Although Hippocrates first described the auras associated with migraines in 400 B.C., it is the notable Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia who is celebrated as the man who discovered the migraine. His descriptions of one-sided head pain accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting is taken as the first full account of migraine.
In 1970, Oliver Sacks published his first book, entitled Migraine. The book is perhaps the first to deal with the subject in such close detail, providing in-depth explanations of the causes, types and treatments of migraines.
What is Migraine?
Migraines are classified as intense headaches affecting only one side of the head. Pain usually lasts from four to 72 hours (three days) and can be extremely debilitating. Migraines are often preceded or accompanied by auras (visual disturbances often taking the form of lights), blurred vision, nausea, vomiting and vertigo among other symptoms.
There are four known types of migraine: common migraine (migraine without and aura), migraine with aura, retinal migraine (migraine classified by head pain, auras and temporary blindness) and childhood migraine. The type of migraine is closely linked to the age of the sufferer.
Should a migraine last longer than three days, the sufferer is said to be in status migrainosus. Further medical intervention is needed.
Status migrainosus is not fatal. The condition is very easily treated with additional medicines injected by a doctor through the sufferers skin to end the migraine.
Symptoms of Migraine
The symptoms of a migraine differ greatly among sufferers and may occur before, during, or even after the event. Just as the pain of a migraine may shift from one side of the head to the other, so too can symptoms change over time. No symptoms are particularly exclusive to certain stages of the migraine.
Common symptoms include, but are not limited to, visual disturbances, increased sensitivity to light and/or sound, fatigue, mood swings, hallucinations, vertigo and, most obviously, bodily pain. Other symptoms may include unusual cravings, muscle stiffness particularly in the neck which most likely leads to uncomfortable neck pain, increased urination, diarrhea, constipation and fainting.
Complications of Migraine
Aside from the symptoms, most migraines are usually harmless. However, the migraine itself may increase the risk of other medical complications. The chances of further complications from migraine is higher in women taking the contraceptive pill than in migraine sufferers in general.
Those experiencing migraines are said to be twice as likely to suffer from stroke or hemorrage due to abnormal blood vessel activity in the brain. Doctors and scientists have also theorised that migraine sufferers may also have an increased risk of heart attacks or heart disease, but this is yet to be proven.
Migraines are generally not random occurances, but are often triggered by environmental or dietry factors, allergens or other sensitivities. Triggers of migraine may vary with each type of the condition and the sufferer themselves. It is important that the sufferer try to avoid the triggers of their migraines as much as possible.
Common triggers include but are not limited to allergens, bright lights, loud noises, emotions (particularly stress or depression), the menstrual cycle, menopause, certain foods and drinks and lack of sleep.
Treatment for Migraines
Most medicinal treatment for migraines is through the use of painkillers combined with harsher prescription drugs. Anti-depressants and some steroids have also been proven to decrease migraine occurrence. In recent years, there have been lots of therapies that can help with migraines, you could consider getting help from professionals who know how to use something like a Medical Grade Light Therapy Device for treatment.
More natural avenues for migraine treatment include a combination of feverfew and ginger (although this is scientifically untested) or even cannabis products like the hawaiian energizing 1000 mg cbd tincture. Some migraines have been known to also respond positively to caffeine. CBD can be smoked for faster relief of symptoms, so you may consider buying it from a craft medical cannabis cultivator.