Migraine Treatment: Medications, Symptoms, Causes

Migraine headaches can be painful and frustrating, but there are several treatment options available that can help. You don’t have to suffer through it! Different preventative measures and cures are available to help relieve migraines. The specific guidelines below on how to cure a migraine will help you navigate the treatment process easily and effectively.

What Is A Migraine?

Unlike normal headaches, a migraine can be extremely painful and even unbearable at times. It is usually described as a throbbing or pulsing sensation on one side of the head. It can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, which makes it unpredictable and difficult to deal with. Other symptoms that can accompany a migraine include nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light and sound. For some people, a migraine can be a one-time experience. However, for a lot of others, it can be a reoccurring medical condition. It can often hinder people’s ability to carry out their daily activities.

A migraine headache can interfere in your ability to carry out daily activities.

Part of the diagnosis of a migraine can come from the identification of “aura”, a warning symptom that can occur before or during the headache. An aura can cause a disturbance in vision such as blind spots, or other unpleasant sensations like a tingling feeling on one side of the face or in an arm or leg. It may also lead to difficulty in speaking. If you notice any of these warning signs, it should make you aware that you are about to experience a migraine. The faster you can take preventative action, the better can be the chances of avoiding migraines.

There are ways that you can treat a migraine headache and make it less painful. You can make use of various over-the-counter medications and natural remedies to help relieve the pain. However, for a potentially permanent cure to migraines, the best solution would be to build a healthier lifestyle over time.

How to Cure A Migraine Headache

There are different ways of treating migraines and you may have to try more than one. It is entirely possible to make a migraine go away if you follow the right treatment steps. That aside, it is recommended that you consult a migraine treatment specialist if you’re having trouble with a migraine headache.

For starters, as soon as you realize you have a migraine, you should move to a dark and quiet room. You need to be in an environment where you are not exposed to any bright light or sound. Also, keep some water with you and keep drinking it throughout the day to ensure that you stay properly hydrated. Lastly, try to keep yourself as stress-free as possible when you are suffering from a migraine headache.

Migraine Medications

If you want to get rid of the pain as soon as possible, then painkillers are the way to go. The type of drugs you take to treat migraines depends on whether you’re looking for immediate relief from pain or a long-term solution. In most cases, you probably want both. However, you should always consult a doctor before using any medication, especially if you intend to use it long-term. This is because medications can affect people in different ways.

According to Mayo Clinic, there are two types of medicines you can take for a migraine:

Pain Relievers: For immediate relief, you should take painkillers as soon as you feel like you might be experiencing a migraine. The longer you wait, the more severe the pain is likely to get, and the harder it may get to cure. Therefore, it is advisable to not let the headache get worse before acting. Easily available, over-the-counter tablets, such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen (like Advil), or Paracetamol can help reduce the symptoms.A good alternative to these drugs can be soluble tablets that can be dissolved in water. Your body will most likely absorb these faster than regular tablets, which may lead to more immediate relief from pain. Moreover, if you also experience nausea or vomiting and it hinders you from swallowing painkillers, suppositories can prove to be a better option. However, you should consult a doctor before using these. Meanwhile, another type of pain reliever is migraine relief medications. These drugs combine caffeine, aspirin and, acetaminophen (Excedrin Migraine) and even though this can help alleviate the pain, it does so only to a limited extent.

Painkiller medication.

Triptans: These are prescription drugs like sumatriptan (Imitrex, Tosymra) and rizatriptan (Maxalt), used to treat migraines. Triptans cure migraines by the process of blocking neural pain pathways in the brain. These drugs are usually consumed as pills, shots, or nasal sprays. Your doctor may prescribe these drugs to you to treat migraines.

Preventive medications: Yes, prevention can often be better than treatment. Taking preventative medications can be a highly effective way to get rid of migraines. To get the best results, you would have to take these drugs daily, for a specific period. The type of preventative medicine that your doctor may prescribe to you will depend on the severity and frequency of your migraines.

Options include:

– Blood pressure-lowering medications
– Antidepressants
– Anti-seizure drugs
– Botox injections
– Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies

Natural (Home) Remedies for Treating Migraine

  • Maintain A Healthy Diet:

How many times have you heard this one before? There is a reason doctors and health physicians emphasize on maintaining a healthy diet. You might be consuming foods that trigger migraines, such as caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, or too many processed food items. Prevention can often be the first step towards a permanent migraine cure. Therefore, it is important to maintain a daily diet that does not put you at risk of migraines and keeps your overall health in check.

Maintain a healthy diet, full of lots of vegetables, fruits, and nutrient-rich foods.
  • Reduce Stress Levels:

It is no surprise that stress makes everything worse. It can also be a common trigger for a migraine. Moreover, constant stress can end up creating a toxic cycle where a migraine increases the stress, which then triggers another migraine. To prevent this from happening, it is crucial to avoid all forms of stress. Finding healthy outlets to relieve stress, such as exercise, writing, or meditation, can be a good idea. Other stress relievers can be a hot bath or music therapy!

Therapists helping women reduce stress during bioenergy therapy.
  • Use Ginger:

Ginger has various health and medicinal benefits. According to a study published in 2014, the effectiveness of ginger powder was comparable to the drug sumatriptan,  used to treat migraine. After trying it on a hundred participants, the researchers discovered that ginger was statistically comparable to sumatriptan. Interestingly, the participants were willing to alternate the medicine for ginger. As ginger does not cause any harm, it might be worth a shot.

Ginger power.
  • Essential Oils:

Another home remedy that you can make use of is essential oils. Lavender is an essential oil that can help relieve stress, anxiety, and headaches. Inhaling lavender oil may help relieve stress and reduce migraine pain. However, this has not been proven.

Organic essential oils.
  • Get A Massage

A good massage can help reduce muscle stress in the neck and shoulders, which can, in turn, help lessen the pain of a migraine headache. While experiencing a migraine, you must ensure to reduce your stress levels, and massages are a great way to do this. You could either self-massage or get somebody to give you a massage. The areas to target should be right under the backside of your head, your neck, and along your shoulders and back.

Try getting a head massage to help relieve the pain of a migraine.
  • Herbal Supplements

Butterbur and feverfew are among some herbal supplements that may aid in treating a migraine headache. According to the American Migraine Foundation, Petasites – a herb from the butterbur shrub – was shown to reduce migraine frequency in three randomized studies. It took a daily dose of 150 mg of butterbur taken over three months to see improvement. Meanwhile, the researchers suggested that feverfew seemed to be less effective than the butterbur herb. However, there can be some risks in using these herbs, hence it is important to consult a doctor before doing so.

Herbal Supplements.
  • Drink Lots of Water

As mentioned before, proper hydration is key to relieving any type of pain and maintaining better physical health, in general. Lack of water is a common migraine and headache trigger, and it is a problem that can be easily avoided. You should aim to keep yourself regularly hydrated as a form of preventative measure against migraines.

Hydrate properly, throughout the day.
  • Do Some Yoga

Yes, this may sound like a cliché, but it can work wonders! Moving your body can be a great way to reduce the tension in your muscles and relax your posture. Yoga is one of the best ways to do this. Yoga is a form of exercise which involves stretching your body in different poses while breathing deeply. As it improves blood flow and stretches your muscles, it can provide an effective form of relief from migraines. It can also help relax your mind, which is much needed if you are experiencing a migraine.

Young girl practicing yoga on the beach.

Can Homeopathy Cure Migraine?

Have you ever considered homeopathy? We all have at some point. An alternative form of medicine, some people use it to treat different kinds of pain or medical conditions. There is no proven evidence that homeopathic medicine will always help but it has been known to be considerably effective at treating headaches and migraines. This type of medicine can help relieve pain, especially in cases when a headache is due to stress or fatigue. However, it may not work for everyone and can affect people differently. Therefore, if you are considering homeopathy, you should see a homeopathic physician to get the right diagnosis and prescription.

Acupuncture/Acupressure Treatment

Acupressure is a process through which you can apply pressure to certain points on the body to help alleviate your migraine pain. People believe that it helps relax the muscles and stimulates pressure points connected to the source of the pain. One of the most popular pressure points is the small space between the left thumb and pointer finger. By applying pressure to this area, you may help in decreasing the severity of your headache. However, this may not always work, and the effectiveness varies in people. It could still be worth a try!

Acupuncture Therapy.

Diagnosis: Migraine Symptoms

A migraine is not like a common headache. It is a lot more severe and usually occurs only on one side of the head. If you have experienced it before, you know exactly how much it sucks. However, in some cases, it can affect both sides of your head and even your face or neck.

Apart from the headache itself, the most common symptoms of a migraine are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound
  • Trouble concentrating

Other symptoms that are not as common may include:

  • Sweating
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Abdominal/stomach pain
  • Diarrhea

The symptoms of a migraine can last from 4 hours up to 3 days, and you may also continue to feel tired for a while after it happens. Therefore, it is crucial to take really good care of yourself and follow the right steps to treat the migraine as quickly as possible. Remember that you are not alone in this! There is always help available.

Causes of Migraine

Why do you get migraine headaches? In a lot of cases, migraines may come as a direct result of genetic history. In other words, it can run in the family. Environmental factors can also play a role. However, if this is not the case for you, other triggers linked to causing migraines include:

  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Stress
  • Sensory stimuli (environmental disturbances)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Sleep changes
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Weather changes
  • Medications (as a side effect)
  • Foods (such as processed foods)

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any further questions.

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