Migraine Headaches Treatment

Migraine Headaches Treatment
Migraine Headaches Treatment

Migraine Headaches Treatment -
Migraine headaches treatment is a process that takes time and needs special attention. If you want to properly treat your migraine headaches then choose a qualified professional who is aware that migraine headaches is a severe disorder – not just a simple “headache”.

Many people are suffering from migraine headaches, so it is very likely that you have friends suffering from the disease. Many of them (if not all) will probably offer to diagnose what is happening with your case and what are the causes that you get the migraine headaches. Although these suggestions are undoubtedly with good intentions, for proper migraine headaches treatment you need to get the advice of a doctor. The doctor has the necessary training and knowledge to suggest the proper treatment for migraines. The basis for a successful migraine treatment is the correct diagnosis.

If you believe that you suffer from migraine headaches, then the first step you should do is to visit a neurologist. The neurologist as a first action may make an examination to confirm that you are suffering from migraine headaches and not any other disease and recommend the proper treatment.

Migraine headaches treatment

There are many drugs used for headache treatment. Generally, the drugs against migraine headaches are divided into two categories: medication for the treatment of seizures (e.g.acetylsalicylic acid, triptans) and medication to help the prevention migraine headaches crises (e.g. beta-blocking, anti-epileptics).

1. Medications for the treatment of migraine headaches

A. Simple analgesics and non-steroidal (anti-inflammatory) are effective in some patients with a mild form of migraine headaches. The most common medicine for this case is aspirin, paracetamol and caffeine. Be careful when taking such medicines, because sometimes may make the headache worse, or drug misuse can cause chronic headaches. If you are taking such medicines for more than three times a week you should definitely consult your doctor.

B. Specific drugs for the treatment of migraine headaches: In the cases that the simple analgesics do not manage to provide relief from the migraine, the doctor will recommend more specific medication for the treatment of migraine headaches such as triptans.

Triptans are drugs that can be used specifically for the immediate treatment of migraine headaches. These drugs help to shrink the vessels of the brain and in that way they bring the situation to a normal status by eliminating the pain. They are also effective for the treatment of the symptoms of migraine headaches like nausea and intolerance to light. The triptans must be taken immediately after the experience of a migraine headache crisis. This way they are more efficient and can last longer.

In the case of the cure of migraine headaches with medication, the doctor may give you drugs in the cases were:
  • The migraine headaches are severe
  • The migraine headache crises occur more frequently than two or three times a month
  • The headaches can cause problems in everyday life activities
  • Medication to treat the acute phase of migraine headache crisis are ineffective or cause unacceptable side effects.

The doctor may also order you to use preventive medication. This can reduce the frequency, severity and duration of migraine headaches and is usually taken on a regular, daily basis. This may reduce the need for medication to treat the intense phase of a migraine crisis or to improve the way patients respond to these medicines.

For the prevention of migraine headaches many different kinds of drugs are used.
  • Antihypertensive drugs such as propranolol and metoprololi
  • Antidepressants such as amitriptylini
  • Flounarizini
  • Anticonvulsants such as topiramate

Always consult your doctor to determine whether preventive medication is right for you.

2. Non-pharmaceutical methods for the treatment of migraine headaches

There are other, practical ways that can eliminate the symptoms of a migraine headache, such as a cold compresses, or to lie down in a dark room. Other non-pharmaceutical methods include:

Lifestyle changes: You may have noted that you get a migraine after a hard day at work or even during weekends, while trying to relax from the tension of the week, when your meals are at irregular times, or if you are too tired or when you have problems sleeping. It has been proven that stress and sudden changes in daily routine can be the cause of a form of migraine headaches. If your migraines occur after a specific pattern, you can benefit by making small changes in your lifestyle and avoid such stressfull conditions as much as possible by following stress relaxation techniques.

Very important also is to not consume certain foods and drinks such as chocolate, dairy products, alcohol, fried and full fat foods, tea, coffee, and seafood. However, your sensitivity to these foods can vary depending on your current levels of stress, how well you sleep and whether you are in menstruation cycle (for women).

Finally, it is very important to keep a diary to record the time / date and conditions that you had experience a migraine headache. This can help your doctor determine what was the cause of migraine headaches and suggest appropriate treatment.

Preventing the migraine headaches crisis

Identifying and avoiding the factors that lead to a migraine headache crisis may help reducing the frequency of migraine crisis. You can record when you experience a headache so as to identify the migraine headache symptoms that are applicable for each case.

If you can remember what you eat before a migrain headache crisis will help you locate the cause of the headache and to make the necessary changes in your diet to avoid these stimuli in the future. Controling the levels of stress with relaxation techniques can help to prevent migraines or to reduce their significance. Women who suffer from frequent migraine headaches is due to their menstruation cycle and they can take preventive actions before the period.

It is also proven that patients with migraine headaches experience less crises when they eat their meals at regular hours on a daily basis and also when they rest sufficiently. Regular physical exercise may also help prevent migraine headaches.

Other methods you can use for the treatment of migraine headaches are:
  • Avoid foods that cause you headaches
  • Eat regular meals and do not eat snacks with sugar (sweets, honey, chocolate) and prefer foods with complex carbohydrates (such as cereals, bread, potatoes, pulses, rice, pasta)
  • Avoid going through exhaustive weight loss diets
  • Drink plenty of water (2 litres a day)
  • Reduce the consumption (not total deprivation) of drinks containing caffeine (coffee, tea, cola type soft drinks) and alcohol.
  • Check carefully the labels of food for some «E» (nitrites and nitrates).
  • Take additional preventive doses of vitamin B2 and magnesium in the form of food supplements, after talking with your doctor.
  • Include fish in your daily diet. Research has found that fatty fish helps preventing migraine headaches. Also, other research showed that fish oil supplements can reduce the headache migraine crises and also their intensity.
  • Try to sleep well (at least 7 hours a day)
  • Improve your working conditions
  • Control your stress by applying techniques such as relaxation, yoga etc

Migraine headaches treatment can be done either using medication or other self-help methods. It is better to avoid medication but if you see that the self-help methods do not work as expected and you still experience migraine headaches, then you should consult your doctor to give you the correct medication for their treatment.