Did you know that 70 percent of all migraine sufferers are women? June is national migraine and headache awareness month. Throughout this month many people are helping one another to understand the symptoms, the causes, and to educate each other on how to prevent migraines and headaches in the future.
What is a Migraine and Headache?
Headaches are mainly associated with a pain in any part of your head, mainly over the eyes and close to your temples. Migraines are the most common type of headache that is usually confined to one side of the head associated with four stages of symptoms.
Migraines have four stages that occur which are; prodrome, aura, attack, and postdrome.
• Prodrome occurs one to two days before a migraine, which includes signs such a constipation, depression, food cravings, neck stiffness, and uncontrollable yawning.
• Aura occurs during migraine headaches and can include vision loss, visual phenomena, and speech or language problems. These symptoms may last from 20 to 60 minutes.
• Attack occurs when your migraine is left untreated, and usually lasts from 4 hours to 72 hours, and can reoccur several times a month. One may have symptoms such as blurred vision, nausea, sensitivity to light, and lightheadedness.
• Postdrome is the final stage of a migraine. You may feel extremely tired and drained.
Headaches can be activated by lifestyle factors such as
• Poor posture
• Skipped meals
• Lack of sleep
• Alcohol, mainly red wine
• Particularly, goods such as processed meats that contain nitrates
• Avoid triggers such as certain foods, alcoholic drinks especially wine, and changes in sleep pattern.
• Exercise regularly but not vigorously, a regular workout reduces tension.
• Reducing estrogen levels for women, by avoiding the medications you take that contain estrogen.
• Drink plenty of water.
• Manage your stress by taking up a few hobbies, or using techniques such as deep breathing to relax your nerves while stressed.
• Maintain a good posture; move around as much as possible throughout your day.
Treatment- depending on the type of headaches you are suffering from there are various ways to treat them.
Recurrent Tension Headaches are treated with
• Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.
• Alternative therapies such as mediation, relaxation training, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Migraines are mainly treated with
• Over-the-counter medications
• Resting in a quiet dark room
• Prescription medications
Almost 5 million people in the U.S. experience at least one migraine attack per month. Making migraines visible is the goal, so do your part and become familiar with the symptoms and treatments of migraines and headaches.