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Migraines – severe headache episodes

By on August 12, 2015

How to better manage chronic headaches and minimize pain intensity

Headaches can be quite debilitating. Apart from the severe pain, people who suffer from migraines also experience nausea, vomiting, sweating, dizziness and photo-phobia. For severe cases, migraines can occur on a daily basis. Three times more women than men are affected from migraines. Studies found that certain brain differences found in women are responsible for these differences, rising awareness about the importance of specific gender research.

Despite severity, chronic headaches can be managed by medical and alternative therapies and by avoiding the trigger factors. Hormonal changes, pregnancy, stress, sleep imbalances, loud noises and bright lights, foods containing tyramine, processed foods, alcohol are a few causes that can produce a migraine. By making healthier lifestyle choices you can alleviate migraines’ intensity.

Migraines usually start with the “aura” signs, which is a period of time in which the patient experiences other symptoms too: vision alteration, changes in hearing sensitivity, mental confusion, dizziness. When the aura signalizes that a headaches episode is about to strike, follow simple rules to better cope with the pain: turn off the lights or try to fall asleep in a dark room, avoid loud noises, find a calm environment with no intense stimuli, try to relax with massages, oil therapy or by applying local compresses. If possible, drink little quantities of coffee, because caffeine seems to minimize the pain. If your doctor prescribed you painkillers to control the pain intensity, cautiously follow the treatment exactly as prescribed (regarding dosage and frequency), because side effects for this type of medication can turn to be even more debilitating.

On a long term run, make lifestyle changes to improve this condition and increase the discomfort caused by extreme headache: change eating habits (find and avoid foods that trigger pain), don’t skip meals, try to eat as regularly as possible, eat healthy foods, as natural as possible; mildly exercise to increase serotonin levels and better cope with stress; learn new relaxation techniques (reflexology massages were found to be highly beneficial for this type of suffering).

As a secondary effect of daily basis headaches, patients can undergo severe anxiety and depression. Sleep disorders, low quality of life and poor performance of daily tasks are usually associated with this condition. The isolation need is very high for people experiencing chronic migraines. Counseling, support groups and family can be very helpful for a better management of the illness. Proper medical care needs to be provided, so that patients will more rapidly alleviate the pain. By combining all these pain management methods, we can state that a multi-modal treatment is more efficient when fighting this often weakening illness.

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About Laura Parvan

Medical professional, blogging passionate, with a high interest in social media impact on health-care information.

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