Migraine - a disease accompanied by bouts of intense headaches. This state flows quite brightly, specifically.
This is not a new disease - there are mentions in the attacks of the strongest headache in the most ancient treatises, manuscripts, historical records. The very same word "migraine" is of French origin, from where it came from the ancient Greek language.
It is translated as "half of the head", reflecting the very essence of this ailment.
Migraine is a chronic disease that occurs mainly in the female population of the planet. However, the cases of its occurrence in men can not be called a rarity either.
The disease can be quite rare (a few episodes per year), and it is relatively easy to proceed. But it also happens that migraine attacks occur daily, and the intensity of their manifestation is so high that a person cannot think of anything except an unbearable headache. Most often, this ailment reminds of itself 2-8 times a month.
Specific therapy is not cheap, so most of the patients come to be content with only symptomatic treatment. But the worst thing is that permanent migraine attacks can lead to a partial or prolonged loss of working capacity, which sometimes even becomes the reason for establishing a disability to the patient.
Causes of migraine
Scientists have so far failed to establish the exact causes of migraine development. However, on the basis of centuries-old observations, some regularities of this pathology were recorded.
So, it has been established that, first of all, people intellectually developed and mentally active suffer from migraine attacks. That is, faces that work more with the head and not with the hands. Persons whose work is associated with high physical activity, suffer from migraines extremely rarely. And although many people try to explain the attacks of this ailment by various factors, it was not possible to confirm the correctness of their guesses.
Common causes of migraine include:
- the use of certain foods: hard aged cheeses, chocolate, red wine, mackerel fish, coffee, smoked products, etc .;
- stress, psycho-emotional upheaval, mental stress;
- taking certain groups of drugs (for example, hormonal contraceptives);
- meteorological dependence;
- intense, even excessive exercise;
- PMS in women.
Typically, patients with "experience" know exactly what provokes a migraine attack in them and, if possible, try to eliminate the influence of this factor on their body. However, this approach can only reduce the frequency of relapse of the disease, but to get rid of it in this way is completely impossible.
Migraine is accompanied by crushing, throbbing headaches in one half of the head. In this case, pain can capture the forehead, temple, eyes. Sometimes pain can begin from the back of the head, gradually spreading to other areas of the right or left side of the head.
Localization of pain is also variable. So, if at the present time it has appeared on the left side of the head, then, most likely, the next time it will be localized on the right. If each time the pain syndrome affects only one area of the head, then it is imperative to be examined by a doctor to eliminate the likelihood of organic brain damage.
Prodromal symptoms such as decreased concentration and general weakness may indicate a migraine attack. Postdromic condition (malaise that occurs after the end of a migraine attack) is accompanied by general weakness, feeling of weakness, drowsiness, yawning, pallor of the skin.
Migraine often leads to nausea, photophobia, fear of harsh and loud sounds. There is a worsening or complete loss of appetite. At the same time the headache becomes more intense when rising or walking.
In children, a migraine attack is accompanied by drowsiness. After the child has a little sleep, the pain passes.
Migraine is directly related to the female genital organs. That is why seizures often occur in women during PMS and menstruation. As a rule, menstrual migraine begins 48 hours after the start of menstruation. In addition, hormonal contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can cause or exacerbate an attack of intense headache.
According to its clinical course of migraine is:
- Vegetative, or panic. In this case, the migraine is accompanied by the occurrence of chills, palpitations, tearing, suffocation and swelling of the face.
- Associative. Such a migraine is characterized by the transition of a paroxysm of headache to a neurological deficit. For this form of the pathological process is characterized by the occurrence of cerebellar, aphatic, ophthalmoplegic and hemiplegic migraine.
- Katemenalnoy (menstrual). The name speaks for itself - such migraines occur during the menstrual period in women. This malaise is associated with a decrease in the level of estrogen in the blood in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
- Chronic. In this case, headache attacks occur 15 days for 1 month or more, for 3 months, or even longer. Gradually, the number of attacks increases, and eventually, they begin to appear daily. Along with this, the intensity of the headache is increasing.
There are 2 more types of migraine.
Migraine with aura is characterized by the occurrence of transient, visual, speech, sensory and motor disorders. A variation of this pathological condition is basilar migraine.
For a migraine of sleep, a headache attack is characteristic at night or in the morning after waking up.
If migraines began to recur frequently, it is imperative to consult a specialist - a neurologist. Diagnosis is based on collecting anamnesis and conducting a general examination of the patient.
It is important to understand that frequent headaches may indicate the presence of a brain tumor or vascular malformation. For the latter, developmental abnormalities are characteristic, under the influence of which the functions of the blood vessels are disturbed, as well as negative changes in their structure occur.
Since migraine is a very serious pathological condition, it is important to take into account the data of instrumental diagnostic methods. In order to determine the causes of this ailment, an MRI, CT scan of the brain, and also EEG are performed.
Migraine treatment should be carried out in two directions:
- Relief developed seizure.
- Preventing recurrence of headache.
Relief of attack
The patient should take only those drugs that were prescribed to him by the attending neurologist. If the attack proceeds with medium intensity and lasts no longer than 2 days, the doctor may resort to the appointment of analgesic drugs, including combined ones.
So, the following groups of medications well eliminate the attack of headaches:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - ibuprofen, paracetamol (can not be used for liver and kidney disease), aspirin (strictly contraindicated in the pathology of the gastrointestinal tract and bleeding tendency).
- Combination drugs based on codeine, paracetamol, phenobarbital and metamizole sodium.
- For headaches of high intensity and duration of more than 2 days, triptans are prescribed. They are available in the form of candles, sprays, solutions for injections, etc.
- Non-selective agonists (eg, ergotamine).
- Psychotropic drugs (as an auxiliary method of therapy) - Domperidone, Chlorpromazine, etc.
Triptans are medical preparations belonging to the group of serotonin derivatives. The mechanism of their action has several directions:
- reduce the sensitivity of the trigeminal facial nerve, thereby providing an analgesic effect;
- affect the blood vessels selectively, therefore, only the pulsation in the brain area is eliminated;
- have an impact solely on pain receptors, reducing their number, due to what pain is relieved.
For migraines with aura, Papazol helps well. But it is necessary to take it as soon as the first painful sensations arose.
Experimental treatments for migraine
Modern experimental methods of treatment of migraine involve hypnosis sessions, the use of special patches and the use of electronic devices. But the effectiveness of such therapeutic approaches has not yet been confirmed, so they need to be investigated more thoroughly.
Since disruption of cellular metabolism and activation of lipid peroxidation is given a special place in the pathogenesis of migraine, together with conventional drug therapy, the patient should be given drugs with antioxidant and metabolic properties. They improve the energy processes in the cells of the body, simultaneously protecting them from the damaging effects of free radicals.
A few years ago a scientific study was published, in which about 1,550 children and teenagers took part, who had frequent bouts of intense headaches. When conducting a biochemical study of blood plasma, scientists identified a deficiency in patients with coenzyme Q10. They concluded that the use of dietary supplements based on this substance will help alleviate some of the symptoms of pathology.
In another experiment, in which 42 people took part, the scientists compared the efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in a dose of 300 mg per day with the efficacy of placebo. The study revealed that coenzyme Q10 is more effective than the placebo method, and that it helps to reduce the intensity of headaches and nausea during migraine after 3 months from the start of treatment.
A group of plastic surgeons from the United States worked for 10 years on the theory that migraine attacks are often caused by muscle spasm located around the trigeminal nerve. As a result, they were able to prove that Botox injections help reduce pain, and the operation to remove the affected muscles completely eliminates unpleasant symptoms.
Ketogenic diet also helps to reduce the intensity of clinical manifestations of cluster migraine.
What to do at home?
Fully cure migraine will not succeed, but to reduce its intensity, and reduce the frequency of attacks is possible. To do this, follow these guidelines:
- To refuse from bad habits. Alcohol and nicotine have a detrimental effect on the blood vessels and the whole body.
- Develop a mode of work and rest. Constant overstrain of the brain leads to a spasm of the blood vessels, which causes intense cephalgia. In addition, prolonged sitting with a bowed head leads to cervical osteochondrosis and pinching of the facial nerves. This, in turn, can also cause migraines.
- Minimize use of caffeinated beverages. They make the heart work "idle", and also adversely affect the functioning of the nervous system.
- Reduce consumption, and it is better - and completely excluded - from the diet all harmful products. A diet dominated by easily digestible food significantly reduces the incidence of migraine attacks.
- Provide normal lighting, give the brain a discharge and rest, often walk in the fresh air and lead a physically active lifestyle. If you limit yourself in all of the above points, the attacks of intense headaches will become your constant companions.
How to remove the pain of migraines?
In the treatment of migraine, it is taken into account how and how much pain affects the quality of human life. For this, a special scale MIDAS (Migraine Disability Assessment Scale) was developed. It is based on 3 aspects that are most affected by headaches:
- study and work;
- housework and family life;
- sports and social activities.
In this case, it is necessary to take into account for how long a person loses working capacity in the above areas due to headache attacks. This scale divides migraines into 4 degrees:
- When the first degree of headaches are not too pronounced, so do not interfere with the full activity. Patients rarely go to the doctor, using traditional methods of dealing with pain. From medications successfully stop an attack of cephalgia, non-narcotic analgesics (Analgin, Baralgin), NSAIDs (drugs based on ibuprofen), antispasmodics (Spazmalgon, Kombispazm and others).
- The second degree is characterized by moderate severity of headaches. Normal vital activity in this case is disturbed slightly. In such circumstances, prescribed drugs from the group of NSAIDs, or combined pain-relieving drugs: Spasmalgon, Pentalgin, Tempalgin, etc. In severe headache and difficulties in adapting to environmental conditions, triptans are prescribed: Amigrenin, Imigran, Zomig, etc.
- 3-4 degrees of migraine accompanied by pronounced bouts of cephalgia. In this case, they immediately resort to prescribing triptans, but sometimes the drug Zaldiar can be prescribed. It contains a potent analgesic element tramadol and the anti-inflammatory component paracetamol. When severely tolerated and persistent pain, patients are prescribed hormonal medications (Dexamethasone). Nausea and vomiting are stopped by antiemetic drugs - Cerucula, Metoclopramide, Domperidone, etc. They are taken approximately 20 minutes before the use of NSAIDs or triptans.
Drug triptan series are the most popular in the fight against migraine. They are designed specifically for the treatment of headaches for this ailment. The effectiveness of the drug will be stronger if you take it at the very beginning of the development of an attack.
Recommendations for use:
- At the first manifestations of pain should take 1 tablet. If the symptom has receded, then after about 2 hours the ability to work will return to the person.
- If after 2 hours the pain has become less noticeable, but has not completely disappeared, you should take another pill. At the next attack, it is recommended to drink 2 tablets immediately.
If the drug was used in a timely manner, but did not have the proper effect, you should consult a doctor. He will select a stronger and more suitable medicine.
Triptans are divided into 2 generations:
- Drugs of the first generation are based on sumatriptan. Forms of release are different: pills (Amigrenin, Migran, etc.), candles (Trigren), spray (Immigrant).
- The second generation triptans - naratriptan (Naramig) and zolmitriptan (Zolmig). This group has a higher performance and lower risk of adverse reactions.
It is important to carry out the selection of drugs individually for each patient. If this was done, in the future the patient should take only "his" means of migraine.
Alternative medicine also gives good results in the treatment of migraine.Means used for this purpose can also be divided into 2 groups:
- drugs for stopping cephalgia immediately at the time of an attack;
- means of preventive therapy aimed at preventing the recurrence of migraine.
To normalize well-being during an attack, you must:
- apply a cabbage or burdock leaf to the forehead, then rewind it tightly with a bandage;
- moisten a piece of cotton wool in beet or onion juice, then place it in the auricle (be careful - this may cause a burn!);
- Attach an onion or lemon to the temples or forehead;
- inhale vapors of ammonia and camphor alcohols, taken in equal proportions;
- make hot foot baths with a small amount of dry mustard powder;
- conduct a session of aromatherapy using lemon, pine, mint or lavender essential oil;
- inhale a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar, heated to the optimum temperature (not boiling!);
- take a warm bath with the addition of a decoction of the roots of valerian drug;
- drink a quarter cup of raw potato juice. This recipe helps prevent further deterioration of well-being at the very beginning of a migraine attack.
Below are a few recipes that are used for a long time. They are aimed not at stopping, but at preventing migraine attacks in the future.
- Mix in equal proportions of motherwort and peppermint. 1 spoon of dry raw material pour 500 ml of boiling water and let it brew for 2 hours. Strain the finished medicine and drink in small sips for 1 day.
- Take 1 part of primrose roots, peppermint leaves, mountain lavender flowers, medicinal valerian root and rosemary leaves. 1 spoonful of the mixture to brew 250-300 ml of boiling water and let it brew until cool. Filter well and take 400 ml of infusion per day.
- With weak manifestations of seizures, you should drink the next cocktail several days in a row. To make it, take a chicken egg and beat it into a glass of hot, freshly boiled milk. Mix well and drink 1 time.
- Every morning, before breakfast, drink 1 glass of whey or buttermilk.
- Take a quarter cup of black currant juice three times a day. You can make a juice cocktail by mixing 3 parts of carrot and 1 part spinach and dandelion juice.
Do not choose a folk remedy based on the words of friends, claiming that it helped them. What fits well with one person will make it worse for another, so even recipes for traditional medicine should be tailored individually.
Prevent frequent outbreaks of migraine attacks is quite possible. For this it is important:
- eliminate the effects on the body of irritating factors;
- prevent prolonged sitting in front of the TV screen or computer monitor;
- keep telephone calls to a minimum;
- alternate physical activity with proper rest;
- eat properly and fully;
- keep a diary, which will be noted: the intensity of pain, the duration and frequency of migraine attacks, the effectiveness of medications taken;
- take medications containing magnesium and B vitamins;
- take drugs from the discharge of adrenergic blockers (for example, Propranolol, beta-blockers), anticonvulsants (Topiramate), antidepressants (Venlafaxine).
Migraine treatment is a difficult process, but an attack can be overcome or prevented. The main thing is not to let the situation take its course. The pain can not be tolerated, because it not only affects daily life, but also can significantly harm health!