Migraines: What A Headache!

migraine headaches
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/dBl-tI7SBtE

Migraines….whew! For anyone who has them, they know just how painful and/or debilitating they can be. They are more than just a common headache and can greatly affect everyday life and activities depending on the frequency (how often they occur), level of pain intensity or severity, and the duration or length of the migraine episode. Some people only get them occasionally, while others are knocked out by migraines on several days every month (1).

Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with migraine (2). They can affect men, women, and children. Migraines are more than just a headache or chronic headache because they also have neurological involvement of nerve pathways and chemicals. The changes in brain activity affect blood in the brain and surrounding tissues, causing a range of symptoms (3). Although, head pain or headache is one of the symptoms that can occur with a migraine the other symptoms can occur in the absence of head pain. In addition to severe head pain, migraine sufferers may experience some or all of the following symptoms (3):

*Nausea and/or vomiting
*Changes in speech
*Increased sensitivity to light, sound, or smells
*Pulsating or throbbing sensation in the head
*Dizziness (usually felt on one side of the head but can be on be felt on both sides in some cases)
*Extreme fatigue            
                                                                  

While migraines may be common for some, the triggers amongst migraine sufferers vary. Additionally, since there is still work in progress to better understand this condition and its causes treatment plans and options may look like a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and other supportive therapies. What a combination looks like for one migraine sufferer may differ from another migraine sufferer’s combination.  Though a specific cause of migraines has yet to be identified, there are known triggers that can help to direct you towards beginning the journey towards making changes that may be effective to help support your body and system. Some triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Hormones- changes in hormones, gender and hormone shifts, etc.
  • Environmental- changes in weather, exposure to environmental toxins, allergies, etc
  • Dietary factors- poor diet, food allergies/sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, etc.
  • Genetics- about 90% of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine(2)

If you are struggling to identify what your triggers are or have already identified your triggers and need some additional support on your team to figure out what other changes or therapies to incorporate into your regimen then contact Balanced Healing to see how our skilled providers and practitioners can help you.

Elena Alisma, ND

References

1.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279373/
2.) https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/
3.) https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/november/migraines-vs-headaches
4.) https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5005-migraine-headaches
5.) https://www.healthline.com/health/migraine/headache-and-migraine-blogs#1

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