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Migraine & Headaches

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FAQs

A migraine is a severe headache, which is often concentrated on one side of the head. 

 

Two types of migraines exist; those that present with an aura and non-aura or common migraines.

 

A migraine aura is a visual disturbance which can alert you to a coming migraine headache and recur throughout and even after the migraine dissipates. 

 

Auras often appear as stars, dots or lines in your vision. You may experience a blind spot or even temporary loss of vision. Occasionally, some people will experience these auras without the headache.

 

Most people have migraines without auras. These migraines tend to exhibit three different stages. 

 

Most begin with the prodrome, pre-headache symptoms that might include fatigue, stiffness, moodiness or even food cravings. 

 

The debilitating headache phase can cause pain throughout the entire body, not just the head. 

 

Immediately after the headache, in the period known as postdrome, you will likely experience exhaustion or a hungover feeling.

Retinal or ocular migraines are a separate condition but cause similar symptoms to aura-type migraines, often presenting with full or partial vision loss. 

 

Meanwhile, a vestibular migraine is associated with dizziness or vertigo.

 

Rarer is a hemiplegic migraine, which tends to cause weakness in one side of the body, with symptoms including difficulty in communicating.

While headaches can be caused by any number of viruses or environmental factors, including stress, neck or back pain and eyesight problems, migraines are more difficult to fathom. 

 

There is no known cause of migraine pain per se but migraine triggers can be hormonal, emotional, physical or environmental. They can be triggered by certain foods or medicines too.

Migraine treatment ranges from ibuprofen to anti-emetics and triptans, all of which can give chemical migraine relief. 

 

GPs tend to advise lifestyle changes too, including cutting out those issues that can trigger your symptoms wherever possible.

 

Drinking plenty of water, avoiding stress and ensuring you sit well at your desk can all help to minimise your risk of headaches, as can avoiding alcohol and processed foods.

 

Alternative supplements are also available, many of which people find can help ease the pain of headaches.

A popular alternative to over-the-counter migraine relief, feverfew is a flowering plant rich in parthenolide, found in the leaf of the plant. 

 

There is strong evidence to suggest that this compound could help to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. This is based on traditional use.

 

Other possible supplements that may help ease the niggling pain of headaches include the homeopathic products lycopodium, silica and phosphorous, each of which may also help with other, different symptoms, including nausea and sore throats.

Gentle and rarely causing side effects, homeopathic remedies are considered safe to use for all ages and even during pregnancy. 

 

However it is important to speak to you GP before using anything new alongside existing medications. You should not stop taking prescription medication without first consulting your doctor.

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