Imagine the agony of an individual who wakes everyday to the dread of facing another episode of headache which would otherwise disturb his relatively smooth life and work schedule. If the most important part of our body i.e. the head is throbbing with pain, all our attention and focus is on that pain and no productive outcome is possible from our head, on which we rely so much for our day to day work and decisions. Commonly occurring headaches are usually addressed as Migraines by laymen. Let us give you some clarity about Migraines.
- A migraine is a common type of headache that affects a large number of urban populations. It is characterized by unilateral (one-sided) pain along with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and the intensity of the pain can be from moderate to severe if left untreated.
- Some people who get migraines have warning symptoms, called an aura, before the actual headache begins. An aura is a group of symptoms, including vision disturbances, which are a warning signs that a bad headache is coming
Causes, Incidence and Risk Factors
- Migraine headaches tend to first appear between the ages of 10 and 45. Sometimes they may begin later in life.
- Migraines occur more often in women than men.
- Migraines may run in families
- Some women, but not all, may have fewer migraines when they are pregnant
A migraine is caused by abnormal brain activity, which can be triggered by a number of factors. Most medical experts believe that the attack begins in the brain, involves nerve pathways, chemicals and the changes that affect the blood flow in the brain and surrounding tissues leading to a headache.
Migraine attacks may also be triggered by:
- Alcohol, stress and anxiety, certain odors or perfumes, loud noises or bright lights, smoking and Caffeine withdrawal.
- Changes in hormone levels during a woman’s menstrual cycle or with the use of birth control pills
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Exercise or other physical stress
- Missed meals
Migraine headaches can be triggered by certain foods. The most common being:
- Any processed, fermented, pickled, or marinated foods, as well as foods that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Baked goods, chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, and dairy products
- Foods containing tyramine, which includes red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and certain beans
- Fruits (avocado, banana, citrus fruit)
- Meats containing nitrates (bacon, hot dogs, salami, cured meats)
- A migraine attack may last from 6 hours to 48 hours.
- Vision disturbances, or aura, are considered a “warning sign” that a migraine is coming. The aura occurs in both eyes and may involve any or all of the following:
- A temporary blind spot
- Blurred vision
- Eye pain
- Seeing stars or zigzag lines
- Tunnel vision
- Other warning signs include: yawning, difficulty concentrating, nausea, and trouble finding the right words and faltering in speech.
- Not every person with migraines has an aura and those who do usually develop the sign about 10 – 15 minutes before the headache. However, an aura may occur just a few minutes to 24 hours beforehand and again a headache may not always follow an aura.
- Migraine headaches can be dull or severe. The pain may be felt behind the eye or in the back of the head and neck. For many patients, the headaches start on the same side each time. The headaches usually:
- Feel throbbing, pounding, or pulsating
- Are worse on one side of the head
- Start as a dull ache and get worse within minutes to hours
- Symptoms may linger even after the migraine has gone away. Patients with migraine sometimes call this a migraine “hangover”. Symptoms can include:
- Feeling mentally dull, like your thinking is not clear or sharp
- Increased need for sleep
- Neck pain
- Other symptoms that may occur with the headache include:
- Increased urination
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness
- Problems concentrating, trouble finding words
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Homeopathy and Migraine
- Migraine headaches have been generally considered as an obstinate condition by the doctors of common medicine but for a Homeopath curing migraine is a common experience in his or her daily routine clinic practice.
- Providing a more individualistic approach towards the patient gives a homeopath an edge above the others for treating these headaches as the condition itself is very closely linked with the personality traits and attitudes of the patients.
- The location, sensation, type or side and time of occurrence also plays and important part in selection of the right medicine.
- Ipecac is the wonder medicine for pain along with nausea and vomiting, Belladona covers a throbbing, pulsating pain and Helleborous gives relief to stupefying and piercing pains.
- Nux vomica covers the side effects of taking too much coffee and other triggering food items, while Cimicifuga is the sure shot effect of taking care of hormonal disturbances.
- Gelsemium and Theridion are indicated for visual auras and disturbances preceding the headache.
- These are just few examples showing how exacting is homeopathy as a scientific approach for treating Migraines. An expert and well experienced Homeopath can accurately select the medication after a detailed history taking of the patient and deciding on the power and repetitions of doses to bring about a permanent relief.
- Miasmatic and deep acting intercurrent medicines are given to break the familial tendencies so that all pre disposing factors are removed from the roots