- Occurring with an aura (formerly called "classic")
- Occurring without an aura (formerly called "common")
- Environmental triggers (eg, odors, bright lights)
- Dietary triggers (eg, alcohol)
- Certain medicines
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Physiologic changes (eg, menstruation, puberty)
- Weather changes
- Gender: more common in adult females
- Age: most migraines occur by age 40
- Family history of migraines
- Changes in mood, behavior, and/or activity level
- Food craving or decreased appetite
- Nausea, diarrhea
- Sensitivity to light
- Flashing lights, spots, or zig zag lines
- Temporary, partial loss of vision
- Speech difficulties
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Numbness or tingling in the face and hands
- Dizziness, lightheadedness
- Speech disturbances
- Cognitive dysfunction
- A headache (usually on one side but may involve both sides) that often feels:
- Moderate or severe intensity
- Throbbing or pulsating
- More severe with bright light, loud sound, or movement
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Trouble concentrating
- Sore muscles
- Mood changes
- Computed tomography (CT) scan—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the head
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
- Blood tests
|CT Scan of the Head|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Prevent headaches
- Reduce headache severity and frequency
- Restore your ability to function
- Improve quality of life
- Quiet nerve pathways
- Reduce inflammation
- Bind receptors for serotonin, a brain chemical
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) (eg, naproxen)
- Medicines for nausea
- Combination medicine that contains caffeine
- Calcium channel blockers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs)
Self-Care During the Migraine
- Apply cold compresses to painful areas of your head.
- Lie in a dark, quiet room.
- Try to fall asleep.
- Keep a diary. It will help identify what triggers migraines and what helps relieve them.
- Learn stress management and relaxation techniques.
- Consider talking with a counselor. They can help you learn new coping skills and relaxation techniques.
- Exercise regularly.
- If you are a smoker, quit. Smoking may worsen a migraine.
- Avoid foods that trigger migraines.
- Eat regular meals.
- Maintain your regular sleep pattern even during the weekend or on vacation.
- Avoiding those things that trigger the headache
- Following your doctor's recommendations—The doctor may consider using medicines to prevent headaches such as:
- Butterbur extract
- Medications that lower blood pressure
- Maintain regular sleep patterns.
- Learn stress management techniques.
- Do not skip meals.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Exercise regularly. Consider yoga as one type of activity.
- Ask your doctor if acupuncture is right for you. It may help you to have more headache-free days, as well as lessen the intensity of headaches when they do occur.
- Mind-body therapies such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Guided imagery (may improve pain coping)
- Massage therapy
- Nuts and peanut butter
- Beans (eg, lima, navy, pinto, and others)
- Aged or cured meats
- Aged cheese
- Processed or canned meat
- Caffeine (intake or withdrawal)
- Canned soup
- Buttermilk or sour cream
- Meat tenderizer
- Brewer's yeast
- Red plums
- Snow peas
- Soy sauce
- Anything with MSG (monosodium glutamate), tyramine, or nitrates
Copyright © 2013 EBSCO Publishing