Migraine: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

We all have headaches sometimes, but migraines are a different story. This attack of headaches can sometimes last for days. Often you also have other symptoms such as nausea or hypersensitivity to light. With severe migraines you can hardly do anything anymore and taking rest is the only option. How does migraine occur, what symptoms can you experience and how do you reduce any complaints? In this blog we give explanations and tips if you suffer from migraines. So that you can quickly enjoy the daily things again without complaints! Migraines are more common in women than men. 

Did you know that almost 70,000 Dutch people have a migraine attack every day? 

What is migraine? 

Migraine is a brain disorder; an attack of severe headache, which can sometimes last for hours to days. The headache is usually on one side of the head and is pounding or throbbing.

If you suffer from migraines, you are often nauseous and / or hypersensitive to smell, sound and light. This has a major impact on your daily life. During a migraine attack, most people withdraw and go to bed to rest. 

Unfortunately, it is not always clear to outsiders what impact migraine has. It’s not a matter of taking a painkiller and moving on (which isn’t a good idea anyway, regardless of your complaint). 

Different types of migraine 

Migraines are often triggered by something, but it is not always clear what the trigger is. If you suffer from migraines, it is good to first find out the cause. The different types of migraine:

1. Migraine due to hormones 

If you have migraines, you are more sensitive to stimuli than other people. Some women get an attack of migraine around their period, this is due to changes in the hormones (estrogen). 

2. Migraine with aura 

During the aura phase, a kind of short circuit occurs in the back of your brain. Your brain cells suddenly become very active, which can cause flashes of light, spots or tingling. About 1 in 3 people suffer from this. Sometimes you also get tingling or numbness in your face, arm or hand. 

3. Chronic migraine 

Do you suffer from a severe migraine that lasts two weeks or more? Then we talk about chronic migraine. Often this is the result of taking too many painkillers or medication.

Causes of migraine 

It is not entirely clear what the exact cause of migraines is. However, something goes wrong in the brain, causing it to become overstimulated. Your brain gets confused, this starts in the brain stem. From the brain stem, signals are transmitted via the nervous system to the rest of the brain and meninges. The headache is caused by stimulation of the meninges. 

Can you prevent migraines? Although the causes of migraines are somewhat vague, migraines are more common in people who: 

  • sleeping too little 
  • eating too little 
  • not taking enough rest 
  • suffering with depression
  • suddenly stop drinking caffeine 
  • drink alcohol/red wine regularly 
  • have migraines in the family 
  • Have food sensitivities

Migraine in women 

Women suffer from migraines more often than men, this is due to the change in female hormones. For example, many women suffer from migraines before, during or after their period (menstrual migraine). Or with pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause.

After the transition, the attacks almost always stop. This type of migraine is most common in women between the ages of 25 and 50 and usually without aura. 

Tip: are you a woman and do you suffer from migraines? Then avoid medication with female hormones (estrogen) such as the contraceptive pill. This can make your migraines worse! 

Did you know that children can also suffer from migraines? This mainly manifests itself in nausea and vomiting. The attacks generally don’t last very long. 

Symptoms migraine 

Migraine is not comparable to an ordinary headache. If you’ve had both, you’ll clearly notice the difference between the two. How often migraines come back is very different. Some people have an attack once a year, others twice a month. An attack of migraine often goes into several stages:

Phase 1: Complaints prior to migraine 

Most people feel a migraine coming in advance. This can be a few hours in advance, but sometimes also days. It differs enormously per person how migraines manifest themselves. Prior to migraines, you may suffer from fatigue, muscle pain, gloom or suddenly have more appetite for certain foods. 

Phase 2: During an attack of migraine 

An attack lasts from a few hours to several days. Usually you suffer from a severe, throbbing headache that comes in several ‘waves’. In addition, many people with migraines have the following symptoms: 

  • headache 
  • nausea 
  • vomit 
  • difficulty talking 
  • limited field of view 
  • sensitivity to sound, light and smell 
  • see colors and spots 
  • tingling in the face numbness in arm or hand

Stage 3: After an attack of migraine 

If the migraine is over, you are often not immediately rid of all complaints. Most people still have headaches after a migraine attack. Your body has used a lot of energy, so you can be quite tired. Sometimes it takes a while before you can concentrate properly again. The symptoms after a migraine attack, just like the migraine itself, can last for several hours to days. 

People with migraines are more likely to have other conditions, such as depression, fainting, sleep disorders and epilepsy. 

Tips for migraines 

As you have read above before, it is good to find out what the possible cause of your migraine may be. Keep track of when you have an attack, how long it lasts, what you did at that moment (or before) etc. By gaining more insight, you may find a pattern.

It sounds a bit clich√©, but you are less likely to have a migraine if you live a healthy lifestyle. Get enough sleep, reduce stress, exercise regularly, drink enough water and eat healthy. 

Do you still have a migraine attack? Here’s what you can do: 

  • take an immediate rest 
  • lie down in a quiet and dark room 
  • let others know you suffer from migraines 
  • possibly take some painkillers if there is no other way

Chiropractic and migraine 

With migraine, medication is often prescribed, but this does not help solve the cause. Fortunately, there is good news: chiropractic is not only effective for the pain that migraines cause, but also helps to stop and prevent migraine attacks. A chiropractor brings the nervous system back into balance! Do you suffer from migraines and would you like to get rid of them in a natural way? Would you like to reduce your symptoms and get rid of those annoying headaches? Then make an appointment now for an initial consultation.

You do not need a referral from the doctor for this. We have already helped many people with migraines, you are in the right place with us!

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