Migraine is a common medical condition that affects a large population. Severe migraine affects the quality of life and decreases the work productivity of an individual. This recurrent, severe, and disabling attacks of headache are pulsating in nature. This type of attack can come with some sensory disturbance like light, sound, and odor sensitivity. Nausea and neck stiffness are the other common symptoms.
Some characteristic symptoms can also be seen before the attack like
- Difficult concentration
Types of Migraine
There are two different types of migraine. Both are described below.
- Migraine without aura: It is a condition characterized by moderate to severe throbbing and pain on one side of the head. This pain is worsened by movement and associated with symptoms like nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, increased sensitivity to sound.
- Migraine with aura: Dizziness can also be seen during this period. Symptoms usually last for more and 5 minutes and less than 60 minutes.
Aura is any nerve related symptom that occurs shortly before the headachea attack. This may include symptoms like flickering lights or zigzag phenomena, an abnormal sensation is also felt such as tingling, tickling, pricking, numbness or burning of a person’s skin with no apparent physical cause. This is known as Paresthesia in medical term. Speech related problems can also be seen during this period. Untreated cases of migraine episodes last from 4 to 72 hours.
How Migraine Starts?
Prodrome Stage: Some people can feel prodrome (a feeling of strangeness a day or two before the attack begins. This includes mood changes, food cravings, feeling tired or hyperactive, or excessive yawning.) This stage must not be confused with the aura phase.
Aura phase: It includes focal neurological symptoms which may be present up to one hour. It include eye, language and sensory related symptoms.
Typical migraine: This phase arises when aura symptoms are resolved. This include one sided throbbing pain associated with nausea, vomiting, photophobia. This may persist upto 72 hours followed by resolution phase which is characterized by deep sleep.
Migraine hangover: Many patient feel symptoms like malaise, fatigue and return of the head pain in similar location for a few seconds or minutes following coughing, sudden head movement.
Migraine Trigger Factors
Conditions which can trigger migraine are numerous. Some of them are given below.
- Aspartame artificial sweetener
- Bright light
- Caffeine, use of coffee and chocolate.
- Champagne and beer consumption
- Changes in the weather
- Drugs such as nitrates
- Fishes like Sardines, anchovies, pickled herrings
- Food like cheese and nuts
- Lack of proper water intake.
- Loud noise
- Low blood sugar
- MSG (Monosodium glutamate)
- Peanut butter
- Shortness of sleep, irregular sleep, or too much sleep
- Sour cream or yogurt
- Strong smelling products like perfumes
Some medical conditions which can be present with migraine are given below.
- Any heart related problem
- Back pain
- Childhood vomiting
- Fibromyalgia (Rheumatic condition characterized by muscular or musculoskeletal pain with stiffness and localized tenderness at specific points on the body)
- High blood pressure
Cases of migraine is seen more in women which is almost 13-18% of the population. In men, it is about 5-10% of the population.
According to research, aura related migraine can be due to cortical spreading depression which is slow process involving cortical function of brain at a speed of about 3 mm per minute. Cause of migraine is due to disruption in normal functioning of brain. Another theory suggests that migraine result from widening of blood vessels which surrounds the brain. But it is not still clear what causes migraine.
Homeopathic Remedies for Migraine
Homeopathic can help in management of migraine attacks. The best thing is that is without any side-effect. Some of the homeopathic remedies are listed in following paragraph.
Cocculus indicus: It is very effective remedy for migraine when patient experiences vertigo and nausea along with pain. It is a remedy where pain is felt in front part of head and in left orbit. This pain is worse from eating, drinking, staring up, walking in fresh, from riding in vehicle, boat, train or cars. In women this pain is seen at each menstrual period. This pain is associated with nausea and patient has inclination to vomit. This remedy in general acts on one-half of the body. It is best suited to light haired females, especially during pregnancy associated with marked nausea and backache. These ladies have slowness of mind with profound sadness. There is also sense of emptiness in the head. Headache is worse when riding on vehicle especially carriage.
Cocculus indicus Dosage: For adults and children- 30, 4 pellets 2 times a day for 4 days until the symptom is relieved.
Gelsemium: In this pain is felt in half side of head with dim sight or double vision. It is given when the pain is preceded by great sensitiveness to notice. Pain comes on suddenly with vertigo and great heaviness of head. Pain is so severe that patient is in semi-stupor state. The pain is localised in back side of head with heaviness of head. Pain extend to upper cervical region down to shoulders. This pain is better when patient sits and bend head high on pillow. The pain is worse by mental exertion or patient does any study. This kind headache ends with profuse urination. This remedy can be given when patient is exhausted and feeling weakness from heat of sun. He has bad effects of sunstroke. This weakness is also seen their circulation. It is given in cases where patient feel heaviness of head with band like sensation around the head. He feels pain in back of head. Pain is so severe that patient feel heaviness of the eyelids. This pain is better by compression and lying with the head high. This remedy should be given patient feel muscular soreness of the neck ans shoulders along with headache.
Gelsemium Dosage: For both adults and children-30, 4 pellets 2 times a day for 4 days until the symptom is relieved.
Natrum Mur: This remedy is given in cases where attack begins in the morning in bed. It diminishes after rising and doing moderate exercise, but becomes worse from rapid motion. The pain is accompanied by nausea and vomiting of transparent phlegm or water. Patient feels dull, heavy headache with profusion of tears. He feels drowsy as he not refresh from sleep. Headache before, during and after menses. Pain is so severe that patient feel as if head would burst. Pain is felt worse by coughing. It is given in cases where patient feel great throbbing and blinding headache. He feels as if a thousand little hammers were knocking on the brain in the morning on awakening. This pain is often seen after sunrise to sunset. This remedy is given to patient with pale face having nausea, vomiting. Headache can be seen due to eyestrain and at time of menses. Before attack, numbness and tingling in the lips can also be seen. The pain is often relieved by sleep. It is also a good remedy for sinusitis.
Natrum Mur Dosage: for both adults and children 200 3 pellets 3 times a day with less frequency as improvement is made.
Spigelia: This remedy is given when patient experiences terrible pain in eye with a feeling as if it were torn out. It is associated with dilatation and immobility of the pupil. Patient also experiences temporary blindness with boring, tearing, stitching pains in forehead. Pain is also felt inside of ears, in back part of head especially left side. This pain sometimes also have influence on facial nerve and produces paralytic condition. The pain is felt worse from touch or after washing. Patient is better from while washing. Patient has pain as if a band is present around head.
Spigelia Dosage: For adults and children: Dissolve 5 pellets in the mouth 3 times a day, for 3 days until symptoms are relieved or as directed by a physician.
Kali bichromicum: This remedy is given when patient feels blindness which is followed by violent headache. Pain is so severe, it compels patient to lie down. There is great dislike to light and noise. When the vision becomes clear, headache increases in intensity. Patient experiences frontal headache over one eye. This pain can also go to right side near ear. Patient also feel nausea with feeling of heat over body and bitter, sour vomiting. Sometimes pain can also be felt in small spots of head.
Kali bichromicum: For both adults and children- 30 4 pellets 2 times a day for 3 days with less frequency as improvement is made.
Management of Migraine
- Always do exercise. Keep your body healthy and fit
- Always follow a regular sleep routine. Try going to bed and awakening at the same time each day. Try to avoid oversleep.
- Always maintain a diary in which write down what you ate, drank or did before attack. It will help you to find out what trigger migraine.
- Avoid using bright lights. Always have sunglasses in bright sunny day.
- Keep a check on food habits. Eat and drink regularly. Dieting can sometimes trigger migraine. Eating high protein meals can reduce migraine attacks.
- Reduce stress to avoid stress do deep breathing exercises, yoga and meditation.
- Stop smoking-The odour of cigarette smoke can also trigger attacks.
- Use relaxation techniques in order to avoid migraine.
Other treatments of Migraine
Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs: The Primary Care Network reports the following may help with migraines:
- Riboflavin: 400 mg per day
- Magnesium: 400-600 mg per day
- Vitamin B Complex: 1 tablet per day.
- Feverfew: 1 capsule 3-4 times per day for one month. If effective, the dosage may be slowly decreased if desired. Avoid during pregnancy and when taking NSAIDS such as ibuprofen and Aleve (naproxen).
There is no cure for this condition. But by better diet, lifestyle and appropriate medicines it can be managed in better way.