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Friday, May 21, 2010


I had already posted this article about migraine in February of 2008. I am reposting this as requested by a friend. Here are some tips that might be helpful to you if you are a migraine sufferer.

Migraine is intermittent chronic headache. Among the symptoms are:
1. Severe throbbing headache often on one side.
2. Nausea associated with severe headache
3. Sensitivity to light (photophobia),
4. Sensitivity to sound (phonophobia)
5. Sensitivity to odor (osmophobia)

There are migraine sufferers who experience visual disturbance, such as flashing or bright spots that blocks an area of vision before the attack. Soon as this visual disturbance disappears headache follows. Some would experience numbness in the arm or face, or weakness of an arm and face. Throbbing pain may start from one side of the eye, temple of even on top of the head. Followed by intense pain, that deprives a sufferer from any movement that increases the flow of blood to the head because it could be more painful. Nausea is associated with migraine. Despite the intense pain at the onset of the attack some migraine suffers would rather give way to vomiting due to the relief it offers.

The first stage of migraine headache is due to blood vessel constriction or narrowing of the blood vessels reducing the blood flow to the brain. The second stage, the most painful is dilation or inflammation of the blood vessel. At the first stage of migraine attack it would be helpful to place a cold compress on the head where the pain is more intense. A cup of strong coffee is also recommended to alleviate the pain. Although the cause is unknown for migraine, it would be helpful to avoid or lessen intake of red wine, eating chocolates and cheese. These foods and drinks have chemical substance called tyramine. Tyramine triggers migraine attack.

Exercise does help and swimming is a good exercise for migraine sufferers. Swimming increases levels of oxygen in the blood. By raising the oxygen level, it relaxes constricted blood vessels that enable better blood circulation reducing, if not all eliminating, migraine attack. When I learned about swimming in relation to migraine in my search to control my migraine attack I tried to learn how to swim. Kudos to a lady friend who had patiently watched over me as I gulped maybe a bucket of water before I finally learned to cross a twenty-five meter swimming pool. I was so engrossed in swimming then, and I had observed I had not had an attack for a year.

At the beginning of migraine attack, it is best recommended to take medicines at once. When the pain is in full blown, it would take minutes even hours for the pain to subside. Out of the counter medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin acetaminophen, ergotamine and sumatriptan are known pain relievers for migraine. But children should not be given sumatriptan. Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers are useful as well if taken daily, these could reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attack.


Jill Wellington said...

I feel very fortunate I do not suffer migraine headaches. Any kind of headache seems bad to me. I hope your tips help those who suffer.

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beanizer_05 said...

wow! this post is very helpful to a migraine sufferer like me..

like what you've said, i usually put a cold compress when the pain is starting to kill me..(a tray of ice would do)..
i never thought coffee can help..
but one thing i know i can't survive a day w/o, im a coffee-addict!!

another prob, i don't know how to swim! 'bout walking back & forth in the pool instead???...

Luke said...

I suffer from the occasional migraine, it has been better for the last year now. I find I am sensitive to light and flickering florescent light, the weather and changes in air pressure. I use the local Bodrex as I live in Indonesia and it works really well.
My symptoms are tunnel vision and streaks of light followed by the worst headache.
But normally I can identify the symptons early enough not for it to turn into a headace.
Thank you your blog is useful especially the swimming as I swim now every day and have for the past year. So might explain a few things!!

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