version, that way you’re not really worried about throwing up because it’s still going to absorb.
Painkillers can be effective but please remember that taking any painkiller too often can actually make migraines worse, we call this a medication overuse headache, so what i’m going to advise you all to do is to speak to your healthcare professional if you feel like you’re having to take your pain for this quite frequentl,y or if you feel that over-the-counter painkiller just aren’t being effective.