You can only fully appreciate how unpleasant the effects of migraine can be if you have suffered one yourself. To make life more stressful, there is no ‘one cure fixes everyone’ solution. Therefore, it’s often only through a process of trial and error, elimination and experience that enables you to effectively manage the symptoms of your migraines.
There is no actual cure for migraines but this does not mean there are not a number of ways in which you can manage your symptoms. By taking a considered approach and getting professional advice and support, you can minimize the impact that migraines can have on your overall quality of life.
Of course, it is helpful for you to understand fully what your options are or might be if only so you know what to expect. There is nothing worse than not knowing how much help is available and what might be suggested to you. The good news is that there is nothing to worry about and in most cases, people who suffer from migraines can learn to manage their symptoms effectively and independently.
So you think you have had a migraine?
If you think you have experienced a migraine for the first time, don’t be alarmed. It is perfectly possible for you to begin having migraines at any age and they can come and go with no particular pattern. Therefore, just because you have not experienced one before, you should not discount it as a possibility.
There are a number of symptoms that can look you in order to establish if you have suffered from a migraine or not. The most common of these is an intense headache that is often aggravated by movement and is usually felt on the front of side of the head. However, there are other possible symptoms including (but not limited to), nausea, lethargy and increased sensitivity to lights and sounds.
More extreme cases of migraines may induce vomiting, sweating, abdominal pain and even in very rare occasions, fainting. It should be said that this is incredibly rare but it is also a possibility so you should not discount these symptoms as possible signs of a migraine episode. On the flip side, it is also possible that you can experience some or all of these symptoms in isolation. Just as there is no single migraine cure, every individual may report different symptoms.
How to cure a migraine
There is no such thing as a single migraine cure and even if you get professional advice, this will rarely begin with prescribed medications. This is because one of the best cures for migraines is to take a logical and systematic approach to the problem. This begins with a little record keeping and investigation.
Often, if you seek advice from you doctor, one of the first questions will be ‘is there a history of suffering from migraines in your family?’ This is because it is possible for you to have a genetic predisposition to suffering from migraines. Therefore, if other members of your family suffer from them, it’s more likely that you will too. Of course, this will be followed by a number of routine questions to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
You may be asked to keep a diary to include known factors that may contribute to you suffering from migraines. This would often include documenting sleep patterns and eating habits but can also include things such as particularly stressful situations or possible allergens if you are able to identify these things. It would also include the time and length of any migraine episodes.
The purpose of this diary is to look not only for patterns in your migraine experiences but also to look for potential triggers. Unsurprisingly, issues such as high levels of stress, lack of sleep and the other issues noted above can all possibly contribute to your migraine experiences.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to identify a trigger, then the first thing you can do is to take steps to avoid or minimize your exposure to that trigger. This is one of the best natural cures for migraines and enables you to manage your migraine episodes naturally and independently. Of course, this may not be sufficient to stop your migraines and you may still need additional measures or medications. It should however, minimize the impact of the symptoms you experience.
If these migraine cures don’t work, then it may be necessary to try one of a number of prescribed medications that can help you manage your symptoms. In fact, you may be offered a combination of medications each with a different purpose depending on the type and severity of the symptoms that you experience.
Different migraine cures
There are a number of different prescribed medications that can help manage the symptoms of your migraines. You may be prescribed one or a combination of medicines depending on the type and severity of your symptoms. These are directly linked to the different factors that are known to contribute to people suffering from migraines.
Luckily, whilst there are some factors (such as genetics) that cannot be overcome, there are plenty of issues that can be addressed. As a general overview of the types of medication used for treating the symptoms of migraines, they can be categorized as:
Anti-Seizure Medications –A number of anti-seizure drugs for some reasons appear to help reduce these symptoms particularly in terms of migraine headaches. This could be due to the fact that it lessens the disruption of blood flow through the inflamed blood vessels.
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – Migraine symptoms appear to be caused by the inflammation of certain blood vessels in the brain. Therefore, anti-inflammatory drugs are sometimes used in order to minimize this inflammation and therefore, the severity of symptoms.
Anti-Depressive Drugs – There is a known link between changes in hormone levels and the onset of migraine attacks. Therefore, anti-depressive drugs are sometimes reluctantly prescribed in order to help regulate hormones resulting in less episodes.
In addition to prescribed medications, there are a number of natural or home remedies that may help to manage the symptoms of migraines. These include but are not limited to:
Vitamins and Minerals – Such as magnesium and Vitamin B2 which are both commonly suggested as helpful in relieving the symptoms of migraines particularly headaches. Recently, many have suggested that Coenzyme Q10 is useful in maintaining blood vessel health and therefore, possibly preventing episodes.
Herbs – Such as lavender to help calm, Peppermint Oil and Butterbur to help relief the symptoms of headaches. These herbal remedies all support minimizing the impact of symptoms rather than preventing them from happening.
Massage & Meditation – Both are considered effective ways to manage migraine symptoms by relaxing the body and mind leading to a decrease in the stress that can cause tension headaches associate with migraines.
Laying down in a darkened room – Whilst this might sound like a strange remedy for migraines, many sufferers report there are benefits of doing so. This is because you will be more relaxed leading to less tension in your body. In addition, migraines can cause increased sensitivity to light and sound and therefore, the darkened room will not over-stimulate your senses causing worse symptoms.
If you suffer from migraines over a medium to long period of time, then you may be pretty confident that you are managing your symptoms effectively without the need for further medical intervention. However, you should be aware that it is always advisable to get medical advice and reviews for your migraines for a number of reasons including:
1) Taking seemingly harmless over-the-counter medications can have an adverse effect on your health and they are not designed to be taken over long periods of time. In fact, some should not be taken even for shorter periods of time. A good example of this is paracetamol and codeine also known as co-codamol. Codeine is potentially highly addictive and should not be taken for more than a couple of days to minimize the risks to your health and well-being. Over-the-counter migraine cures can also become ineffective over longer periods of time.
2) Although it is completely possible (and not even that unusual) to experience migraines over the longer term, it is also important to review your health with a doctor or qualified professional. This is to ensure that there are no other issues, any changes to your symptoms or health and also to ensure that no other conditions have been caused or risen due to your migraine suffering.
3) Research into many medical conditions including migraines is being conducted all the time. You may find that new medications that you have not tried before or new breakthroughs in medical treatments. If you do not keep in touch with your doctor, local nurse or support groups, you may well miss out on migraine cures you knew nothing about.
Whether you have just experienced your first migraine or are a regular sufferer, there is plenty of support available to you. There are also lots of possible things that can be done in order to help you to manage your symptoms and in some cases, avoid further migraines all together. There is no need to suffer in silence or experience a massive impact in your quality of life.