MIGRAINE | cause, Diagnosis & Homeopathic approach

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       Any person who is suffering from a migraine headache can give you an idea as to how agonizing the pain can be. This severe unbearable pain can have a significant impact on your emotional and physical well being hence making your routine functioning impossible. But, Homeopathy is one safe therapy that can help you find a permanent relief from this agony. Migraine is
a vascular headache of a severe and chronic nature. Low levels of serotonin activate some chemical changes, which causes dilation (expansion) of blood vessels in the brain and nerve irritation, hence causing the Migraine headache. It is generally centered above one eye or the other. It is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting and

visual disturbances. Most migraine headaches usually last for about 4 hours, but occasionally severe ones can last for several days or up to a week. The migraine headaches can characteristically come in clusters or periodically. The rate of recurrence of migraines varies extensively among individuals. It is common for a migraine sufferer to get 2-4 headaches per month. Some people, however, may get headaches every few days, while others only get a migraine once or twice a year.


SOME FACTS ABOUT MIGRAINE
n Migraine is one of the common causes of recurrent headaches
n  According to IHS, migraine constitutes 16% of primary headaches
n  Migraine afflicts 10-20% of the general population
n  More than 2/3 of migraine sufferers either have never consulted a doctor or have stopped doing so
n  Migraine is underdiagnosed and undertreated
n  Migraine greatly affects quality of life. The WHO ranks migraine among the world’s most disabling medical illnesses

Types of Migraine

Migraine can be classified into two categories:
1)   Migraine without aura: This type is more common and is associated with a slowly increasing headache which in due course develops into a throbbing headache. This headache is mostly unilateral and is accompanied with nausea, vomiting, and unusual sensitiveness to light and  noise
2)   Migraine with aura: This type is less common and is known as classical migraine. This headache is unilateral too and is accompanied with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light often causing momentary visual impairment, double vision, numbness, tingling, vertigo, difficulty speaking, and weakness on one side of the body. Some people may have symptoms of migraine aura without a headache.
(Aura is a premonition, generally consisting of visual disturbances or neurological symptoms occurring within the hour before the onset of the headache).


Causes of Migraine

The correct cause of a migraine is not known. It has a tendency to run in families and the vascular theory states that migraine is due to the inflammation and dilation of the blood vessels in the head causing a disturbance of blood flow and thus leading to pain. There are a number of factors that can trigger an attack. Migraine ‘triggers’ can be categorized as follows:
·         Physical fatigue, due to over-exertion or over-relaxation.
·         Psychological factors like stress, excitement, worry, shock, and anxiety.
·         Sensitivity to certain foods and beverages: Certain foods like cheese, chocolates, alcohol, caffeine, citrus fruits, etc. can trigger a migraine attack.
·         Low blood sugar or Hypoglycemia can trigger migraine too. Often, missing meals can trigger an attack, especially in children.
·         Medical problems like high blood pressure, dental problems, etc.
·         Hormonal: Migraine has a 75% rate among women, mainly due to the hormonal relationship with estrogen that influences serotonin levels. When estrogen levels fall, so do serotonin levels. This link between estrogen and serotonin levels may also explain why some women suffer from migraine shortly before their menstrual periods or during perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause). Headaches related directly with the menstrual period are referred to as menstrual migraine.
·         Lack of sleep or too much sleep can trigger migraine attacks. A number of people find that they get migraine after overindulging into a weekend sleep.
·         Other factors like loud noise, bright lights, TV, strong smells, weather changes can also trigger the attack.


Signs and symptoms of Migraine

·         Pain that is more severe on one side of your head.
·         Throbbing or hammering pain.
·         Pain that interrupts with normal activity.
·         Pain aggravated by activity.
·         Nausea and vomiting accompanied by headache.
·         Unusual sensitiveness to light or sound.
·         Visual disturbances -- Hallucinations, Flashing lights, Double vision, etc.


Diagnosis

The migraine headache is mostly a clinical diagnosis, however there are certain structural problems of the brain that can mimic this headache and they include;
AVM (arterio-venous malformations)
Tumors
Other growths
Aneurysms/ bleedings
Brain infections etc.
The commonly utilized investigations to detect these pathologies are;

CT (CAT scan)
MRI of brain
Angiogram
CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) analysis etc.


Homeopathic approach to the Treatment of Migraine

        Looking for a safe, natural, effective, and long-lasting answer for your migraines? Consider Homeopathy. The Homoeopathic approach to the treatment of migraine patients is more individualistic. Homoeopathy considers migraine as a personality disorder and for this reason the treatment must be decided on the basis of a complete study of the patients' personality.
        With most of the patients the initial improvement starts after 2-4 week treatment, reducing the frequency and interval of the attacks. The attacks are almost terminated after 4-8 week treatment. But to achieve the maximum and the most permanent result the patient has to undergo 8-18 month treatment.

Dos and Don’ts to help you deal with Migraine headache

·         Splash cold water on your face during a severe migraine attack, and then lie down in a dark room and rest.
·         Take adequate sleep.
·         Take a break from your daily routine.
·         Set a regular and organized routine for your life style.
·         Work in a pleasant atmosphere. Avoid stress.
·         Avoid exposure to bright lights, loud noises, cold drafts, being under the sun for a long time, overstraining your eyes.
·         Avoid fried, too salty, spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, canned foods, stop smoking. A vegetarian diet is preferable.
·         Eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables.
·         Don’t overwork yourself physically or mentally.
·         Don’t overeat, eat small and frequent meals.
Hence, every person suffering from migraine must consider Homeopathy to provide relief and lifetime cure.

Homeopathic medicines for migraine

Belladonna
It is one of the acute remedy for migraine
It is Indicated in migraines which come suddenly, very intense, throbbing exploding, pressing outward, starts in the right back of the head and extends to the forehead and eyes.
It’s worse at 3 p.m., jarring, light, sun, washing the hair, stooping, menses.
It is a right sided remedy.
 It’s better lying in the dark quiet room, binding the head, sitting up in bed, bending the head back.

Natrum muriaticum  
Indicated in migraines which are pounding like little hammers, worse in the sun, bursting pain, worse on the right side, worse in the morning on waking, worse on reading or straining the eyes,  better cold applications, sweat, pressure, closing the eyes, lying in a dark room.
Migraine of school going girls.
Ill effect of long-lasting grief
Generalities:- Hot patient. Desires for salts.

Glonoinum
indicated in intense pounding migraines as if the head would explode. 
The pain increases and decreases with the sun’s rise and fall. 
Worse from heat, alcohol, tight collars, shaking the head. 
Better from pressure, lying in a dark room, cold washing, getting into the shade, wearing a hat.

Arnica
 treats the onset of a migraine headache following a blow to the head (accident or injury).

Sanguinaria
It treats cluster headaches. The pain starts at the back of the head and extends to the deltoid muscle. It may occur every seven days.
It is known as the Sunday headache. It is a right sided remedy. A migraine headache on the right side of the head during a menstrual period.

Sepia
In this, headaches are hormone related. The migraine stops after exercising. The person is pessimistic, she sees everything in black, she seeks the solitude.

Cimicifuga
It relieves occipital pain which extends from the head to the nose.

Gelsemium
It treats recurrent migraine headaches caused from emotional instability. Pain over the left eye, with heavy eyelids.

Cyclamen
It is indicated in the treatment of migraine headaches. Symptoms include throbbing pain over the right eye spreading to the left eye, blurred vision, nausea, and dizziness. The migraine gets worse after drinking coffee.

Iris versicolor
 This remedy is indicated in periodic migraine headaches caused from indigestion. Blurred vision with pain on the right side of the head. The vomiting of bile.

Spigelia
It relieves an intolerable migraine headache that starts on the left side of the head and spreads to the other side. Motion makes the pain worse.

Silicea
It is indicated for pain at the back of the head that spreads over the eye. The migraine is alleviated by wrapping the head with a band. The patient is mild and obstinate.

Lycopodium
It relieves a throbbing pain on the right temple with dizziness. It is a right sided remedy. The patient is hot thermally.

Ignatia
It can be prescribed for migraine that occurs after an emotional upset, grief, or a broken heart.

Pulsatilla
It  treats migraine headaches during a menstrual period. It is aggravated by eating fatty food.
Patient id mild and yielding.

Lachesis
It is indicated for left sided complaints of women at menopause. A migraine on rising, feels better in the evening. The patient is suspicious.

Kali bich
It treats a migraine that begins after drinking beer. Nausea is followed by vomit. Symptoms are aggravated from light. 

Thuja
relieves left-sided migraine headaches. There is a sensation as if a nail is piercing the head.

Medorrhinum treats chronic migraine headaches.

Nux vomica
It relieves a migraine that occurs after drinking too much alcohol.
The patient is very chilly and workaholic. Irritable and very hard to please.

Aurum muriaticum treats a nervous migraine. Stools alternate from black to white.

Aurum metallicum is indicated for cerebral congestion. The person is suicidal.
The pain severe and thinks of suicide.


                                 Article prepared by: -
                                                          Dr. Razak BHMS
                                                         Consultant homeopath 
                                                          at Noor homeo clinic, Malappuram

Source
www.similima.com
NEJM 2002; 346(4): 257-269; XI Congress of the HIS
www.webmd.com

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