A migraine is defined as a severe painful headache which is often accompanied by blind spots, nausea, vomiting, flashes of light, and even tingling in the arms and legs. The pain which comes as a result of these severe headaches can last up to several days. While explaining a migraine, a top Neurologist in Gurgaon says
When one experiences migraine, it makes the nervous system respond with actions of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. This in turn delays the emptying of the stomach’s contents into the small intestine decreasing the blood circulation (which leads to cold feet and hands) and increasing one’s sensitivity to light and sound.
Causes of a Migraine
The causes of a migraine can be varied – it can be either due to the enlargement of blood vessels, or the nerve fibers (wrapped around the blood vessels) releasing chemicals or even a combination of the two. As a result of this, inflammation and further enlargement of the blood vessels might occur.
A lot of people who suffer from a migraine are able to understand and identify triggers that cause headaches. Commonly, most of the people consider the following as triggers:
- Bright lights
- Loud noises
- Specific perfumes or smells
- Stress (physical or emotional)
- Irregular sleep
- Regular Smoking or second-hand smoking
- Skipping meals/fasting
- Allergies or allergic reactions
- Birth control pills
- Menstrual cycle fluctuations
- Onset of menopause
- Chocolates, peanut butter, avocado, nuts, banana, onions and dairy products
- Fermented or pickled food items.
- Food items which contain tyramine (including red wine, figs, chicken livers, and some beans) or monosodium glutamate (MSG)
The triggers mentioned above are more to be taken as guidelines instead of hard and fast rules. One should understand that triggers will not cause migraines all the time, nor does avoiding such triggers will help you completely prevent a migraine.
Changing certain aspects of lifestyle can help in reducing migraine. Typically, one should do the following –
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep
- Reduce emotional and physical stress in one’s life
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily
- Exercise regularly
When to visit the doctor?
Despite bringing changes in life and staying away from triggers, if migraines have gone from bad to worse then one should an experienced neurologist. It is always a good idea to ask a friend or a family member to accompany you.
- Your headaches become more severe
- You start experiencing problems with your balance, movement, speech or vision, especially if these symptoms are ones you haven’t experienced before with your migraines
- If a fever accompanies your headache
- If you also have a stiff neck along with your headache