Headache as a term signifies is the pain in and around head. It can be found with other accessory symptoms. Headache is one of the most commonly found and difficult clinical condition in everyday practice. The major reason behind this is majority of patients have trivial causes and also it is sometimes taken as a common symptom. This ignorance leads to failure of diagnosis.
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book”
Headache can be classified into several types such as:
- Tension Headache
- Migraine Headache
- Cluster Headache
Let’s look about migraine headache and it’s warning symptoms and also how with certain lifestyle changes we can manage it with homoeopathy and holistic approach.
Migraine is characterised by episodic headaches that usually covers half of the head, that is migraine is typically unilateral and often associated with visual disturbances and vomiting.
One year migraine prevalence rates in the general population for western countries gave a data of 4% to 9% in males and from 11% to 25% in women.
A similar study in India, revealed the prevalence of migraine in 14.1% individuals out of 2421 individuals . Maximum burden among the women especially in the age range of mid thirties.
Hence, women are at more risk for developing Migraine headache.
Causes for Migraine
Causes for migraine are ranging from genetics to hormonal, also the environmental factors have strong role to play in the development and further complication of migraine headache.
To be precise, we have more triggers for migraine than causes. Triggers vary from person to person and serve them differently. Hence, it is important to understand your migraine and it’s triggers very well.
- Sensory stimuli such as bright lights, loud sound, strong smells of perfume, incense sticks, maybe even food and sun heat & light can activate your senses and act as a trigger factor for migraine.
- Hormonal changes in women during pregnancy and menstruation may serve as one of the trigger. Estrogen has a major role to play here.
- Food and eating schedule play an important role as a trigger for migraine. Some people complaint of unilateral headaches after having fried foods, farinaceous foods or items containing cheese. Others complaint of, mild headache beginning after skipping meals which flourishes into a full fledged migraine in a span of one or two days.
- Certain drinks ( caffeine, alcohol, & preserved juices), stress, lack of sleep may also act as a triggering factors for migraine.
Types Of Migraine
If we classify migraine to have a better understanding, it will be principally classified into two types.
- Migraine with aura or classical migraine
- Migraine without aura or common migraine
Classical migraine have aura (aura means a feeling or character that a person seems to have) that mainly consists of visual or sensory symptoms such as flashing of light, irritability to respond or hear voices etc. precede or accompany headache.
Common migraine is without aura (no preceding or accompanying sensory symptoms). More often common migraine is accompanied with nausea, vomiting, photophobia etc.
Warning Symptoms of Migraine
Migraine headaches are episodic and include various stages. It begins slowly, attains it’s peak, and declines. If you know your triggers well and can make out the starting stage of migraine episode, a lot suffering can be avoided with holistic approach. Migraine usually progresses through four stages: prodromal stage, aural stage, attack stage, and post-drome stage. With conscious observation and adequate awareness progression of the migraine episode can be restricted. It is not necessary that every migraine will go through all stages. Let’s look the warning symptoms of each stages.
This stage begins one or two days prior a migraine headache and it is a warning sign by our reason gifted mind. You will notice minor changes in your mood (euphoric feeling), bowel moments will change with hard stools, stiffness in and around head & neck area, changes in food habits and cravings including thirst. A self aware person knows it is abnormal and an attack of migraine is nearby.
This is the confirmatory stage or those who were not able to identify the prodromal stage can definitely make out the aura because it delivers peculiar warning symptoms. Sensory and visual sensations of flashes, various bright shapes are observed. There will be extreme lethargy or numbness mostly unilateral. Seems like pins or needles are piercing mostly in arms. All these develop gradually and remain for sometime. Sometimes aura is short-lived and progresses to attack stage swiftly.
This stage can be worst, it’s like you will have extreme headache and it seems to cover the entire head because of its severity. Pulsations and throbbing pains that can make you even bang your head to the wall thinking it would ameliorate but of no use, nausea persists and sometimes vomiting makes you feel a bit lighter. This stage may last for 48-72 hours from person to person. Sensitivity to sound and light is at its climax.
This is when you are gaining back your power and energy after battling migraine for few days. This will leave you drained and weak.
Migraine doesn’t happen overnight so, it gives us enough chances to hinder it progress. Awareness and right choice of treatment can save you from unnecessary pain and suffering.
Homoeopathy is a science of similar, based on the principle of “Similia similibus curanter”. It believes that the man has to be treated as a whole and not just the disease. This makes it the second most used mode of treatment across the world. When a man is considered as a whole entity and not divided into different organs or systems suffering with the disease it makes it easier to find the cause of the suffering.
Migraine headache reflects varied symptoms and have different trigger factors in different individuals. The same migraine episode can be distinctive for each, homoeopathy has much to offer here. Homoeopathy being a science of individualisation has varied remedy for pain in head, irritability, dazzling & blurred vision and other warning symptoms, if i put it this way symptomatically.
Homoeopathy deals with symptoms and advocates that sign & symptoms are the reflection of inner derangement (vital force) and once these are treated the suffering of the person will be relieved. What is migraine without its symptoms? Symptoms of pain, nausea, vomiting & visual derangements hinder everyday chores of a person leaving them more irritable. Isn’t that no symptoms means no suffering. So, choosing homeopathy that works on the required area of need rather than suppressing or palliating the symptoms for short period of time is the best option.
To mention few homeopathic remedies that work wonderfully for migraine are:
- Natrum mur
- Bryonia alba
Holistic approach along with homoeopathy is the best way to deal with troublesome migraine headache. Try avoiding the trigger factors as much as possible and if not always at least once the prodrome stage has begun. Lavender essential oil, ginger or chamomile tea act as a mild de-stressors & prove helpful in some cases.
So, knowing your migraine specifically and diagnosis with rightful treatment is the saviour. Don’t ignore your body’s cry for help and stay healthy with integrated mode of treatment.
Dr. Divya Mishra (BHMS, MD)