Chronic Migraine Headache

March 26, 2011
Written by: Alternative Medicine First


Chronic Migraines


Migraine suffers know the symptoms all too well. Debilitating headaches, nausea, vomiting and visual disturbances are associated with migraines. Unfortunately, a proportion of migraine sufferers will experience chronic migraines. This is an acute that occurs at least 15 days of a month for more than three months. This means, some people may experience a migraine everyday.


Having a migraine is more than just an ordinary headache. Several symptoms distinguish migraines and vary from person to person. There are different types of migraine, each with their own specific symptoms. Migraine sufferers experiencing visual disturbances, which are a zigzag or flashing light in front of the eye also known as auras. Blind spots and blurred vision are other symptoms. Most migraine sufferers have throbbing headaches primarily on one side only. Migraines may be evident without headaches. In which case, these migraines may be accompanied with nausea or vomiting.


Neck pain, light and sound sensitivity are also common causes of migraines. Hemipleic migraine causes migraine numbness or temporary paralysis beginning on one side of the body. This stroke like symptom can be very frightening if experienced for the first time. Due to fluctuating hormone levels in the body, women are three times more likely to suffer with migraines than men. This type of migraine known as a menstrual migraine occurs just before and after. Such migraines can be as disruptive as chronic migraines.


Since chronic migraines occur frequently, prevention is one of the best treatments. Keeping a record of the chronic migraine attacks can help to identify any possible triggers. Certain foods such as chocolate, cheese, citrus fruit, red wine and caffeine are common triggers. Chinese foods which predominantly contain monosodium glutamate are also triggers. Stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, low blood sugar levels, and certain types of light may trigger migraines. For chronic migraine sufferers, flickering indoor lights or very bright sun light can be triggers. Try to avoid the particular triggers you have identified when possible.  Available are many good over-the-counter medications for migraine relief to include mild analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and ergotamines.


Be careful to note, headaches can worsen intensely if medications are taken too frequently. For the treatment of chronic migraines, pain relief medications can be useful. However, a rebound effect or additional headaches may occur if taken more than twice a week. Pain relief medication should be limited to 2 or less days per week. Certain types of beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure and Botox prescription medications have been successful in reducing chronic migraines. As preventative medications, they most often require time to build up in the body to become effective. The effects of full treatment may take one or two months.


Some sufferers become depressed or unable to cope, as an understandable consequence. This can make it difficult to work. Chronic migraine sufferers need to take control of their migraines, where possible. Try identifying your chronic migraine attacks. Start using non-medicinal treatment. Relaxation classes such as Yoga or massage may relieve migraines. Cold compresses relieve painful migraine headaches. Aromatherapy oils such as peppermint, sandalwood and eucalyptus have reduced migraine symptoms. Recognizing how often your everyday life is disrupted by chronic migraines is important. See a neurologist for occurrences of over 15 days.



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