Disease Info

Migraine

Moderate to severe headache sometimes accompanied by nausea is due to blood vessels enlargement in the brain region. Migraine is different from sinus and tension-type headaches. When the blood vessels enlarge, this will stretch the nerves around them, which in turn triggers the release if chemicals from nerves. Usually migraine is localized in one half of the head (unilateral migraine). A patient experiences pulsating headache, nausea, increased light sensitivity, vomiting, which can last from several hours to several days.

Very common migraine includes the pain behind the eyes or in the back of the head and neck. For many patients, the headaches start on the same side and then change the side, if unilateral headache always occurs on one side, this can possibly be a brain tumour caused secondary migraine. Apart from pain patients experience loss of appetite or, on the opposite, increased cravings for certain food, thirst, fatigue, chills, diarrhoea, frequent urination, irritability, euphoria, confusion. The main symptoms along with the pain can be predeceased by aura symptoms, which mainly include vision distortions and numbness in fingers.

Migraines are more common in women than in men and tend to occur in people of ages 15-55, and is hereditary in many cases. So, what can cause the migraine? Today the medicine has no clear explanation for that, some explanations include changing of blood flow in the brain region and surrounding tissues due to abnormal nerve condition and chemical release. It is known that certain foods (by their direct influence to the blood or by constipation problems), stress (including lack of sleep, hormonal changes), emotions, environmental factors (especially, weather) can all act as migraine triggers. Most migraine attacks happen due to: acidic food, indigestion or constipation, allergy, certain odours, hormonal changes, exhausting exercises, alcohol intake, bright light or big noise (flickering light patterns, loud noises), missing meals or fasting, decreased sugar level in the blood, low blood pressure, smoking or passive smoking, any kind of stress or sleep disturbance. One should be very cautious when taking these products, which can trigger severe migraine in certain people: processed, pickled, marinated fermented food, food with monosodium glutamate, aspartame, caffeine, chocolate, baked food, dairy products, certain fruits like bananas, citruses, avocado, nuts, onions, peanut butter, processed meat (bacon, sausages, cured meat). After intake or food triggers one can expect the migraine in the interval of several hours to 2 days, but sometimes it won't happen at all. It seems the mechanism of the migraine headache is far more complex and depends on numerous factors, thus, making it difficult to prevent it.There are different types of migraine:

  • Ocular migraine

    Temporary loss of vision as well as disturbances to the normal vision field are associated with this type of migraine, which can also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light. These can last up to 45 minutes and usually occurs after prolong focus requiring activity (computer work, watching TV reading etc.).

  • Vertebrobasilar migraine

    The dysfunction of the lower part of the brain, responsible for consciousness and balance, will produce such symptoms as fainting, double vision and vertigo.

  • Hemiplegic migraine
Ayurvedic Approach

Modern medicine cannot cure the headache, the treatment usually involves the prevention of it by avoidance of triggers. While those with migraines are in a risk group for a stroke, migraines usually are harmful, but can mess up your daily life. Ayurvedic medicine can use herbal medicine to eradicate the cause of the migraine, or it can be done without any medicine. Migraine is usually accompanied by constipation, which in results from poor digestion or digestive system disorder. Targeting the very root of the pain can eliminate the migraine. Vomiting can be associated with migraines, which is good, as the toxins from disturbed digestion try to find the way out of a body. Even in cases of no nausea in migraine patients, Ayurvedic doctors will force them to vomit. However, one should know that vomiting can be dangerous due to possible blockage of inhaling paths, hence, should be performed with the help of a knowledgeable medical staff. Different kashayams and tailams can be used in Ayurvedic treatment of migraines, among them: Shadbindu tailam, Anu tailam and others. Before prescribing any medicine patients are put into Panchakarma or Rasayama therapies. Panchakarma is used by Ayurveda to get rid of toxins in the body, which consists of 3 phases, each characterized by different types of therapies (oil massage, herbal enemas, fermented liquid massage, herbal purification, virechanam (purgation), nasayam etc.). It is very advisable to take a rest after completing Panchakarma course for 1-2 weeks. Following Panchakarma is Rasayana therapy, which will keep the enzymes in the tissue cells in their balanced mode. Mostly oral medicine (kashayams and leyams) used to ease the migraines with Ayurvedic approach, as they can target patient's Vata balance. Following the detoxification ayurvedic doctors can ask you to follow a special diet and lifestyle regimen, which will bring the body's constitution into balanced state. These can include yoga exercised, where breathing technique are found to be most beneficial and effective.