Migraine: Causes and Treatments
Migraine is a condition that usually presents as a severe, throbbing headache, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to sensory input, such as light, sound and even odors. There is no cure for migraine; however, a pain management specialist can offer different options for migraine treatment Jacksonville FL that can help patients to deal with the condition and minimize its impact on their lives.
What is Migraine and What Causes it?
Medical researchers have been unable to determine exactly what migraine is. The latest research suggests that it is a neurological condition. Other scientists believe it may be related to blood flow to the brain, while others think the condition is brought on by abnormal neural activity due to a chemical imbalance and/or electrical activity. It is generally agreed that migraine is a congenital condition that runs in families.
While there is debate over the root causes of migraine, several triggers have been identified:
- extreme sensory overload (loud noises, strobe lights, or strong odors)
- gynecological hormonal changes
- poor sleep
- caffeine and/or tobacco use
- abrupt weather changes
- low blood sugar levels
Additionally, certain foods can trigger a migraine, including fermented (pickled) vegetables, cured meats such as bacon, cheese, chocolate and red wine.
It bears mentioning that not all migraines cause headaches; they can also occur in the abdominal area, although this is more common with children.
What Can be Done for Migraine?
Although there is no cure for migraine, there are several treatment options that can help patients to manage their conditions by preventing their onset.
One of the most important preventive measures patients can take is to avoid the triggers listed above. Take time for self-care. Women going through hormonal shifts due to pregnancy or menopause should ask their gynecologists about medications and treatments that can bring them into balance.
There are no specific medications for migraine. However, some prescription drugs have been prescribed off-label for migraine patients with varying degrees of success. Many of these are blood pressure medications such as beta-blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers and calcium channel blockers.
Anti-convulsants such as are prescribed for epilepsy and head injury victims have also been found effective. Current research indicates that magnesium supplements may also help prevent migraines.
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The fact is, there are numerous effective ways to manage and prevent migraines. A pain management specialist can make recommendations to fit a patient’s individual needs.