Phases of the Migraine

Phases of the Migraine

Different phases of pulsating pain
Phases of the Migraine

The Yuppy, Nerban, bum, herb, dude, trick may differ in their values and characteristics, but they all are exposed to mental strains – the stress of the world, mixed with a lack of sleep, with a sprinkle of annoying mofo’s, can be the recipe for concurrent migraines. You know what a migraine is; the heavy feeling in your head, the throbbing, occurs when you really don’t need it – when you have to focus on an important task, when you are in the company of loved ones, or when you are at work. Migraines have the ability to affect our mood, and subsequently our behavior. Upon reading, I found out that there are different phases of migraines that can attack us:

Prodrome phase
Prodromal symptoms occur in 40–60% of migraineurs (migraine sufferers). This phase may consist of altered mood, irritability, depression or euphoria, fatigue, yawning, excessive sleepiness, craving for certain food (e.g. chocolate), stiff muscles (especially in the neck), constipation or diarrhea, increased urination, and other visceral symptoms. These symptoms usually precede the headache phase of the migraine attack by several hours or days, and experience teaches the patient or observant family how to detect that a migraine attack is near.

Aura phase
For the 20–30% of individuals who suffer migraine with aura, this aura comprises focal neurological phenomena that precede or accompany the attack. They appear gradually over 5 to 20 minutes and generally last fewer than 60 minutes. The headache phase of the migraine attack usually begins within 60 minutes of the end of the aura phase, but it is sometimes delayed up to several hours, and it can be missing entirely. Symptoms of migraine aura can be visual, sensory, or motor in nature.

Pain phase
The typical migraine headache is unilateral, throbbing, moderate to severe and can be aggravated by physical activity. Not all of these features are necessary. The pain may be bilateral at the onset or start on one side and become generalized, and usually alternates sides from one attack to the next. The onset is usually gradual. The pain peaks and then subsides, and usually lasts between 4 and 72 hours in adults and 1 and 48 hours in children. The frequency of attacks is extremely variable, from a few in a lifetime to several times a week, and the average migraineur experiences from one to three headaches a month. The head pain varies greatly in intensity.

Postdrome phase
The patient may feel tired, have head pain, cognitive difficulties, “hungover”, gastrointestinal symptoms, mood changes and weakness. Some people feel unusually refreshed or euphoric after an attack, whereas others note depression and malaise. Often, some of the minor headache phase symptoms may continue, such as loss of appetite, photophobia, and lightheadedness. For some patients, a 5 to 6 hour nap may reduce the pain, but slight headaches may still occur when standing or sitting quickly. Normally these symptoms go away after a good night’s rest.

Now the remedy part to ‘alieve’ migraines, I usually go with the common-sense theorem; don’t do the things that are taxing to your body (i.e. not sleeping well, not eating properly, etc.), but that is better said than done – especially with the ambitious and simple-minded alike. There are the over the counter drugs like Aspirin and Tylenol, but I am not really a proponent for drugs because though they may help, one may develop a dependency on it that may be detrimental. And further, one is not solving the precipitating problem, but just allowing a mechanism to cope. Thus, the experts suggest that one way to significantly lower the frequency of migraines is to do physical activity for at least 15 minutes a day – its funny, it seems that excursive/vitality is the remedy to most ailments, yet we never find time to do so, and that is why a good 2/3+ of the U.S. population is obese – go figure. Sexual activity is also another viable way to decrease migraines – I am sure the fellas will subscribe to that … and it may even lead to an increase in men reporting migraines.

.:: LiBM ::.


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