Many migraine non-sufferers simply dismiss the condition as a simple headache that can go away simply by going to sleep and resting, the real sufferers say this is not as easy at that. The pain experienced during a migraine attack is often debilitating and highly uncomfortable. In some cases, those who have migraine even resort to vomiting because of the very intense pain.
Migraine, which is characterized by painful headaches that often caused by nerve tension and inflammations, is not something that goes away easily.
The Phases And Cases Of A Migraine Attack
When people talk about migraine, they only often refer to the intense pain that is associated with the condition. Why, people who don’t even know much about migraine simply wave it off as a severe headache that can be relieved by simply resting.
This is not true. Migraine is so intense a case that certain medications have been upgraded simply to combat the pain that goes with it. And what most people do not know is that migraine is not simply all about the pain. A case of migraine attacks actually comes in four phases.
For a person who experiences it, knowing and being able to identify each of these four phases when they occur can often save them from the agony of the pain proper itself. We will be introducing these four phases in brief here. But, before we begin, let us clarify first that not all phases happen when an attack is foreboding.
Migraine Phase I – Prodrome
This is referred to as the preheadache case and usually comes a few days or several hours before a migraine attack. Specialists call this the ‘yellow light’ because it serves as a signal to the person that a migraine is coming. During the prodrome phase, the person often experiences symptoms like muscle, particularly neck, stiffness, sudden food cravings, frequent urination, irratability and depression, diarrhea or constipation and fatigue.
Migraine Phase II – Aura
This migraine phase lasts less than one hour and is often signalled by visual and other sensory distortions. A person in the aura phase may find it difficult to feel things around him. Or he may experience the extreme and become hypersensitive. It is also in the aura phase that the person will find speech difficulties and even partial paralysis. Some sufferers say they develop vertigo.
Migraine Phase III – Headache
This is the most painful part of the migraine case. During this stage, the pain is often not just centered on the head but also to the whole body, causing some form of paralysis. The pain is often so intense that no amount of words will be able to qualify and quantify the experience. It can be accompanied by vomiting, chills, severe anxiety and may be worsened if you engage in any physical activity.
Migraine Phase IV – Postdrome
When the headache phase is over, it doesn’t mean that the migraine attack also is. Most migraine episodes take hours and days to go away, so a sufferer may have to endure a long period before he can fully function normally again.
This phase is often linked with the medications taken during the migraine attack itself, as the patient may feel slightly woozy or hungover from the entire experience. At this stage, the migraine sufferer may experience extreme tiredness, poor concentration and reflexes and polar emotions (like extreme euphoria or depression).
As said earlier, not all migraine cases pass through all the four stages. However, it is best to be aware of what happens with each one so that the headache phase would be addressed even before it happens. People who can easily identify the earlier phases leading to the worst headache will be able to steer clear from it by taking the medications necessary before it gets aggravated.
For those who get migraine attacks often and at intermittent periods, the best way to combat them is by taking supplements and treatments to relieve the pain, or subjecting themselves to devices and tools to reduce its impact.
Actually, medications for migraine were first discovered in other drugs used for other purposes. Now, laboratories all over the world and doctors are continuously seeking and developing new forms of migraine relief treatments, to the point that there is currently an insanely long list of drugs that are available.
Here are some of the most popular migraine medications with their respective generic names.
The most common ACE inhibitors in the market are Lotensin (Benazepril), Prinivil (Lisinopril), Capoten (Captopril) and Vasotec (Enalapril).
Beta blocking migraine treatments include Tenormin (Atenolol), Cartrol (Cartelol), Blocadren (Timolol), Secral (Acebutolol), Normodyne (Labetalol), Lopressor (Metoprolol) and Syn-Pindolol (Pindolol).
Examples are Remeron (Mirtazapine) and Tenex (Guanfacine).
Calcium Channel Blockers
The most recommended calcium channel blockers are Vascor (Bepridil), Nimotop (Nimodipine), Norvasc (Amlopidine), Adalat (Nifedipine), Calan (Verapamil) and Plendil (Felodipine).
Several doctors also recommended antidepressants as migraine treatments, like Asendin (Amoxapine), Norpramin (Desipramine) and Tofranil (Imipramine).
Other drugs like neuronal stabilizing agents (or antiseizure medications), leukotriene blockers, ergot alkaloids and dietary supplements, such as magnesium, fevewfew, riboflavin, 5-HTP, lecithin, butterbur and melatonin have also been found to be effective for several migraine phases.
Migraine is also often linked with increased serotonin levels in the body, which aid the inflammation of certain nerves that aggravate the pain that goes with migraine attacks. Thus, physicians also recommend selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatments like Celexa (Citalopram), Prozac (Fluoxetine), Paxil (Paroxetine), Zoloft (Sertraline) and Lexapro (Escitalopram oxalate). Other antidepressant treatments that have been found to be effective against migraine include Zyban, Remeron, Effexor and Desyrel.
There are a lot migraine relief treatments out there and you have all the time in the world to look around for the best one that fits your specific needs. But a do-it-yourself approach may often be very costly on your part. Instead, consult your physician for the most compatible treatment for you. The less time you consume trying out all sorts of drugs, the faster it will be for you to gain relief.
Natural Remedies For Migraines
A lot of people often dismiss migraines as simple headaches that go away even without much intervention or by simply sleeping the pain off. That is how a person who has never experienced migraine would react to the condition. However, migraine attacks are actually more than just headaches, as serious sufferers would attest. The pain is a lot more searing that no amount of words or explanation will be able to fully qualify and quantify its negative effects on the people it strikes.
With this in mind, a lot of migraine remedies have been introduced in the market, each with the goal and promise of relieving, or at least reducing, the pain that goes with each painful episode. There are many medications available and more being discovered and developed every day and one can only develop a greater headache with the plethora of treatments to choose from.
Some people say the natural way is always the best way. Thus, natural migraine remedies were born and introduced. While almost all drugs and treatments rightfully claim to be effective in fighting the ill effects of migraine, treatments that are created by natural means are usually considered safer to use and a lot less costly than regular medications.
In fact, some natural migraine remedies have even been found to be more effective than over the counter pain drugs. But don’t take this article’s word for it. As experts say, how people respond to migraine attacks vary. People’s body chemistries differ. What may work for one may not have the same effect in another.
Natural migraine remedies do not promise to completely eliminate the side effects often linked with traditional medications, but, hey, it wouldn’t hurt to try right?
An example of a natural migraine remedy is 5-HTP. 5-HTP is extracted from an African herb called Griffonia simplicifolia, but our body also produces it. What it can do is help regulate sleep, mood, nerve and other brain functions in our body. In the event of a migraine episode, the levels of 5-HTP in our body go down, thereby needing the aid of supplements.
However, pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid taking it. The same goes for people with autoimmune conditions and liver problems. While there has been no blatant danger seen when these people take 5-HTP for migraine relief, its effects on them still have not been proven either.
People on other drugs should also avoid taking 5-HTP simultaneously as they may clash and lead to complications. Taking 5-HTP in excess may also lead to vomiting and nausea, increased sleepiness and muscle pain, as well as anxiety and tremors. So make sure you talk to your doctor to determine up to what level is safe for your specific migraine level.
Other natural migraine remedies include feverfew, which is also a medicinal herb, riboflavin supplements and magnesium supplements. Several migraine sufferers have sworn to the effectiveness of these remedies in reducing pain. You must be careful, though, not to take them in excess, as they can also lead to side effects like nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. As they all say, anything taken in excess is bad.
When considering if taking natural migraine remedies is for you, keep in mind what was said earlir — that reactions to migraine remedies differ from person to person. Thus, before taking anything, it’s still best to consult your physician first to be on the safe side.