Migraine is a disorder characterized by repeated attacks of severe headache. A migraine headache causes throbbing or pulsating pain, usually on only one side of the head. These headaches are often associated with nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound; they generally last between four hours and three days. Migraine headaches are severe enough to interfere with sleep, work, and other everyday activities.
It is most common among people age 25 to 55, though it can affect children and teens as well. Migraine is about three times more prevalent in women than men; roughly one in five women and one in 16 men suffer from migraine.
Some people who suffer from migraines can clearly identify triggers or factors that cause the headaches, but many cannot. Potential migraine triggers include:
- Allergies and allergic reactions
- Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes
- Physical or emotional stress
- Changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep
- Smoking or exposure to smoke
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone fluctuations during menopause onset
- Tension headaches
- Foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)
- Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods.
Triggers do not always cause migraines, and avoiding triggers does not always prevent migraines.
Symptoms of migraine can occur a while before the headache, immediately before the headache, during the headache, and after the headache. Although not all migraines are the same, typical symptoms include:
- Moderate to severe pain, usually confined to one side of the head, but switching in successive migraines
- Pulsing and throbbing head pain
- Increasing pain during physical activity
- Inability to perform regular activities due to pain
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
Migraines with auras - many people experience migraines with auras just before or during the head pain, but most do not. Auras are perceptual disturbances such as:
- Confusing thoughts or experiences
- Lines in the visual field
- Pins and needles in an arm or leg
- Unpleasant smells
- The perception of strange lights, sparkling or flashing lights
- Blind spots
- Stiffness in the shoulders, neck or limbs
Some lifestyle alterations might help reduce migraine frequency. These include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Drinking plenty of water
- Regular physical exercise
- Reducing stress
- Avoiding certain foods
If ever there was a permanent cure for migraine, homeopathic medicines are the only one that can do this miracle. It may sound like an overstatement, but it's true. Long-term treatment with homeopathy has an excellent cure for migraine headaches.
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