Migraine – the ins and outs


Migraine is a complex condition which is triggered bydifferent things in different people. Additionally, theactual symptoms suffered by different people are usuallyfairly unique to them too.

Migraine is commonly described by people as a special kindof recurring headache where the headache is severe and usually linked to other symptoms such as feeling sick (nausea),being sick (vomiting), eyesight changes such as blank spots,coloured sport, sparkles, stars or blurred patches in theirvision, dizziness, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargyand fatigue. The changes in vision usually come before theheadache itself and are referred to as the “aura”. Twogeneralised classifications of migraine are “with aura” and”without aura”. Other classifications are “basilar migraine”and “familial hemiplegic migraine” where reversible paralysisoccurs.

Susceptibility to migraine is thought to be genetic, withthe predisposition being inherited through particular genes. However, any person of any age, gender, ethnicitycan get migraine… it is one of the most common of allpainful chronic conditions. Typically, a migraine attackbreaks down into several phases… 1: Pre-headache, 2: Aura(only 15% of people report this phase), 3: Headache,4: Resolution, 5: Recovery. Usually the recovery phasecan last for several hours or days and feels like a hangover.

Several common triggers for migraine are: stress, certainfoods, lack of food, alcohol, the environment, sleep,exercise, hormonal change in women, oral contraceptivesand other triggers.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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