Written by: Bethanykesue
Migraine is a severe recurring headache that is usually
accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms such as blind spots,
flashes of light, and tingling in some parts of the body. The sharp
pain is very disturbing, for it can last for hours or days. If you are a
migraine sufferer, then you know that this condition can be a great
hindrance in some important portions of one’s life. It can cause
problems to one’s work, relationship with other people, and mere
function as a human being. Presuming you are a migraine sufferer, you
would certainly want to do everything to prevent or lessen its
recurrence. For this, it is important for you to identify the type of
migraine you may have. This will help you seek the right treatment for
Two Main Types of Migraine
Migraine without Aura (Common Migraine)
This is the most common type of migraine. Its symptoms include
headache on one side of the head, and other indications like vomiting,
nausea and sensitivity to lights and noises. At times, the following
symptoms may also occur: blurred vision, abdominal pain, going pale,
diarrhea, and scalp tenderness.
Migraine with Aura (Classic Migraine)
Twenty five percent of migraine sufferers have migraine with aura.
Its symptoms are the same as the signs of common migraine; however, it
includes an aura or sign before the throbbing pain starts. The most
common type of aura is the visual aura. Examples are flashes of light,
temporary loss of vision, and seemingly rotating objects. Other types of
aura are numbness of some parts of the body, problems with speech, and
food cravings. Auras usually happen a few minutes before the headache.
There are times, though, that no headache follows.
Uncommon Types of Migraine
This type of migraine is common among children. Instead of severe
headache, they experience abdominal pain that lasts for hours. In this
condition, there may be a mild headache accompanied by nausea, vomiting,
or some types of aura. Children experiencing abdominal migraine may
likewise develop common migraine in their teenage years.
Its symptoms are the same as for common and classic migraine. There
are two types of menstrual migraine: pure menstrual migraine and
menstrual-associated migraine. Pure menstrual migraine occurs only
during periods, while menstrual-associated migraine happens around
periods and may also occur at other times of the month.
The pain is experienced at the back of the head and is accompanied
by aura symptoms including temporary blindness, vertigo, ringing in the
ears, trouble hearing, and dizziness. It is important to note that there
is a high risk of having stroke if you have this type of migraine.
Severe headache is accompanied by weakness of one side of the body
and may last for several hours or days. For this, it is sometimes
confused with a stroke. Other symptoms include visual and hearing
problems, difficulty speaking and swallowing, double vision, and severe
It is also called eye migraine or retinal migraine. People with
ocular migraine experience temporary loss of vision in one eye. Vision
returns to normal after the attack. This type of migraine may occur with
or without headache.
Now that we have discussed the basics, it’s
your turn to closely think of what you have learned and seek the right
treatment for your condition. It really pays to make some research about
anything that concerns your body.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TENSION HEADACHE AND A MIGRAINE?
The difference between a migraine headache and a tension headache is that
while a tension headache involves the muscles and fascia of the scalp
and neck tightening and causing pain, a migraine involves a large
chemical change that affects the entire body. Blood vessels in the brain
become wider, serotonin is lowered, and nerves misfire – causing severe
pain – along with a host of other symptoms like those mentioned above
that usually do not occur in non-migraine headaches.
HEADACHE vs. MIGRAINE
Headache Duration – Hours to days
Migraine Duration – 4 to 72 hours
Headache Location – Over the entire head
Migraine Location – Often one-sided but not always
Headache Pain Intensity – Mild to moderate
Migraine Pain Intensity – Often Severe
Nature of Headache – Dull, pressing
Nature of Migraine – Pounding, throbbing, increases with activity
Other symptoms of Headache – Minimal to none
Other symptoms of Migraine – Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound and odors.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A MIGRAINE?
When the temperature climbs, so does the likelihood of developing a migraine
or other severe headache. In one recent study, researchers found a 7.5%
increase in headache risk for every 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Low
barometric pressure, which often precedes rain, was linked to a small
bump in non-migraine headaches.
Strong smells — even nice ones –trigger migraines in many people. Why this happens is unclear, but the odors may stimulate the nervous system. The most common culprits are
paint, dust, perfume, and certain types of flowers.
Cheese – One of the most common migraine triggers is aged cheese, including blue
cheese, brie, cheddar, feta, mozzarella, parmesan, and Swiss. These
foods contain tyramine which can cause a migraine. Red wine and some
alcoholic drinks also contain tyramine.
Cold cuts and processed meat – These contain both tyramine and nitrates which can also affect many migraine sufferers.
Caffeine- Though caffeine is found in many headache medications, it is actually
a cause of rebound headaches though it is difficult for people who are
used to consuming large amount of caffeine to withdraw from it, doing so
can significantly reduce migraine frequency and intensity.
Wheat (bread, pasta, etc.)
Nuts and peanuts
* Includes skim or whole cow’s milk, goat’s milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
** Includes beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.
What Are the Different Types of Migraines?
There are quite a few types of migraines, but most people suffer from one of
two types, the common migraine or the classic migraine. The difference
between these two headaches is that the common migraine does not have an
aura and classic migraines do have an aura.
An aura refers to .visual symptoms that begin before the classic migraine actually starts.
These symptoms may include seeing jagged lines in front of your eyes or
actually losing vision for a few minutes, hearing ringing or other
noises that aren’t actually there, feeling numb or having tingly
sensations, or smelling odd odors. This aura can actually be useful,
because it can and does serve as a warning that a very painful migraine
is on the way. This would at least allow you to take some preventive
measures. For people who suffer from a common migraine, there is often
no warning. Suddenly, they feel pain in their jaw or eye socket and it
rapidly spreads and increases in intensity until they have a full blown
While few people develop one of the rarer migraines,
there are several you may want to know about. These migraines are just
as painful as the more common migraine types.
* Exertion Migraines are over more quickly than most types of migraines. You can develop one
of these migraines if you overextend yourself while you are exercising
and develop dehydration at the same time, if you lift something heavy,
if you have a sneezing fit, or even if you bend over.
* Retinal Migraines are migraines that cause you to temporarily lose vision in an
eye. You will probably lose vision before the head pain actually begins.
*Hemiplegic Migraines have a rather scary symptom. If you suffer from
this type of migraine, you’ll actually develop temporary paralysis on
the side of your body that the migraine is forming on.
* Ophtalmoplegic Migraines are one of the longest lasting types of
migraines. This form of the disease begins with pain around the eye and
eye problems continue throughout the entire migraine. Visual distortions
and blurred vision are common symptoms of this type of migraine.
*Noctural Migraines are fortunately very rare and develop during the
night. They are intense enough to wake the migraine sufferer from their
* Basilar Artery Migraines are usually limited to teen
girls or young women. This migraine develops by causing the basilar
artery to constrict, which leads to dizziness, poor co-ordination,
vomiting and even problems with speech. This migraine type eventually
should become the more standard classic migraine, with its accompanying
* Abdominal Migraines are a type of migraine that doesn’t
actually involve head pain. Instead, this migraine usually causes
stomach pain. The normal nausea and vomiting other migraine types cause
occurs after the stomach pain starts. This migraine type occurs most
commonly in young children.
So as you can see although most people simply refer to a migraine headache there are many, many different types of migraine itself. That being said most people tend to suffer
from either the classic or common migraine.
Certain beverages and additives – These can be particularly bad and include
alcoholic beverages (especially red wine), caffeinated drinks (coffee,
tea, and colas), monosodium glutamate, aspartame (NutraSweet), and
A summary of triggers include stress, sleep
disturbances, fasting, hormones, bright or flickering lights, odors,
cigarette smoke, alcohol, aged cheeses, processed meats, chocolate,
monosodium glutamate, nitrites, aspartame, and caffeine. For some women,
the decline in the blood level of estrogen during the onset of
menstruation is a trigger for migraine headaches.
WHAT LIFESTYLE CHANGES CAN HELP?
Avoiding Food Triggers. – (See triggers above)
Eating A Healthy Diet – One study indicated that a low in fat/ high complex
carbohydrate diet may significantly reduce the frequency, severity, and
duration of migraine headaches.
Drinking Plenty Of Water. – Even if you don’t feel thirsty, you can still be
dehydrated. Dehydration is thought to play a role in over 50% of all
migraines. Drinking an 8 ounces glass of water every hour or so, can
really help with migraine frequency and intensity.
Aerobic Exercise – Exercise relieves stress. Low impact, moderate exercise has
been shown to help prevent migraines. Walking, hiking, treadmill or
elliptical machines are good choices. Remember to warms up and not do
anything to suddenly or vigorously..
Behavioral Treatments – Many neurologists who specialize in treating migraine patients recommend behavioral techniques that reduce stress and help patients to identify
it. Research indicates between 35 – 50% reduction in migraine and
tension-type headaches with these techniques generally including:
biofeedback therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and relaxation
Avoiding Oral Contraceptives – Oral contraceptives
(OCs) have been associated with worse headaches in 18 – 50% of women and
have also been linked to a higher risk for stroke in women with classic
migraines (with auras). This is due to the hormonal modulation that
these kinds of drugs cause.
WHY DOES YOUR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS WORK AGAINST YOU?
Many migraine suffers use either prescription medicines like triptans (i.e.
Immitrex, Zomig) or over the counter medications many of which contain
caffeine. When these medications are consistently used many times a week
they actually cause significantly more migraines to happen, even though
they may help the current migraine at hand.
Many prescription drug users will find the need to take more of the drug in a day or two
because they think the migraine they had returned, when in fact it is a
new migraine. THIS IS REFERRED TO AS MEDICATION-OVERUSE HEADACHE (MOH)
and this problem is rampant, especially in chronic migraine sufferers.
It is very important for migraine sufferers to be aware of their MOH
problem because it stops them from responding to preventive techniques
and medicines. PREVENTING A MIGRAINE IS A MUCH BETTER OPTION THAN TRYING
TO TREAT ONE AFTER IT HAS OCCURRED.
WHAT EFFECT DOES PMS HAVE ON MIGRAINES AND FREQUENCY IN SOME WOMEN?
As previously mentioned under the contraceptive pills section, the changes
in hormonal balance that occurs during various stages of the menstrual
cycle can have a large impact on the occurrence of migraines. 18-50% of
women report that there is a menstrual component to their migraines. An
all natural preventive supplement like MigreLief-M which addresses many
of the causes of migraines as well as the symptoms of PMS is the perfect
choice for women who experience “Menstrual Migraine”.
CAN MIGRAINES BE PREVENTED NATURALLY?
A combination of Magnesium, Riboflavin and Puracol Feverfew have been
known to reduce the symptoms and severity of migraines and often prevent
them completely. Each individually has been known throughout the world
for its positive impact on migraines for various reasons. Consumed
together they are most likely to address the problem. A product called
MigreLief contains all three at highly effective levels proven effective
in clinical studies. (Two forms of Magnesium, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2),
and Puracol(TM)–a proprietary source of the herb Feverfew.)
HOW IS MAGNESIUM RELATED TO MIGRAINE PREVENTION?
The benefits of Magnesium are well documented. Studies show that
Magnesium deficiency may be linked with migraines. Magnesium helps keep
the blood vessels in the brain properly toned and open, prevents the
spasm of arteries, stabilizes cell membranes, and prevents platelet
HOW IS RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2) RELATED TO MIGRANE PREVENTION?
Riboflavin is involved in energy production in every cell, and studies suggest it
can have a dramatic benefit. A deficiency of cellular energy has been
observed in some people with migraines, and Riboflavin can help correct
WHAT IS PURACOL(TM) FEVERFEW AND HOW IS IT RELATED TO MIGRAINE PREVENTION?
Feverfew is a traditional medicinal herb that has been safely used for centuries
in Europe by migraine sufferers. Puracol Feverfew is a combination of a
proprietary Feverfew extract PLUS a proprietary source of the whole
herb. This combination assures a broad and concentrated range of the
active ingredients to deliver maximum benefits.
CAN A MIGRAINE DIARY HELP WITH MIGRAINE MANAGEMENT?
Absolutely! Keeping a headache and migraine diary is an effective tool for
documenting the frequency and severity of migraines, the effectiveness
of your prevention supplement and any medications. It is also useful in
discovering patterns to your migraines and headaches, tracking triggers,
and assisting doctors with diagnosis. When starting a preventative
program, it is a great way to note a decreasing dependency on