A migraine is a neurological condition characterized by intense pulsating headaches which can last from a few hours to a few days. It is very frequently accompanied by nausea and vomiting, along with other symptoms that vary according to intensity and the stage of the migraine.
If you suffer from recurring long-lasting and debilitating headaches, along with other intense symptoms, we suggest you visit a physician immediately. We recommend getting an MRI in Lahore if it is convenient for you.
As we’ve said before, the main indicator of a migraine is a persistent throbbing headache. However, there are other accompanying symptoms that increase in severity depending on the stage that the migraine is in. Note that you do not necessarily go through all these stages when you have a migraine. There are in general, four different stages:
This stage occurs about a day or two before the characteristic headaches begin, and may warn of what is to come. The symptoms associated with this stage are:
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Reduced appetite
- Frequent urination
- Frequent yawning
This stage may occur during or even before the headaches begin, and is due to the impact on the nervous system. Because of this, symptoms usually involve vision, movement and speech. The symptoms progress gradually over a few minutes, and last less than an hour. These include:
- Difficulty in speaking clearly
- Minor hallucinations like flashing lights or shifting black dots
- Complete loss of vision
- Feeling a tingling sensation or numbness in one’s arms, legs or face
- A feeling of heaviness in the arms and legs
- Ringing in the ears
This is the phase most commonly referred to when talking about migraines, and is the most severe stage. It can overlap with the aura, so that symptoms of both may appear simultaneously. Even the symptoms of the attack stage can vary between cases. These are:
- Throbbing aches on both sides of the head, but this can also affect just one side. This is usually aggravated by strenuous physical activity.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light, smell and/or touch
- Pain on various sides of the head
This stage usually occurs after the attack stage of a migraine, and can involve sudden changes in mood or disposition: from feelings of euphoria, to apathy and depression. One may also feel fatigued or lethargic, have muscle pain, or even have a loss of appetite.
Causes and Triggers
Though the exact cause of migraines isn’t completely understood, the current belief is that overactive neurons are responsible for causing the release of molecules like serotonin and CGRP, the latter of which cause blood vessels in the brain to swell, while the former regulates feelings of pain.
Regardless, we do know that environmental factors as well as genetics are responsible for bringing on migraines. A history of migraines and specific symptoms may indicate a disposition for developing migraines and those symptoms.
We also know that there are certain triggers that stimulate migraines to occur. These include:
- Hormonal changes (such as those that occur in women during menstrual periods and pregnancy)
- Inherited triggers like sensitivity to bright lights and weather changes
- Intense physical stress
- Medications like vasodilators
- Certain foods and food additives (like salt)
- An irregular sleeping cycle
If you suffer from frequent migraines it is a good idea to try and figure out what the trigger was. This can help treat it. We recommend getting an MRI in Lahore, to figure out what the best course of action is.