The Mechanism of Migraine
What is coming about physiologically when a migraine headache takes place? It appears the start of a migraine headache is in the brain stem. The brain stem is a bit above the spinal cord, but beneath the cortex of the brain. The migraine “control center” in the brain stem emits signals to the blood vessels lining the brain, requesting these blood vessels to dilate and expand. In the process, pain signals are sent going back to the “control center”.
A few non-traditional treatments have proven effective. These include chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture and biofeedback therapy. Magnetic therapy also has been utilized with success. Magnetic therapy leads to increased electrical activity in the brain. This raises neural conductivity which then stimulates in the brain the secretion of the hormones serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin controls moods and depression tendencies. Magnetic therapy treatment generally involves either:
- A magnetic pillow pad
- A magnetic head band
- A magnetic eye mask
A natural care technique includes utilizing an ice pack on the back of the neck close to the base of the skull. This lessens the flow of blood to the head, resulting in diminished pressure in the head. Make sure there is a barrier between the ice pack and the skin, for example a wet cloth.
Particular herbal remedies have been utilized. These include feverfew, chamomile, valerian, white willow and skullcap. These following supplements also may help individuals suffering from migraines:
- Coenzyme Q10
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B2
Lastly, some further remedies include extra magnesium in one's diet, regular physical exercise, and relaxation techniques like yoga or transcendental meditation. Recently, a new form of migraine treatment called Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) has been developed. TENS sends a mild shock of electricity, preventing the body from receiving migraine pain signals.
Migraine Compared to other Headaches
What is the difference between a migraine and a regular headache? Migraine headaches are primarily one-sided, with concomitant nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting. Frequently, light sensitivity accompanies the migraine headache. Compare this with the ordinary tension headache, which is distributed over the whole head. In addition, the common headache is not as severe as a migraine headache. Migraine is better portrayed as a throbbing headache, whereas a tension headache only has a dull, constant ache.
Several Types of Migraines
There are regular migraines and classic migraines. Classic migraines begin with a “aura” that involves changes in visual perception. The auras persist around 10-30 minutes and are associated with flashing lights and/or colors, and maybe a temporary loss of vision. You could feel a burning or unusual prickly feeling, and perhaps feel irritable and restless.
A common migraine does not involve an aura. A common migraine begins more slowly than a classic migraine and the pain may merely be unilateral. But then, a common migraine lasts longer than a classic one, and could interfere more extensively with your typical activities.
The following is an incomplete listing of migraine symptoms:
- Auras (light spots)
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Severe pain in the head
- Difficulty in speaking
- Throbbing or pulsing headache (largely unilateral)
Migraine attacks often recur, and the symptoms will differ from person to person.
Some environmental triggers seem to initiate a migraine attack. These triggers include some foods, stressful lifestyles, and exposure to bright lights or loud sounds. Commonly, a few foods such as red wine, cheese, chocolate, meats cured with nitrates, and MSG are able to induce migraine headaches. Additional triggers include anger and/or stress, too little sleep, menstruation, and weather changes. Withdrawal from caffeine and ergotamines can in addition trigger migraine headaches. The reason why foods like cheese, chocolates and alcohols can cause migraines is the occurrence of amines that act on the vascular system by triggering venal constriction through release of catecholamines.
There is a broad range of treatments for migraines. They vary from medications similar to the triptans (sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, frovatriptan) to consuming healthful foodstuffs, to avoiding some stressful lifestyles to relaxation techniques. Migraine headache intensity varies from one individual to the next, and no clear cut remedy now exists.
Certain prescription medications might ease the symptoms of migraines. These include Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Relpax, Midrin, and Migranal. They exert their action by causing cerebral vasoconstriction.
The majority of symptoms of migraines disappear after a few days. Providing migraines are left untreated, yet, they could induce strokes, aneurysms, permanent vision loss, and even comas.
If you have an interest in migraine headaches, you may also want to look into new cures for migraine headaches or in addition what b vitamins are good for migraines.