Migraine is not a serious disorder but can seriously cripple one’s ability to live life normally. The unpredictable nature and the severity with which the headache comes on, affects one’s life in many ways. It brings about lower tolerance levels for frustration, noise and fatigue. Fiction writer Carol Lewis is said to have created those strange characters and bizarre sensation in her book, Alice in Wonderland,” during the migraine attacks that she suffered. Just a small comfort for those suffering from migraine. They join the club with many well-known intellectuals like Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Thomas Jefferson.

How does a migraine attack differ from an ordinary headache?

Common headache, often called tension headaches, are usually of mild-to-moderate intensity, and have no such symptoms as nausea and visual disturbances associated with migraine. They generally occur as isolated incidents. Migraine is a headache of a severe type and tends to recur. The pain is usually confined to one side of the head but may eventually spread to the other side. It may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Classical migraine is differentiated from common migraine by the presence of a condition called aura.

Aura is an occurrence of neurological symptoms 10-30 minutes before the classical migraine attack. Symptoms such as flashing lights, double vision, zigzag pattern, mental fuzziness and mood changes are a part of it.

What are the causes of migraine?

The pain during the migraine attack is usually caused by the dilation of the arteries (vessels carrying blood) and an increase in the blood supply to the particular area in the head. This is in response to an initial contraction of the arteries caused by the trigger factors.

What are the common trigger factors?

Stress, emotional disturbances, tobacco smoke, fasting-hunger, lack of proper sleep, excessive tea or coffee intake, foods containing monosodium glutamate, hormonal changes, weather changes. Genetic predisposition is supposed to play a major role.

Homeopathy can treat the disease effectively, though it may take some time before the recurrence of headache are completely stopped. It also depends on the factors such as patient compliance, medicine intake regularity, knowledge and avoidance of trigger factors and the chronicity of migraine attacks.

With the correct prescription, one may slowly notice the problem receding, the attacks becoming less frequent and also their decreasing severity. Sanguinaria, Nux Vomica, Iris and Spigelia lead the homeopathic table in treating this disorder.

Another medicine that needs a special mention is Epiphegus, because the symptom it treats are so often found in patients, especially women. Headache comes when one deviate from one’s normal routine. It is made worse by going out in the sun, by any exertion.

Prevention tips

  • Keep a headache diary: This may help you in identifying the trigger factors such as foods, activities and weather
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise, yoga and relaxation techniques such as meditation can also be of great help.
  • Keep regular sleep patterns: Sleep adequately. Sleeping too much or too less can trigger migraine.
  • Watch out what you eat:Foods such as caffeine and Chinese foods that contain monosodium glucamate and chocolates cheese are well-known trigger factors.
  • Eat regularly: Fasting is a very common trigger in many people. If it is such a factor for you too, make sure that you eat at regular intervals.
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