Anyone who has migraines knows how intense they can be. Understanding the life cycle of migraines to identify one is coming and knowing the brain condition treatment options can keep you living your life like normal.
Four Phases of a Migraine
There are four phases of a migraine:
This phase before the headache comes with cravings, gastrointestinal problems, exhaustion, mood disorders, and increased urination frequency. 30 - 40% of people with migraines recognize the symptoms and use this phase to plan for the upcoming headache.
The aura is the beginning of the headache. It lasts less than an hour and comes with a large range of symptoms including visual, auditory, and olfactory hallucinations, vertigo, tingling, numbness, confusion, and loss of vocal functions.
The headache is the most debilitating and painful part of the migraine. Most headaches last from one hour to 72 hours. When the migraine lasts longer than 72 hours, it's important to seek medical attention.
The postdrome is a phase after the actual headache when the patient recuperates. There are symptoms of exhaustion and decreased cognitive speed. This phase can last for up to 24 hours after the headache.
Migraine treatments include:
1. Avoid Triggers
Certain triggers can cause and increase migraines. Find your triggers by keeping a diary of what you do and eat every day you get a migraine. Certain common triggers to look out for include:
- hormonal changes
Botox as a treatment for migraines has been increasing in popularity over the years because of its repeated effectiveness. In fact, Botox has been shown to reduce migraines by 50%. The FDA-approved treatment involves 31 shots every 3 months, and it's particularly useful with chronic migraines (15 or more migraines per month).
When trigger prevention doesn't work, you might want to try medication. Generally speaking, the doctor will prescribe analgesics & NSAIDs, Ergotamine, or Triptans for symptom relief and beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, or antidepressants to prevent future migraines. If you can't get to the doctor, you can take OTC pain killers to relieve the pain.
4. Natural Remedies
Natural remedies allow people to treat their migraines without ingesting medication or Botox. People have had success with meditation and yoga, chiropractic, herbal treatments, vitamins, massage therapy, and exercise. This can be used in conjunction with more traditional methods to get the best results.