Migraine Cause & Symptom

How Does Migraine Cause Pain Symptom? Once your Migraine trigger level crosses your threshold and migraine pain becomes activated, the mechanism spreads through various parts of the brain, involving a number of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) along the way. One of the most important neurotransmitters of migraine is serotonin, but to think of migraine as simply an imbalance of serotonin is to overlook the involvement of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and neuropeptides. The brain is not just a chemical soup in which too much or too little of one ingredient can lead to problems. It's more like a computer, wired with many complicated circuits along which neurotransmitters relay impulses. Migraine involves one such circuit, with multiple inputs (migraine triggers) feeding into it and outputs (symptoms) resulting from it. We understand only sketchy details of this mechanism, but one thing is clear: it can be controlled by the 1-2-3 Program.
As migraine headache proceeds, a group of nerve cells in the brain stem (the trigeminal nucleus caudalis) becomes activated. Signals travel from this region along the trigeminal and upper cervical nerves to blood vessels around your head, face and neck. Each of these nerves supplies one side only, which is why migraine pain can be one-sided if it stems from that pathway alone. At this point the mechanism of migraine, which is controlled within the brain, has spread outside the brain.
Impulses traveling down these nerve fibers lead to the releaser neuropeptides from nerve endings. These neurotransmitters cause blood vessels around your head to become swollen and inflamed. Nitric oxide, a chemical that produces vasodilation (blood vessel swelling), also plays a role. The resulting swelling and inflammation of blood vessels around your head generates headache (or some other form of discomfort in or around your head, face or neck).
How do blood vessel swelling and inflammation translate into the pain that you feel? Again nerve fibers play a role, but in this case the fibers carry impulses in the opposite direction: back to the brain. The swollen, inflamed blood vessels stimulate pain receptors on nerve endings, and the resulting pain signals are carried back to the brain by nerve fibers. In other words, nerves around your head are two-way streets carrying migraine traffic from and to the brain: outgoing impulses that cause swelling and iiiflamrnation of blood vessels around your head, and incoming signals reflecting the presence of blood vessel swelling and inflammation. Ultimately, when this reverberating loop becomes activated, the information that blood vessels are swollen and inflamed reaches the brain stem and is relayed to higher centers in the brain, where it is translated into the discomfort, distress and distraction that you know as a headache.
Normally, transmission of pain impulses and the experience of pain is subdued by naturally occurring, narcotic-like substances known as endogenous opiods (or endorphins). To make matters worse, the migraine mechanism somehow interferes with the endogenous opioid
system so that, in effect, the experience of pain generated by migraine is magnified instead of muted. Migraine makes your brain act and feel sensitive. Even background sensations such as pulsation ot blood vessels , which are normally filtered from awareness, are instead felt as throbbing, pounding pain which normally known as migraine symptom.

Do You Know Where Migraine Headache Begin?

To seek Migraine Treatment, we have to know where migraine Headache begins before we can get rid of it. We know migraine headache happen in our head. But, do you know exactly where. Somewhere in the brain lies the migraine headache control center, which receives the flow of migraine triggers that activate the migraine attack. Where this center is located, no one knows for sure, but the hypothalamus is the most obvious candidate. This deep-seated tiny organ in the brain controls many basic functions, including your sleep-wake cycle, hunger and satiety, hormonal regulation, and the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system.
Several features of the hypothalamus make it the most likely site of the migraine headache control center. To start with, virtually all migraine activators (or migraine triggers) have input to the hypothalamus. For instance, emotional triggers such as stress (or letdown after stress) and depression involve the brain's limbic system, of which the hypothalamus is a part. In addition, hormonal triggers such as estrogen are regulated by the hypothalamus and have special access to it (In order to be able to monitor hormones, the hypothalamus lacks the normal blood-brain barrier that shields most of the brain from substances circulating in the bloodstream.)
Chemical triggers in foods and beverages can also reach the hypo-thalamus as they circulate in the bloodstream following absorption from the gut. Migraine can be triggered by skipping meals as well, perhaps because of the role of the hypothalamus in overseeing hunger and satiety. Sensory triggers, both visual (sunlight glare, strobe lights) and olfactory (perfumes, cigarette smoke), can also reach the hypothalamus via direct nerve pathways leading from receptors in the eyes and nose. An association between the migraine control center and the hypothalamus is likely for other reasons. Migraine is often linked to the sleep-wake cycle, which is governed by the brain's master clock, located in the hypothalamus. The relationship of migraine to the sleep-wake cycle is evident not only from fluctuations in migraine activity occurring at regular times (for instance, headaches upon awakening) but also from the triggering of migraine as a result of either sleep deprivation or oversleep (as on weekend mornings), as well as relief of migraine following sleep. So understanding where Migraine begins is a milestone in the success of Migraine Treatment.

Types Of Treatment

Migraine Treatment involves two major strategies: lifestyle management and drug therapy. You'll read about lifestyle management -- which inlcudes maintaining regular sleep patterns, eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, avoiding stress and making modifications to some of your behaviors. Drug therapy is the starting point in a migraine treatment plan. When using drug therapy, it's important to know what a medication is intended to do and what improvements you may expect from taking it. If you expect it to give you certain benefit that it sometimes never will (after you take the medication without any prior research work), you're bound for disappointment. But there are plenty of medication choices available that, when combined with lifestyle management, can keep migraine under control and prevent attacks from interfering too much with your daily life. Doctors generally classify headache treatment in two ways: acute and preventive.

Migraine Treatment - Acute Pain Relief

Acute migraine treatment tries to alleviate migraine symptom as early in the attack as possible. The treatment is aimed at relieving not only head pain but also symptom such as nausea and vomiting. Several classes of drugs are used for acute treatment, ranging from general pain relievers to medications specific to migraine. The choice of medication will depend on how severe and frequent your headaches are, what your associated signs and symptom are, whether you have any other medical conditions, and what has or hasn't worked for you in the past. Your doctor can help you make the best choice.

Migraine Treatment - Medication (Analgesics)
Analgesics, or pain relievers, are often the first line of treatment for headache. Because most analgesics are available over the counter and are easy to buy, they're some of the most widely used headache medications. For people with mild to moderate migraine pain, these drugs may provide sufficient relife.

Analgesics should be taken as early in the attack as possible to be most effective. You may have discovered that taking an analgesic along with caffeine can be helpful, such as taking aspirin with a cup of coffee. A few drugs contain caffeine already (Excedrin).

If analgesics is not working well in relieving your migraine headache, then go and see a doctor and ask for other options. More than half the people who suffer from disabling headaches resort to over-the-counter drugs even though they might benefit more from prescription drugs. One reason some people avoid seeing a doctor for migraine headache is because they're are afraid to admit to themself that the condition is serious. But if headaches are affecting your daily life in a very serious way, it's important to take the best possible care of this condition by taking prescription drugs prescribed by doctor.

Migraine Treatment - Medications

In the past, aspirin was often the recommended choice of headache medication. Today aspirin remains a treatment option, but other headache drugs have been developed, some of them specifically designed for migraine. In addition, drugs that generally are used to treat other conditions, such as high blood pressure or depression, have been found useful in treating headaches. In short, a much wider selection of migraine medications is available today.
It's important to understand the role of medications in your treatment program and their relationship to other strategies you may be using. They must be taken at prescribed times and at appropriate strengths and dosages to get the best resulst.
In addition, it's essential to work with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis of your headache so that your treatment can be targeted at the correct problem. Remember that the goals of treatment are effective short-term relief and long-term management of your headache.

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Official Google Blog: [Migraine Symptom] - How do you know you're having migraine and not just the normal headache that just last for minutes?

Like most people, you must have experienced at least a mild headache occasionally. And, like most people, you probably don't run to your doctor with complains of minor headache that disappears within a short time. In most cases, mild headache can be easily eased with over-the-counter pain-killers or a few moments of relaxation.
However, unfortunately for millions of Americans, headaches became a medical problem. Over-the-counter medications don't seem to work very well or sometimes not at all. Still many people are not willing to admit that their headaches are causing them serious problem even when headache pain is severe or disabling. After all, the old belief that headaches are purely psychological is a difficult one to put to rest.

There are some warning signs. The term headache, as discussed previously, describes almost any pain that occurs in the head. There are many types of headaches because there are so many possible causes of head pain.
There are two common reasons why people feel they should seek medical care for headache. Either they fear the headache is caused by a serious underlying condition, or the headache prevents them from functioning normally and participating in work, family and social activities. For either reason, seeing the doctor is the correct course of action.

Fortunately, most headaches, although painful and sometimes disabling, aren't life-threatening and are treatable. A doctor's diagnosis is an essential first step for treatment to begin.

There are certain developments that indicate potential problems if you have recurrent headaches. Consider contacting your doctor if you notice any of the following patterns forming:

1) You usually have three or more headaches per week.
2) You must take a pain reliever every day or almost daily for your headaches.
3) You feel that you need more than the recommended doses of over-the-counter medications to relieve pain.
Some headaches symptoms may signal the need for more prompt medical attention. You should plan to see your doctor if you experience any of the following:

1) Your headaches keep getting worse and won't go away.
2) The severity, duration and frequency of your headaches have increased noticeably.
3) You develop persistent headaches after being relatively headache-free in the past.
4) Your headaches are triggered by coughing, bending, physical exertion or sexual activity.
5) Your headaches started following trauma to your head.
6) Your headaches began after age 50.

Some types of headache may warn of more sinister disorders and call for prompt medical care. Rare but serious causes of headache include brain tumor, stroke, aneurysm, temporal arteritis, meningitis and encephalitis.

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Migraine Treatment - Medication Therapy

Migraine Treatment can help reduce the frequency of your migraine headache attacks, make the attacks less severe, prevent some attacks from happening and improve your ability to cope when attackes do occur. For the most effective outcome, the treatment should be a team effort between you and your doctor. And this team effort should begin with a proper diagnosis and an accurate history of your headache.
The headache history collects information about the symptom you're experiencing and about the way pain is affecting your life. The information may be gathered during the initial doctor visit in a written questionnaire or directly during a one-on-one interview. The history helps the doctor make a diagnosis and serves as a base line for later assessments of your condition.
The docor will base much of your treatment on how frequent or severe your signs and symptom are and which are the most bothersome. It's also important for your doctor to know the diagnosis whether another medical condition is causing your headache. Taking migraine medication when your headache is caused by something else, such as infection, can be dangerous. Pain relief may disguise the true reason for the pain and prevent proper treatment for a serious, perhaps even life-threatening, problem.
When it comes to migraine treatment, one size does not fit all. There are many effective options - it's just that certain options work well for some migraineurs and not for others. Sometimes, you and your doctor many have to try more than one type of medication or lifestyle change before deciding on the right treatment or the right combination of migraine treatments.

Migraine Symptoms

If you are not sure whether you're suffering from migraine just because you got these headaches more often these days. Then the following are some of the symptoms that might help you to decide.

1) Throbbing or hammering pain on one or both sides of your head.

2) Intensity of the headache ranges from moderate to severe to almost intolerable.

3) Might experience an aura though it's more common that migraine sufferers don't experience auras.

4) Might feel lethargic and sad when you have the migraine attack.

5) Might experience loss of appetite, nausea, extreme sensitivity to light, smells and/or sounds during the migraine attack.

It's widely agreed that the symptoms of migraines can be different for each individual, so don't diagnose your headaches as non-migraine just becuase you did not have some of the symptoms listed above. The best thing to do is get a professional advise. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, and let him be the one to identify the kind of headaches you're suffering from and determine what can be done to wipe out the pain.

Could These Be Your Migraine Triggers?

Knowing what trigger your migraine headache will definitely help you to control your migraine attack or even get rid of it for good.

Typically, Migraine triggers can be classified into the following factors:

1) Lifestyle Factors
i) Depression
ii) Stress
iii) Anxiety

2) Environmental Factors
i) Loud noise
ii) Strong odors
iii) Air Pollution
iv) Weather changes
v) High altitude and air travel
vi) Bright or flickering lights

3) Social Habits
i) Alcohol
ii) Secondhand Smoke
iii) Smoking

4) Nutritional Deficiencies
i) Low blood sugar (hypoglycemina)
ii) Vitamin/mineral deficiency

5) Medications and Recreational Drugs
i) Recreational drugs
ii) Cardiovascular drugs
iii) Decongestants
iv) Diet Pills
v) Painkillers

6) Physiological Factors
i) Hormonal Changes

7) Foods and Food Additives
i) Chocolate
ii) Nuts
iii) Beans
iv) Onions
v) Artificial Sweeteners
vi) Salt
vii) Gamma-aminobutyric acid
viii) Citrus fruits
ix) Tyramine
x) Sulfites
xi) Nitrites and nitrates
xii) Amines
xiii) Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
xiv) Caffeine
xv) Ice Cream

It was found that stress and dietary triggers have been the major trigger in many cases.

Exactly how these factors activate the migraine headaches has been a mystery. However, the common speculation amongs scientist was that the triggers actually causes an irregular pattern of electrical activity in the cortex (the outer layer of the brain).

Different migraine sufferer are found to be sensitive to different triggers and many of the sufferers are not even bothered by any triggers at all. One of the best way to find out what actually trigger your migraine headache is to keep a diary to jot down when the migraine headache occur and what circumstances under which it occurred.

What Are Not Migraines

Sometimes it was kind of hard to diagnose migraines as other main types of headaches have symptoms that overlap with those of migraines. The following are some signs that indicate your headache isn't a migraines.

1) Headache that could be described as dull ache.

2) Shoulder and neck muscles feel knotted up.

3) Headaches only happen after sex or physical exertion.

4) Headaches are getting worse steadily.

But, no mater what, if you still aren't sure whether your headache is migraine, the best advice for you is to look up a doctor and let him diagnose it for you. I'll write more on that (how to get a good migraine doctor) in my future post.

Symptoms of Migraine Headaches

If you are not sure whether you're suffering from migraine just because you got these headaches more often these days. Then the following are some of the symptoms that might help you to decide.

1) Throbbing or hammering pain on one or both sides of your head.

2) Intensity of the headache ranges from moderate to severe to almost intolerable.

3) Might experience an aura though it's more common that migraine sufferers don't experience auras.

4) Might feel lethargic and sad when you have the migraine attack.

5) Might experience loss of appetite, nausea, extreme sensitivity to light, smells and/or sounds during the migraine attack.

It's widely agreed that the symptoms of migraines can be different for each individual, so don't diagnose your headaches as non-migraine just becuase you did not have some of the symptoms listed above. The best thing to do is get a professional advise. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, and let him be the one to identify the kind of headaches you're suffering from and determine what can be done to wipe out the pain.

What are Migraines Headaches?

Migraines headaches seems to discriminate against no one. It can happen to poor as well as rich.

If you're one of the millions who suffer from migraine headache, I will like to welcome you to the club. I said this with the best intention as you have come to the right place to tackle your migraine problem.

There seem to be a common misunderstand about migraines headaches. First of all, it does not have to be very intense, throbing headaches. Some migraines are actually mild to moderate which might not be intense enough to be classified by migraine sufferer as migraine headaches.

The symptoms of migraine headaches come in many forms. It is this reason that many migraine sufferers have been living with it for years without any effective medication to stop it as they do not realize that they are sufferring from migraines headaches.

Migraine Headaches -- Friends or Foe?

Migraine headaches bugging you lately?

If so, you're not alone. In fact, during the past year in the United States alone, between 90% of men and 95% of women have suffered at least one headache attack, with 40 to 50 million Americans' headaches being chronic in nature; 88 percent of women and 68% of men have suffered tension-type headache, the most common category, while migraines affect 26 to 30 million Americans, or 1 in every 9 adults.

Would the world be an ideal place to live in if we can experience no pain at all? At least, it would mean no more migraine headache which is definitely a reason for migraine sufferer to celebrate all day long. But, on the other hand, pain has one crucial function: to warn us that something harmful has occurred to our body. Pains warns us of danger if ignored can lead to physical harm or even death. For example, if we touch a hot kettle unknowingly with our hand without the ability to experience pain, our hand will be burned and finally cooked. So pain is definitely a good thing. But what if the pain happen in your head and it comes and go anytime it likes without any schedule or apparent reason, then it might not be that good any more.

So what is migrained Headaches? Before I answer it, you may already know that headaches can be serious, disabling illness, a life-altering condition causing helplessness and misery, disrupting families, interfering with career, school, lifestyle, and qualtiy of life. Nor is any age group immune; children are afflicted, even babies. For some, headaches can lead to depression and suicide.

Migraine headaches are the number-one complaint in doctors' offices, with 10 million Americans a year visiting a physician specifically for the problem while a uncountable millions more not even bothering to ask for medical advice, because they ignorantly don't think anything can be done to help them. This website is created to help migraine sufferers out there with FREE advice on migraines treatment and cure.

Migraine headaches are the major reason for adult missing from work and kids from school. In the United States alone, lost work time is estimated to be 150,000,000 days per year resulting $17.2 billion being spent in medical treatment and billions in lost dollars to business; lost school days due to migraine headaches are guessed to be at 329,000 days per month nationwide. Add to this headache sufferers who, despite pain and affliction, still maintain attendance at jobs and school, but function at 50 percent capacity.

So let's look at our question again: What is migrained Headaches? They are often experienced as intense, recurring headaches on pretty regular interval. The good news are they are manageable - if you make an effort to sort out the things that trigger your migraines, and the sorts of medications and lifestyle changes needed to stop your migraine headache.