Many individuals suffer from migraines without really understanding the inner workings of one. It is usually true that when you thoroughly understand something you are better able to deal with it. Seeing how dealing with a migraine can be difficult at best, knowing in advance what you might expect can be comforting.
There are many signs and symptoms of an approaching migraine. The signs and symptoms will be different one patient to the next and one attack may not be like another even with the same individual. The migraine is experienced in separate stages starting with the pre-attack phase, during the migraine attack, and after the migraine attack. There are names for the four phrases of the migraine.
The first phase of the migraine is the prodrome stage which typically happens hours or even days before the headache. The aura occurs immediately before the headache. The pain phrase is called by many, the “headache phrase”. The last phrase is referred to as the postdrome phase.
The prodrome stage happens to the individuals days or perhaps just hours before the onset of the headache. The aura does not always occur but when it does it precedes the headache and is often a premonition of the headache to come. Those who experience aura’s can make sure they take medication early on, in an effort to ward off the intensity of the oncoming headache.
The pain phrase is also called the, “headache phase” and is of course when the pain is present. The postdrome phase is when the individual feels the aftereffects of the headache including feeling tired, experiencing cognitive difficulties, perhaps having gastrointestinal problems, feeling fatigued or weak and having mood changes.
Occasionally someone may feel refreshed or euphoric, even lightheadedness after a migraine attack. The fatigue can be so bad during this phase that some individuals take a 5 or 6-hour nap during this phase. Sleep is usually the best remedy because typically after a good night rest individuals will be able to return to normal functioning the next day.
Researchers, doctors and patients have identified many possible triggers for migraines including food interactions, allergic reactions, certain scents, bright lights, loud noises, stress that can come in the form of physical or emotional, sleep pattern changes, exposure to tobacco smoke or being a smoker, fasting, alcohol consumption, hormonal fluctuations especially when associated with the menstrual cycle or taking birth control pills or the fluctuations that occur when the woman enters pre-menopausal or menopause phases of life. Tension headaches can also trigger a migraine headache adding “insult to injury” so to speak.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from migraines making an appointment with your doctor will enable you to be diagnosed and have the opportunity to develop a treatment plan along with your doctor so that you can prevent future migraines or at least lessen their affect on your life. No one should have to live with the pain and discomforts of migraines, especially when they can be so debilitating in nature. Life is worth living and it should not include living with pain when the pain can be treated or prevented.
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