Millions of individuals all around the world suffer from migraines. In addition to severe headaches, migraine sufferers can experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Genetic and environmental variables are thought to have a role in the development of migraines, although the specific etiology remains unknown. Involvement of the brainstem and trigeminal nerve in the control of pain and other physiological processes has been linked to migraines.
The “vascular theory,” which says that migraines are produced by abnormalities in blood flow in the brain, is one of the most well-known hypotheses concerning the causation of migraines. Migraine sufferers have been shown to have an increase in the size of blood vessels in the brain, as well as changes in the amounts of particular substances that govern blood flow, lending credence to this notion.
The “neurotransmitter theory” proposes that fluctuations in the brain’s supply of certain neurotransmitters are to blame for migraines. Neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine help control things like pain and mood.
Migraines can be induced by anything from emotional or physical strain to environmental or climatic shifts or even hormone shifts. Some typical causes are:
- Pressure and anxiety.
- Intentional or unintentional fasting.
- Consumption of tyramine (present in old cheeses, smoked salmon, and a few varieties of beer) or monosodium glutamate (found in many processed foods) can cause a bloating sensation and a feeling of fullness (MSG, a flavor enhancer found in many processed foods).
- Ingesting booze, particularly red wine.
- In women, hormonal shifts such as those that occur during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
- The effects of sensory overload, including visual stimulation, auditory stimulation, and olfactory stimulation.
Migraines come in a variety of forms, and each has its own unique symptoms. Migraines without aura are the most prevalent form of migraine. Mild to severe headache pain, typically on one side of the head; sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound; this is the classic migraine description.
A migraine with aura is another kind of the disease. The onset of pain in this form of migraine is preceded by a number of warning signs. Tingling or numbness in the face or hands might accompany visual problems like flashing lights or blind patches.
Both chronic and episodic migraines exist. Migraine attacks can be classified as either episodic (occurring less than 15 times per month) or chronic (occurring 15 or more times per month).
In most cases, migraine sufferers require a mix of pharmaceuticals and behavioral modifications to alleviate their pain. Migraine medications are generally classified as either preventative or abortive. Triptans and ergotamines are abortive drugs that are given at the first sign of a migraine to alleviate the discomfort. Migraine attacks can be mitigated with regular use of preventative drugs such beta blockers, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants.
One of the most effective ways to prevent migraines is to identify and avoid triggers. This can involve keeping a headache diary to track symptoms and triggers, such as specific foods, stress, or changes in weather. Common triggers include certain foods and drinks, such as aged cheese, red wine, and processed foods containing MSG, as well as stress, lack of sleep, and changes in hormonal levels.
Another way to prevent migraines is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. Exercise can help reduce stress and tension, which are common triggers of migraines, and a healthy diet can provide the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Migraines can be effectively managed by a combination of medication and behavioral modifications. Examples of this category of items include:
- Eating well and staying away from stressors can help.
- Exercising on a regular basis
- Meditation, yoga, and other stress-reduction practices
- Logging headaches and their causes in a diary
- Sufficiently resting one’s brain
Some people may find relief through alternative therapies such as acupuncture, biofeedback, and chiropractic care. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to help alleviate pain. Biofeedback is a technique that helps people learn to control their body’s response to stress, which can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Chiropractic care can be helpful in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines by correcting any issues with the spine.
Some migraineurs (migraine sufferers) also find that they can alleviate the pain by microdosing cannabis with such products as chewy Delta 9 edibles or gummies. It seems that cannabinoids, including Delta 9 and CBD, interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to potentially reduce pain and inflammation and lower anxiety.
So, if you are someone who has migraines, there’s hope. Implement some of the practices recommended in this article, and you just may experience relief!
It’s important to note that each person is different and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for you.