What Symptoms?

Intense headache that occurs at the front or on one side of the head.

Other symptoms commonly you may have with a migraine include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • increased sensitivity to light and sound, which is why many people with a migraine want to rest in a quiet, dark room

Some people also occasionally experience other symptoms including sweating, poor concentration, feeling very hot or very cold, abdominal pain and diarrhea

Types of migraine, including:

  • migraine with aura – where there are warning signs before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights
  • migraine without aura – where the migraine occurs without warning signs
  • migraine aura without headache, also known as silent migraine – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but no headache

Causes of migraines

The exact cause of migraines is unknown, although they are thought to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain.
It’s not clear what causes this change in brain activity, but it is possible that your genes make you more likely to experience migraines as a result of a specific trigger.

Migraine triggers

Many possible migraine triggers have been suggested, including hormonal, emotional, physical, dietary, environmental and medicinal factors.

Hormonal changes

Some women experience migraines around the time of their period, possibly because of changes in the levels of hormones such as oestrogen around this time.

Emotional triggers:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • tension
  • shock
  • depression
  • excitement

Physical triggers:

  • tiredness
  • sleep problem
  • shift work
  • poor posture
  • neck or shoulder tension
  • jet lag
  • low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
  • strenuous exercise, if you are not used to it

Dietary triggers:

  • missed, delayed or irregular meals
  • dehydration
  • alcohol
  • the food additive tyramine
  • caffeine products, such as tea and coffee
  • specific foods such as chocolate, citrus fruit and cheese

Environmental triggers:

  • bright lights
  • flickering screens, such as a television or computer screen
  • smoking (or smoky rooms)
  • loud noises
  • changes in climate, such as changes in humidity or very cold temperatures
  • strong smells
  • a stuffy atmosphere

Medication:

  • some types of sleeping tablets
  • the combined oral contraceptive pills
  • hormone replacement therapy( HRT)

Diagnosis

There is no specific test to diagnose migraines. For an accurate diagnosis to be made, your doctor must identify a pattern of recurring headaches along with the associated symptoms.
To help with the diagnosis, it can be useful to keep a diary of migraine attacks for a few weeks. Note down details including the date, time, what you were doing when the migraine began, how long the attack lasted, what symptoms you experienced and what medication you took (if any).

It may also be helpful to make a note of the food ate that day and, for women, when you started your period, as this can help your doctor identify potential triggers.

Treatment

There are no cure for migraine but many treatment available for migraine

  • Pain killer , anti-sickness tablet and combinations
  • Triptans- tablet, nasal spray

Preventing migraine

There are many ways migraine can be prevented:

  • Identifying and avoiding triggers
  • Medication and supplements

Acupuncture
If medication is unsuitable, or it doesn’t help to prevent migraines, you may want to consider acupuncture.

A course of up to 10 sessions over a five to eight week period may be beneficial.