What is a migraine?
A migraine is a throbbing, intense headache in one half of the head. It can affect people of all ages. The cause of migraine is not known.
It used to be thought that during an attack, the blood vessels in the brain dilate and then draw together with stimulation of nerve endings near the affected blood vessels.
However, this does not now seem to be the whole reason and some researchers think it is increased activity in some of the chemicals in the brain that cause migraine.
But nobody really knows and the exact causes of migraine are still poorly understood.
Are migraines hereditary?
There’s often a predisposition for migraine within the family of migraine sufferers. But it is not certain how large a role heredity plays.
Migraine is a fairly common condition, affecting about 20 per cent of females and 6 per cent of males in their lifetime.
Although it can come on later in life, this is unusual. About 90 per cent of migraine sufferers have their first attack before they are 40.
The onset of migraine in women often occurs around puberty – therefore linking migraine to hormonal triggers (see below).
What might trigger migraine?
Most people suffering from migraine are aware that different foods, such as cheese, chocolate, wine or citrus fruits, can cause the attacks.
Other things that may trigger an attack include exercise, anxiety, stress, bright lights, loud noise, the contraceptive pill and travel.
These particular causal factors vary from patient to patient. Some women experience attacks more frequently around the time of their menstrual periods.
Migraine sufferers should avoid factors such as alcohol, lack of sleep and foods that are known to cause attacks.
Research shows that women
Research shows that women are three times more likely to suffer from migraine than men.
Migraine is also more common among American women than type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, or asthma.
More than 80% of people with migraines (called migraineurs) have other members in the family who have them too.
Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache and they can have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light.
Almost one-fourth of women in their reproductive years experience migraines because during these years, women are building both their families and their careers — factors that make them more prone to stress and fatigue.
Research also indicates that migraine is an important issue in women’s health. But, fortunately, women can prevent migraines. All they need to do is seek the solution from Mother Nature.
Headache pain relief
There are so many different methods to get migraine headache pain relief. Over-the-counter headache pain relief medications are easily accessible.
However, they don’t cure headaches and are not without side effects. Over time, any medication can lose its effectiveness if taken too frequently.
However, would it be better off if migraine headache sufferers could stop using over the counter pain relievers and find some other method to control their headache pain?
Natural alternatives to headache pain relief are just as effective if a person knows the cause of their headache.
Some natural migraine pain relief herbal remedies are known to prevent or ease a migraine headache.
Dried herbs can be used to make teas or tinctures. Herbal extracts are potent and need to be diluted before use.
Capsules come in many herbal combinations and are readily available at most natural or health food stores.
Essential oils such as Chamomile, Rosemary, Peppermint and Lavender are used to treat symptoms of headaches.
Other natural herbal remedies for migraine pain relief includes:
• Feverfew – Feverfew contains substances that inhibit the release of mood hormones in the brain. For best results, use fresh feverfew. When this is not available, consume as tea or in capsule form.
• Bay – There have been some doctors who recommend taking feverfew with bay to prevent a migraine headache. You can often find a combination of these herbs in most health food stores.
• Ginger – Ginger has long been known to relieve and prevent headaches. It is an anti-inflammatory and has substances that help reduce pain.
• Peppermint – Taken internally or used externally, peppermint can help to relieve a migraine headache.
To take internally, drink peppermint tea.
To use externally, mix several drops of peppermint oil with lotion or body oil and massage onto the temples.
In order to prevent a migraine, you need to identify what causes it. Many foods can trigger an attack.
These include cheese, chocolate, wheat, and caffeine.
If you indulge in one of these foods and experience a migraine attack 24 hours later, the food is most likely a migraine trigger.
Other triggers include stress, changes in sleeping patterns, hormonal imbalances, and changes in altitude.
Natural migraine pain relief remedies can help reduce the length and severity of a migraine headache.
Not all natural migraine cures work for everyone, so try various remedies until you find the ones that work best for you.
Finally, learn to control the triggers to avoid getting a migraine.