Migraines: Not Just A Bad Headache

By: Carol Bell

A migraine is a complaint that is quite often suffered by other family members, all of which have probably been experiencing them from a young age. Often these attacks can last for days where the victim must seek bed rest; however, if it is treated, they can end in a matter of hours. These attacks also leave the suffer feeling exhausted and might take them a while to recover fully.

Some sufferers only experience only one attack per year whereas for someone who is liable to frequent attacks, this in the range of one or two every month. Some symptoms seem to be consistent with most victims; those of a feeling like those associated with cold or influenza and a problem with bright lights. Migraine can affect people from as young as ten and up to the age of forty; however, by the time someone reaches fifty, attacks almost never occur.

It is quite common for members of the same family group to suffer with migraine attacks; however, science has not yet proved that there is a genetic factor at work. There is a condition that causes an inflammation of blood vessels in the brain and it is possible that people who suffer have sensitivity in this area. Science cannot as yet explain why this condition is more likely to affect women than men but women have a three times greater chance of having the condition than men; however, the chance of a man experiencing the condition on a regular basis is only one in twelve.

Another symptom that is not consistent is those people that know when they are going to have an attack anything up to 30 minutes before it happens; this sensation is called migraine with aura owing to the type of feeling they experience. A number of different warning signs have been exhibited such as queasiness, blinking or zigzagging lights, reduction in the sensations of taste and problems speaking.

Other symptoms exist but these appear to be the most common. Migraine sufferers who do not have any warning are said to have attack without aura but still suffer extreme pain; this condition can escalate and is made worse by any movement, loud noises and bright lights which can cause the person to vomit.

Whilst the exact reason why some people suffer with migraine still eludes medical science, the theory that the narrowing of blood vessels to the brain is the closest they have come to discovering a migraines cause. It might be that it is the expansion of the blood vessels afterwards that causes the headache; however, all suffers say the attack knocks them out and they are unable to carry out even the most simple of daily tasks. There are many possible triggers for an attack such as adverse weather conditions, food belonging to certain groups, altitude, drinks, powerful bright lighting, poor sleep patterns and stress caused by personal problems.

Monitoring and recording the triggers in a diary can help avoid future attacks so it is something that all sufferers must learn to carry out.

Headaches
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Headaches