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Migraine: A Special Kind of Headache

Other Diseases By Chanchal Sengar , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Sep 16, 2010
Migraine: A Special Kind of Headache

Migraine is one of the various kinds of headaches that we suffer. However, this is a special kind where a person goes through a lot of pain during migraine attack.

Do you know that there are several kinds of headaches? From dental headache to stress headache to hunger headache to migraine, there are multiple types of headaches. But migraine is the worst of all where it becomes unbearable at times and the person needs medication to control that. Its mechanism is different which is why it is totally different from other headaches. If you have a migraine, you need to be extra careful. Consult a good doctor to keep a tab so that your life doesn't get affected much because of this special headache.

Why do someone get a migraine?

Migraine is known as a vascular headache. Medical evidence indicates that it is related to a disturbance in the blood vessels in the brain, scalp and facial tissues. Most headache experts believe that migraine is an inherited disorder that may be precipitated by many factors such as food, atmospheric pressure, changes in the weather, stress situations and excessive sleep.

Although there are many forms migraine may take, there are two major types: Classical and Neoclassical Migraine. The difference between the two is that with classical migraine there are various warning symptoms. Perhaps you have blurred vision or you see stars or flashes of light, just prior to the headache. If you have classical migraine, your blood vessels constrict during this phase. When the full-blown migraine occurs, there is an increase in size (or vasodilatation) of the blood vessels. Therefore it is important that you take your migraine medication as soon as the warning symptom occurs. Nonclassical or simple migraine is a severe headache when it occurs at irregular intervals, but which is not preceded by warning symptoms such as flashes of light. In this type of migraine it is also important that your medication be taken at the very first indication of head pain.

Also Read: 10 Types Of Headaches That Everyone Should Know About

General rules to prevent a Migraine

Each of the well-known rules for general health care can be especially helpful for decreasing the frequency and severity of your migraine attacks. For example:

  • Get plenty of sleep---but do not oversleep. Early to bed and early to rise is a good plan. Fatigue and overexertion can trigger migraine. Keep your normal sleep pattern, even on weekends.
  • Eat balanced meals at regular hours. Do not skip meals.
  • Avoid foods that tend to trigger attacks.

FOODS TO AVOID

All cheeses (except cottage cheese), chocolate, herring, vinegar (except white vinegar), anything fermented, pickled, or marinated, yogurt, sour cream, nuts, pods of broad beans, such as: lima, navy, and pea pods, hot, fresh-baked breads, chicken livers, lunch meats, hot dogs and other foods containing nitrates.

However, these foods will vary from individual to individual, and you should experiment to see which ones you are sensitive to that might trigger migraine. The best approach is to eliminate them all. When you have achieved a relatively migraine-free state, try adding them back into your diet every few weeks one at a time. If there is no increase in the number or severity of your migraine headaches then the last food you added to your diet probably was not an offender.

  • Plan and schedule your activities sensibly. Avoid over-crowded daily schedules. Spread activities through the day and take a 10 or 15 minute break. This can do much to relieve the tensions that may precipitate a migraine attack.
  • Relax, slow down, and let others do their share. RECOGNIZE YOUR SPECIAL “TRIGGER” SITUATIONS AND LEARN THE WARNING SIGNS THAT WILL HELP YOU HEAD OFF AN ATTACK

Also Read: Chronic Headaches Should Be Treated On Time

Take time to review the situations you were in before your migraine attacks. You may be able to notice a pattern that will define “trigger” situations. Does your migraine start after shopping? After heavy housecleaning? Before a menstrual period? Holidays? During financial difficulties? If you discover a pattern of any sort, discuss it with your doctor. He may suggest ways to put a “safety” on the trigger situations. Or may suggest that you take your medication before a known and unavoidable trigger situation takes place.

Working together, you and your physician will very likely be able to develop a program that will end or greatly decrease the incapacitating, painful effects of migraine.

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