The following article is taken from our book
The Real Truth about Headaches and Migraine
Much is being presented here and worth re-reading as it poses Questions that may not yet have been considered.
What is Migraine?
Migraine is an extremely common disorder, characterised by the recurrence of painful and non-painful episodic phenomena and a variety of neurological manifestations.
It is thus a chronic illness (migraine seen as a “disease”) interspersed with acute signs and symptoms (migraine is seen as an “attack”). The mechanisms underlying migraine appear to be increasingly complicated, and the term complex disease is used to define the nature of the illness and to describe the whole breadth of the clinical and subclinical aspects that it encompasses. (1)
Migraine is not simply a bad Headache. A migraine is an intense headache that may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick), visual problems and an increased sensitivity to light or sound.
- Migraines commonly last between 4 hours and 3 days
- Some experience migraines several times a week
- Others experience attacks every few years
Headaches on 15 days or more each month and 8 of these headaches are migraines, this is known as Chronic Migraine.
Although migraines are not life threatening and do not shorten people’s life expectancies, they can significantly damage the quality of people’s lives.
A World Health Organisation study identified migraine as the 6th highest cause worldwide of ‘years lost due to disability’ (which could also be understood as the number of years spent in less than ideal Health). Repeated migraines can have a negative impact on family life, social life and employment. (2)
Do we understand in this short section what a migraine is?
Do we need to spell it out in very Simple terms, so we all get it?
Firstly – it is EXTREMELY COMMON and that means a lot of people are suffering with migraine.
Next – it is a chronic illness and that means it is a dis-ease and they use the word “attack”.
So, something happens to us and it feels like we are being attacked. Right ?
Next – the experts, those that are supposed to know more than us are saying that the process underlying a migraine is very complicated and the term given to define migraines is a ‘complex disease’.
For the record – we are told this is not just a bad headache like some of us think it is.
Migraine is an intense headache, but it comes with other stuff like vomiting, sight problems and a hyper sensitivity to light and sound.
Next – our World Health Organization tells us that migraine happens to be the 6th highest cause worldwide of ‘years lost due to disability’.
We could stop at this statement and ask a few sensible Questions:
The fact that migraine is in the top 10 list worldwide speaks volumes and we ought to be asking how come?
WHY have we not got to the root cause of WHY and HOW anyone gets a migraine?
What triggers a migraine and dis-ables a person from living the ‘ideal health’ as stated above?
What are our individual definitions of ideal health and are we as a world united and one-unified on the word Health?
In other words, do we have different people assuming or subscribing to what they call ideal health and others saying they don’t agree, as it is not healthy in any form.
If we are to be Honest here, we live in a world where there is much division and differences with words like ‘health’ and this is something we need to keep in our awareness at all times.
Back to migraines – WHY have we not nailed this chronic disease that is robbing years off the quality of our lives?
WHY are we not making big noises and demanding that independent researchers (those funded by the public purse and that means there can be no bias get back to their job, work with others around the world and only report back their findings when they have something that makes sense to ALL of us?
Yes, we have organizations and conferences and all the bigwigs and kingpins in the industry doing their bit but that has not gotten us any closer to the root cause of migraine.
This is something we now need to be mind-full of as we go further with the reading of this article.
Let us continue and present some more details about the types of Migraine.
There are 2 main types of Migraine – without Aura (sometimes called common migraine) and Migraine with Aura (sometimes called classical migraine). (2)
Migraine Without Aura
‘Aura” is a warning sign of a migraine. It is most commonly a symptom that affects our sight, such as blind spots or seeing flashing lights. A migraine without aura does not give a warning sign that a migraine attack is about to start.
Attacks of migraine without aura usually last between 4 hours to 3 days if they are not treated or if the treatment is not effective. The frequency of these attacks varies. They could happen every few years or several times a week. Migraine without aura used to be called ‘common migraine’ or ‘hemicrania simplex’. (3)
Migraine with Aura
One third of those that experience migraines, experience an aura before their attack. Whilst most auras happen before the migraine, they can occur during or even after the Headache stage.
Aura is the name given to part of the migraine made up of a range of temporary neurological symptoms. The main symptoms of an aura are visual problems such as blurred vison (difficulty focussing), blind spots, flashes of light, loss of half of the field of vision (hemianopia) or a zig zag pattern moving from the central field of vision towards the edge.
Other aura symptoms include tingling sensations (pins and needles) and numbness in the face, lips and tongue or in the arms and legs; speech problems, such as slurred speech; dizziness; a stiff neck; and very rarely, loss of consciousness. (2)
Migraines often start with a trigger such as:
- Hormonal changes
- Certain foods
- Bright lights
- Strong odours
- Barometric pressure changes (changes in air pressure)
The current theory is that these triggers may set off a phenomena known as Cortical Spreading Depression (CSD) which is like a wave of electrical activity across the cortex, the surface of the brain, followed by no activity. This activates the trigeminal nerve and other sensory nerves, resulting in a sensation of pain. Overactive nerves also release small peptides such as Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) and other molecules that narrow blood vessels and lead to inflammation. This inflammation makes the pain last longer and feel more intense. (4)
OK – let’s stop here and explore some of the triggers which ‘often start’ a migraine.
Stress – first and foremost read on this website our in depth article called THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT STRESS as it presents many sensible Questions to consider before dismissing or negating it as a possible trigger for a migraine.
What if we got our scientists working on the link between Stress and migraines?
What could they learn from anecdotal evidence and observational studies?
In other words, looking at real life case studies and not the double blinded, laboratory, closed conditions with the hypothesis and all the data that goes with that.
Could it be possible that we could learn a lot more if we got down on the ground and studied those living sciences (those bodies) that suffer with this crippling and debilitating dis-ease that we call migraine?
Certain Foods – this is a good one to explore for ALL of us.
- What are we eating and WHY are we eating this or that?
- WHY are we not bothering to educate ourselves when it comes to foods?
- WHY are we ignoring the signs that our body gives us after we have eaten certain foods?
If we are paying attention to our ‘diet’ and still having migraines, can we be super honest and admit if we have not been really Honest when it comes to eating foods that we do know are not really helping us.
Yes Dear World, let us not forget the importance and value of quality Sleep1
Note – the word “Quality” does not mean go to bed when we want because we can and not bother taking Responsibility for this important aspect of human life.
Before we go on reading any further, much wisdom by way of Simple questioning has been offered here for us to consider.
We want that pain to go away and leave us. We don’t like the way it takes over our life and interrupts our lifestyle. We see it as an attack and we are left ‘unawake’ so to speak, in the dark, fumbling around trying this and that, but notice there is no real Change when it comes to our migraines. In fact, many of us now have them like it was just a regular Headache.
Question – could it be possible that we initially started off with Headaches, which we happened to Ignore as that was easy for us and before we realised, we were having such intense pain in our head region, the medics told us the diagnosis was migraine?
Let us not continue thinking or believing in a phenomena or other diagnosis (even if it is right). Instead let’s start at ground zero and just simply say SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT and we need to dig deep and keep asking Questions.
We need to be more aware and reading further into this article, some may be able to relate to what is being said.
Back to Basics here – if Stress and certain foods are often the start that trigger a migraine, would it not make sense to do what it takes to find out more about Stress and learn what it really is and by way of our own living study pay attention to what goes in our mouth and take note when certain foods have an adverse effect on our body?
It does not have to be ‘stop eating it if it triggers a migraine’. A wise move would be to eliminate a certain food from eating it, if there are any other symptoms, like bloating or stomach pain. Get it? Is this making any sense?
We take matters into our own hands and of course we go and seek professional and medical help – that is a given, but we do not dis-empower ourselves and Give Up and make out we are not capable of taking personal Responsibility. There is much we can do before we get the doctor and others involved.
The 4 Phases of Migraine
Not everyone has all 4 phases or all of the symptoms of migraine and 1 attack can vary from the next.
Some symptoms can occur across more than 1 phase.
Phase 1: Migraine Prodrome
The prodrome is the first phase of a migraine attack and it can begin 24 to 48 hours before other phases. It is sometimes called “pre-headache” or the “premonitory phase”.
80% people with migraine have a prodrome phase.
If symptoms are recognised, prodrome can be a warning sign that an attack is coming.
This gives a chance to take drugs that can reduce the symptoms of a full migraine attack.
Prodrome Symptoms include:
- Changes in energy levels (hyperactivity, sleepiness or fatigue)
- Difficulty concentrating, finding words or speaking (aphasia)
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Changes in appetite or food cravings
- Mood changes such as feeling depressed, irritable, restless or anxious or euphoric
- Neck stiffness or pain
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Phase 2: Migraine Aura
Only 1 in 4 with migraine have the second phase called Aura.
Aura refers to changes in the senses. Sight changes are by far the most common change.
People with migraine also report changes to their sense of smell, hearing and touch.
Speech and movement may also be affected. Some even have a combination of migraine auras during an attack.
At one time, it was thought that aura came before the headache phase.
Doctors now believe that the aura and headache phases can overlap.
Aura tends to come on gradually over about 5 minutes and last about 1 hour, then it goes away.
Only a few people have aura come on quickly, in less than 5 minutes.
Aura Symptoms include:
- Changes to sight, such as seeing bright lights, shapes, waves, objects or flashes
- Partial loss of sight or blind spots or blurry vision
- Hearing loss or ringing of the ears
- Being hypersensitive to touch, sounds or smells
- Hearing sounds that are not there (auditory hallucinations)
- Smelling odours that are not there (olfactory hallucinations)
- Feelings of burning, pain, tingling, or numbness, often in the face, hands or feet
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Loss of feeling or inability to move a part of the body, such as the tongue
Less Common Aura Symptoms
Problems with language or speaking are less common aura symptoms
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is a rare form of migraine aura, in which the person feels like their body or objects around them are much bigger or smaller than they actually are.
This type of migraine aura is most common in children.
Aura Without Head Pain
4% of those with migraine have aura without head pain, also called silent migraine.
These occur often in those over age 50 and may be confused with a Transient Ischemic Attack – a type of stroke.
Phase 3: Migraine Headache
If left untreated, the headache phase can last from 4 to 72 hours in adults.
The head pain is usually felt on one side (unilateral) but the sides may change or spread to both sides of the head. It is often described as pulsing or throbbing and often gets worse with physical activity. The amount of pain can be mild to severe and may change from one attack to the next.
Other Phase 3 Migraine Symptoms
In addition to pain, other symptoms may include:
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased sensitivity to light, sound or smell
- Trouble sleeping, anxiety or Depression
- Nasal congestion
- Neck pain and stiffness
Many treatments exist to treat migraine head pain. Generally, migraine medicines work better when taken as early as possible during an attack.
Though migraine is best known for causing severe head pain, in some rare cases, people skip this phase and only have prodrome, aura and postdrome.
Phase 4: Migraine Postdrome
The final phase of migraine attack is the postdrome, when many feel drained, exhausted or hungover. However, some feel euphoria or a heightened feeling of well-being. The postdrome phase can last from 1 to 2 days. Other postdrome symptoms include Depression and trouble concentrating or understanding. (5)
80% of those that get a migraine have the first prodrome phase, which is also known as the ‘pre-headache’ phase.
So the clue here is the word “headache”.
Just Stop and go read our Headache blog – a spectacular presentation on this topic and a must read for all of us, as most of humanity apparently have headaches.
Before we reach for the drugs (which of course we must, as suffering is not the way to go) to reduce the symptoms of a full whammy migraine attack, can we at least consider what just happened?
- What on earth is going on for us right now?
- Can we just stop in our tracks and breathe?
- Do nothing other than ask – how did I get to this point?
- Has it got anything to do with the day or was it from the day before?
- Are we feeling some kind of tension about things not going our way?
- Have we over-committed and are feeling run down and overwhelmed?
Next – do we just read the symptoms or do we turn them into sensible Questions?
Ponder on these Questions as they are worth considering:
WHY have your energy levels changed? What happened?
Can we admit that the fatigue is there because we have been living a very overworked, stress-full, multi-tasking busy busy life?
Could it be possible that the sleepiness is because there is no true rest or sleep quality as the daytime is full of ‘on the go, non-stop’ activity. No break, no stop and pause to take a deep breath, no moment for any self-care or nurturing?
Could it be possible that the fatigue has been dormant for a long time as the body has been on over-ride – a kind of force pushing through things, when all it wants is some deep rest, no mobile phone and no talking. Just proper time out to rest and rejuvenate the tired body. Possible?
Could it be possible that our lack of Focus (another blog on this website well worth reading) is because we have fatigue, sleepiness and that bombardment of thoughts that just never go away to allow us to even slow down? Could this be the ‘difficulty concentrating” as mentioned above?
Could it be possible that we are unable to Express what we want to say because things are way too un-settled in our body?
Could it be possible that our holding on to hurts and fears and all the stuff that we just cannot seem to let go of stops our flow inside our body and that means the poo is stuck and we call that constipation? For more on this topic – read our hilarious blog called Toilet Talk on this website.
Could it be possible that the changes in our appetite or us craving certain foods are warning signs that something is going on that we may not be aware of?
- Can we ask WHY does our mood change?
- What happened or did not happen that made us feel Depressed?
- What makes us irritable and have we clocked when it tends to happen?
- WHY have we become restless – what triggered it if we are to be Honest?
- How long have we known about our anxiousness and why is it there?
- What are our Lifestyle Choices and how are they contributing to this ill state we are in?
- Do we ever Question if we are in a euphoric state?
- Where did that intense excitement come from, with that Happy feeling and how Real is it?
In other words – why has it altered our state of being?
- If it was simply exciting, great and made us feel Happy then WHY is it associated with a migraine in any way?
For the record – the medics are not sure but they think this phase overlaps the headache phase.
For those that do have the second phase – time to Question everything and explore what the facts out there are telling us.
Before we start the questions, take note of this:
Children have migraine aura and it is common.
- Has anyone bothered to ask WHY does this stage affect the senses?
- WHY does it come on gradually and not suddenly and why does it last an hour?
- What is the correlation (the line) between our senses and the migraine?
- Is the body communicating something to us because something happens to our sight?
- Is it a message to stop us from absorbing more of what we are seeing outside of us?
- Is the body saying we have got ‘blind spots’ in our life and that means we are not aware of what we need to be aware of? Possible?
What if we learnt more about the eyes and read books of great value like Carmin Hall – Vision who presents much insights about the human eye and gives us an alternative take, by looking at things differently and not just by the way our current model is?
Have we considered that our body is inter-connected and most certainly has an Intelligence? Man has yet to work out everything there is to know about this human vehicle that we call the body.
WHY does this phase bring on an episode of ringing in our ears or even the loss of hearing?
How serious is this and are our medications just touching on the surface to alleviate the symptoms and give some relief, but falling short of delivering WHY and HOW we get to a point where our ears are so affected?
ADD to this dizziness and vertigo which as we know is an inner ear im-balance?
WHY do we not bother to ask those that suffered with vertigo, like the author of this blog and find out how they changed it and never ever had vertigo again?
A personal note from the author – a relevant and important digression on the topic of vertigo.
Living life in the Fast Lane, multi-tasking and high levels of Stress was the norm. Talking fast and eating fast and having no proper rest was just how it was. No planning or preparing for the next and living with very little sleep. A nervous tension and raciness that just would not go away. Trips to spas and regular massages and acupuncture made zero difference. Felt good but benefits wore off literally on the day.
The vertigo forced me to stop and pay attention. I could not even turn my head a fraction to the side. Everything was spinning and the nausea remained, if I even attempted to move. I realised this way of living was not going to work and it cost me. Flight tickets were cancelled as vertigo means you cannot travel, plus a lot more with time off work and lots of fear and anxiety.
On reflection, I had a momentum – a series of ill movements (call that ingrained habits) that were repeating. Like I was on a treadmill and just could not get off. I hated vertigo so much I was prepared to make the necessary changes but it was not that easy. I was not connected to my body and my mind was bombarded with what I needed to do next. Yes the do do doing was the over-riding force – like thoughts coming through telling me what to do and not having any care or consideration for the body that was really suffering from this behaviour. Best way to describe it would be it was not me and not my thoughts. It was cruel and dis-regarding and I was subscribing to it by taking action.
On that note – have any of us looked at it in this way?
An outer force feeding us our thoughts that are neglect-full to the human body?
Could we use a dose of common sense here to start with…?
If we have got a pulsing or throbbing headache, why do we not simply stop and do absolutely nothing because we are told it can ‘get worse with physical activity’?
WHY are we not paying attention to this and joining the dots here?
Any movement, which we could say is ‘physical activity’ is not what the body is asking for in that moment where it is in the process of a unilateral head pain.
If we read the other phase 3 migraine symptoms, could they all be inter-linked?
In other words, the confusion is there because we are not simply stopping our movements that are taking us off track, on the ill road and in the wrong direction to where we need to go and be. Possible?
The dizziness and vertigo – read once again, what the author has personally scribed above from lived experience and ponder on that deeply.
Think about it – if we are off track, so to speak and our body is calling us to come back as we are off in the opposite direction to our natural state, would it not be a sign that we have trouble sleeping and have anxiety on some level?
Read our Depression blog on this website and consider if we are off doing what we want but not really Committed to Life1 as we need to be living and this has something to do with Depression. Before we negate what is being presented, it would be wise to at least consider if we have lost meaning and purpose in our life and put certain things ahead of our true health and wellbeing.
Are we able to be honest enough to admit that we lack Focus and direction in life or that we may have not got it all right, if we got what others have and more but at the cost of our body, which is showing signs of illness and dis-eases like migraine?
Are we aware that all medicine has side effects and that suppressing symptoms may not cut it in the long haul?
In other words, if we are not dealing with the root cause then chances are things are not really improving. This is important to take note of as it applies to any illness or dis-ease that we may have.
This phase is interesting because some feel drained, exhausted and others have symptoms of Depression. Some have a heightened feeling of well-being. Hmm
Something is not adding up here. Why are things so different and what could we learn here about this phase?
Is that heightened state of well-being simply a comparison to how we recall being in a bad state or is this Real well-being?
Can we agree that these two words are loosely used today in our modern world and many jump on the bandwagon but have little or no real lived experience of what it is to be truly well, when it comes to our being. Do most of us even know what our being is or how to connect to the inner most essence of who we truly are, where our being resides?
Enough said, there are many Questions about the phases of migraine to consider here.
The Neurobiology of Migraine
Anatomical Components of Migraine
There is substantial clinical and imaging evidence for changes in cortical activity associated with migraine. Migraine is associated with a variety of symptoms that can be attributed to changes in cortical function. The most prominent among these are the visual changes associated with migraine aura that arise from altered function in the occipital lobe. Migraine patients may also experience cortical sensory, motor, language or other cognitive dysfunction. These symptoms are typically described in the context of migraine with aura but they may also occur with migraine that does not meet diagnostic criteria for migraine with aura. Functional imaging studies confirm that migraine is associated with dramatic changes in blood flow and metabolic activity in the cortex.
Cutrer and Black, 2006
These imaging phenomena have been demonstrated primarily in patients with migraine with aura but may also occur in patients with migraine without aura.
Woods et al., 1994; Geraud et al., 2005
Migraine-related changes in blood flow and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal in the cortex are propagated with temporal and spatial characteristics that are remarkably similar to those of cortical spreading depression (CSD), the spreading wave of depolarization followed by suppression of electrocortical activity originally described by Leão in 1944.
Woods et al., 1994; Hadjikhani et al., 2001
The correlation between the characteristics of the clinical symptoms of migraine aura, CSD in animal models and functional imaging has provided support for the long standing hypothesis that CSD is a fundamental mechanism of migraine aura. A much more controversial question continues to be whether similar cortical phenomena may also occur in migraine without aura.
There is also strong evidence that brainstem mechanisms play a significant role in the pathophysiology of migraine. Nausea, vertigo and autonomic symptoms are among the clinical features of migraine that may arise from an alteration of signalling in the brainstem. It has also been suggested that the pain of migraine may arise primarily from the brainstem.
Weiller et al., 1995; Tajti et al., 2001
Functional imaging studies of migraine patients consistently demonstrate activation of the brainstem during migraine attacks, particularly the region of the dorsolateral pons.
Bahra et al., 2001; Afridi et al., 2005; Denuelle et al., 2007
Positron emission tomography (PET) and fMRI studies suggest that metabolism and function in the brainstem may also be chronically altered in patients with chronic migraine.
Welch et al., 2001; Aurora et al., 2007
There have also been multiple reports of structural lesions in the brainstem that appear to cause headache in humans.
Haas et al., 1993; Goadsby, 2002; Fragoso and Brooks, 2007
Furthermore, electrical stimulation in the region of the periaqueductal gray can evoke headache.
Raskin et al., 1987 (6)
The Brain of Migraine Sufferers is Hyper-Excitable
New study, published in the journal Neuroimage: Clinical
Individuals who suffer from migraine headaches appear to have a hyper-excitable visual cortex, according to researchers at the Universities of Birmingham and Lancaster.
The exact causes of migraine headaches are not well understood, although scientists believe they may be related to temporary changes in chemicals, nerves or blood vessels in the brain.
Researchers tested a theory that at least part of the answer lies in the visual cortex – the part of our brain that is responsible for vision.
“Most migraineurs also report experiencing abnormal visual sensations in their everyday life, for example, elementary hallucinations, visual discomforts and extra light sensitivity. We believe this hints at a link between migraine experiences and abnormalities in the visual cortex. Our results provide the first evidence for this theory by discovering a specific brain response pattern among migraineurs.”
Dr. Terence Chun Yuen Fong – Lead Author on the study
The study was carried out by researchers based in the Centre for Human Brain Health and School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham and the Department of Psychology, Lancaster University. (7)
What we can deduce from the above section is that migraine does something to the region in the brain that is linked to vision.
We ought to take note that “the exact causes of migraine headaches are not well understood”.
Hello – do we really understand what is being said here?
If the scientists and all those experts that we supposedly turn to, that we say know more than we do, are telling us they do not know the exact cause and even more important the actual causes of migraine are not well understood.
Do we need to say anything more or do we get it?
ALL this and even more we can be reading by doing our own research, but to date there is no researcher or those we call the bigwigs and kingpins of the migraine industry fully aware of what causes a migraine in the first place.
If we are at the receiving end of regular migraines, we would not be interested in the beliefs that scientists may or may not have. We want answers and we demand results because the pain is debilitating, unbearable and we want it to go away and never come back again.
What are the Symptoms of Migraine?
The main symptoms of migraine are an intense, throbbing or pounding Headache often affecting the front or one side of the head, nausea and sometimes vomiting and an increased sensitivity to light, smells and sound. The throbbing headache is often made worse by the person moving.
Other symptoms of migraine might include poor concentration, feeling hot or cold, perspiration (sweating) and an increased need to pass urine. This can occur before, during or after the migraine attack. Others may experience stomach aches and diarrhoea.
It is common to feel tired for up to 2 or 3 days after a migraine. (2)
What this section highlights is that the body is in some kind of reaction.
It is rejecting something by way of nausea and vomiting. We could dismiss this but if we just apply a small dose of common sense, what would granny say here?
Are we rejecting the way we have been living?
Are we throwing up the ill movements, call it behaviour that are not the Truth?
Are we having heightened sensitivity to alert us to the innate fact that we are really and truly deeply sensitive as a human being and that is what it is and what we are?
Could it be possible that the poor concentration symptom is showing us our lack of Focus in every day life?
Could it be possible that the hot and cold sweating is our body’s way of finding the inner balance that is needed to re-configure us back to our natural state? Possible?
Could it be possible that the increased need to pass urine is to bring about some kind of settlement from the highly anxious state that we are living in?
Could it be possible that the stomach aches and diarrhoea are indications that something is not right and the body is sending us messages through these ‘ills’?
And the final question – WHY is it common to feel tired for up to 3 days after a migraine?
Without questioning we can be assured things will stay the same and there can be no true Change.
What Causes Migraines?
Science and Medicine do not know the exact cause of migraine.
Migraines tend to run in families, but this does not mean that everyone in a family will get migraines.
Migraines are common in immediate blood relatives (parents, children, brothers and sisters). It is suggested that a mix of several different genes may decide whether or not a person will develop migraines and a great deal of research is going on to try to identify which genes these are.
Women are 3 times more likely than men to experience migraines. This is thought to be largely due to hormonal factors. Women might find that they experience a migraine just before, or just after the start of their period. Some women find that oral contraception (the pill) can trigger migraines. It might be that women experience migraines as they approach the menopause or that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) triggers migraines. (2)
We better stop right now and re-read the line above in bold.
Incase you missed it – here it is again as it is super important.
SCIENCE AND MEDICINE DO NOT KNOW THE EXACT CAUSE OF MIGRAINE
Yet we demand they find the answers and in the meantime, we seek and then accept the Solutions on offer, as long as it takes the pain away, so we can carry on doing what we do, when we want, however we want and we like it that way, thank you very much.
Our intention is purely and simply to get rid of the ill that is in the way and affecting our Lifestyle Choices.
What if we suspend all ideals and beliefs that we hold for one moment and consider the following Question?
The commonality we hear of is about blood relatives – what if we grow up and see the behaviour, the movements that our parent or older sibling has and they get migraines. We are doing the same or behave in a similar way and bingo we have the ill they have and we Blame it on the genes. What if it is not a dodgy gene but actually our choices that give us the dis-ease in our body?
We are using an enormous amount of resources, which is “a great deal of research” to identify the genes. Why not go back to old fashion days where there simply was no funding ‘to try to identify which genes they are’ and instead go with the innate wisdom that those like the elders had and some that were connected to the Ancient Wisdom that has been around for aeons, which gave us the answers and we just went with it. WHY? Because there was no advanced scientist giving us their take.
When we hear that ‘a great deal of research is going on’ we ought to wake up and pay attention because the person with the migraine is screaming out “why is there no cure and why does anyone not have the answers or know the root cause of migraine?”
How are Women living that they are 3 times more likely than men to experience migraines?
We cannot negate of ignore much longer that how we live and that means how we move in every moment matters. Yes our behaviour and our ingrained habits and the hurts and fears and all the dramas we create and everything else we are not dealing with or moving on from affects us. Sounds like the lyrics of a song, but what song are we dancing to?
What is the vibration we subscribe and align to on a daily basis? We may then just get a speck of why things are the way they are.
Yes we get told ‘this is thought to be largely due to hormonal factors’ but what if the thought from messrs. Scientists et al is not correct and the ‘Blame it on the hormones’ does not have to be accepted, as it comes with that Giving Up syndrome, most of us are feeling in life? Yes what if?
Man has been tampering with the intricate and delicate movements of the body when it comes to hormones. The pill is one such example and is this not a message loud and clear for us all to listen up to – oral contraception we take called the pill can trigger migraines. The fact that it is not every single women, matters not. We just need to know there is something not right here, when we mess with nature to suit our agenda.
What if the older woman did research and found websites like Follow your Flow that are educating us women on all matters relating to the downstairs department? Let us not dismiss the enormous wisdom on offer that is out there, before we bolt the door and just give in to what we read.
There are various factors which might trigger a migraine. Each person is different and you should try to identify which factors might apply to you and try to avoid them. Many people find that they are able to tolerate one of the triggers on its own but a combination of more than one trigger can push them over their threshold and cause an attack.
- Loss of Sleep1
- Irregular Sleep
- Strenuous exercise
- Tension in the neck or shoulders
- Eye strain, after looking at a computer screen
- Dental problems, teeth grinding
- Lack of food (Dieting)
- Irregular meals
- Certain foods such as Chocolate, cheese and citrus fruits
- Certain food additives such as:
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Aspartame (a sweetener)
- Tyramine and Nitrates
There is now more evidence to suggest that food cravings can be a warning sign that a migraine attack is approaching.
- Bright lights
- Loud noise
- Strong smells
- Smoky environments
- Some Sleeping Tablets (2)
We cannot afford to skip this big section about triggers for Migraine.
The fact that many are able to tolerate one of the triggers but when it is more than one, it can push them over the threshold and cause a migraine attack, says a lot.
What on earth are we doing hanging out in the tolerate department?
WHY on earth would we want any form of suffering that is not allowing us to just Be in our natural state?
Let’s start with the Emotional Triggers:
Stress – we create it so that means we can also stop the creation aspect by making changes, but first we need to be willing, committed to take action and be Honest. Without the Honesty bit, forget it because the Lying about life and what is going on is why we are where we are right now.
Anxiety – how are we living in daily life?
Are we really equipped with what is needed to deal with the day ahead or are we exhausted because our Sleep1 is all over the place, we have habits that we know are not good but hey ho we carry on, whinge to our mates and on Social Media spend time doing utter ‘nonsense’. Yes stuff that makes no sense, has no true meaning or purpose, but nevertheless we do it Because We Can and we somehow feel we have the right to.
For those that think the above is not them – continue reading.
Do you fall into this category – always fighting with someone and the un-rest and un-settlement brings on a heightened anxious-ness. We just cannot Let Go and we want to be right, regardless of what we are fighting about and on top of that we have this arrogance about wanting to put the world to right, but not looking in the mirror at the mess we have created in our own lives. How we know this is true is we have anxiety to the point where our body is on edge and even the thought of relaxing or letting go infuriates and irritates us.
Still not finding any of this stuff relates to you or the person you know that has chronic migraines, please continue…
What types of foods do you eat?
Are you not a food person and go for other distractions to dull or numb the body when it is communicating loud and clear something you need to listen up to?
Surfing the Internet, Porn, Online Shopping, Gambling, Video Games, TV, Social Media, Gossiping, Lying, Sport, and Holidays.
ALL the above needs to be taken into consideration before we move on, as triggers are an indication. In other words, these are signs directing us to where we may find why we get migraines in the first place.
Anger – where is it coming from and how are we venting our anger?
Down the phone with a friend, in our aggressive and brash movements?
Shouting at the kids or the partner or at the neighbours?
Or are we working hard at having a ‘nice’ voice in the hope that we can cover up the anger that we have, at a particular person or the world and its brothers?
Have we ever considered that if we have anger then it tells us we are highly sensitive and something has hurt us and we didn’t know how to deal with it? Now this could be from long ago and it got buried and life moved on, but we still have anger and it’s getting worse, or others have told us and we laugh it off. Whatever it is – how are we dealing with our anger and is anger ‘management’ actually getting to the root of the problem and do anger workshops really work and is taking up boxing ladies the answer?
We hear of celebrities dealing with anger through boxing but we need to be certain it is not having a harm-full affect on our body, when we punch out with such great force.
Shock – something happens that shocks us but what if our body was prepared for whatever life brings or as they saying goes “whatever life throws at us”?
What if this is not hogwash or utopian talk here but Real life and possible?
What if there is another way to live that can equip us in life, but it requires that word RESPONSIBILITY at the core of every choice.
On that note, we move to the Physical Triggers list:
Tiredness – well get your act together because we ALL know, YES we do WHY we are tired. What are we getting up to in the daytime and how is that affecting us?
Are we bombarded with negative thoughts?
Are we juggling a new career and the kids?
Are we waking up with misery and agony?
Are we living with high levels of tension?
Are we busy getting involved with other people?
Are we constantly worrying for no good reason?
Are we feeling fear as we have money issues?
Are we avoiding responsibilities as we love Social Media?
Are we into Vices and Secrets that drain us but we carry on?
Are we focussed on the Perfect life syndrome and it ain’t working?
Are we distracted everyday and go to bed with unfinished Jobs?
Are we constantly moaning about everything but make no Changes?
The list could go on but that’s a small start…
Common sense tells us in simple language – if you do not address why you are tired, then chances are your Sleep1 is not going to be great.
WHY do tired people continue to stay up Late when it makes no sense?
WHY do we wait to get the annual flu or the Common Cold to take deep rest?
WHY are we not giving ourselves the permission to go to bed early everyday?
WHY are we so caught up in this upside down world that is making no sense?
WHY are we not making sure we do whatever it takes to nail the Sleep stuff?
WHY have we not got a regular bedtime rhythm and routine going for us?
Next – WHY do we need to Push when it comes to exercise?
Are we aware that those chemicals released during exercise are like we have been injected with a drug, so we like it, want more, as it makes us feel a certain way and before we know it, we are in the Overdoing lane of life and of course, it comes with consequences?
What if putting great effort and exertion into exercise comes with a force and it is not necessary or needed for our body? The fact that this can be a trigger for migraine needs to be taken very seriously.
Next – what if we use a computer to do our job and not overdo the screen time element.
On that note, a must read is our spectacular article on this website called Screen Time.
What if we take into account ALL the emotional and physical triggers – would it make sense that we end up with tension in the neck and shoulders, as the body is relaying signs of how we are choosing to live? Yes Dear World, our choices create our Reality. Time to stop the blame game and if we need support – read our blog on Blame.
Before we even go down the dieting road – it is official Diets do not work but for those that champion and hold that as a truth, read our blog and what it presents called Do Diets Work?
If diets actually work, how come we are not all in agreement and how come we have super elite athletes getting ill or why do we have a worldwide Obesity epidemic?
Something is not making sense when we try and fit into certain foods and ignore what the individual body is needing for its own evolution.
Skipping meals because we are way too busy, or we have been upset by something or someone or whatever our reason, is not what our body is asking for. We seem to have the upper hand, so to speak and control what our body wants and then ignore the fact here presented that irregular meals can be a trigger for migraine.
We all know our body is made up mostly of water and so it makes sense that we need to hydrate our cells and what better way than water. If we hate the taste that is simply because we have gotten used to the soda, the energy drinks, tea, Coffee or anything but plain and simple water.
How important is this point here that a trigger for migraine could possibly be our lack of not taking Responsibility when it comes to proper good old fashion hydration – water?
Alcohol – Read The Real Truth about Alcohol on this website. Then read the 200+ comments that spell it out without apologising, that alcohol is not only a scientific proven poison but there is not one bit of evidence that states it has health benefits.
Simple Living Global are a world leader on this topic and the real harm it has not only on the human frame but to society as a whole.
For the purpose of this article about migraines, commit to no alcohol and take note of ALL the blue commentary and be the ‘experiment’ in real life and see if migraines subside or change.
Caffeine – again Simple Living Global are on the front foot, so to speak. A forensic style article in our Real Truth series about this substance that we all need to know about.
Chocolate – we can sit here and argue or defend how great chocolate is for us but what if it is not, simply because it may be the trigger for our migraine. If we just eliminate it, this may not be that easy as we need to ask – when is it that we crave the chocolate?
It could be when we feel anxious or some kind of tension in our body. All this needs to be explored and if not a diet of giving up our favourite foods and drinks will not work as we have this character inside us saying “no problemo” we find an alternative and that we all know about, as most of us have done that.
Certain Food additives – simple really.
Common sense would say start cooking so you know what goes inside before it goes in your body.
If we need those drinks that contain a sweetener called Aspartame, read up on it and that should do the job, as it puts you off. Yes we Blame those that profit from us but we gave them the job of supplying these drinks as we demand them. That means we make the call first and then they get the business. It is not the other way round and that ends the blame game.
For those that really want to nail any trigger about migraine, we will be presenting more in our book – The Real Truth about Headaches and Migraine.
For now there are plenty of Questions to ponder on deeply.
Bright Lights and Loud Noise – well we could take that as a sign that our body does not like that stuff and we would not subject a tiny Baby and expose it to a nightclub scene, so why not treat ourselves in the same way?
What if we are not designed to take on bright lights and loud sounds, as it disturbs our Gentle natural state of being?
Think about it – when we are approaching night-time, we tend to dim the lights and close the blinds or curtains and it gives us a feeling of relaxing or unwinding. We are not wanting the loud noises and bright lights at this time as our body is preparing for bed.
Next – who on earth would want a smoky environment and is it that our lungs are shouting out “get me out of this smoky environment’. Could it be that simple?
For more about smoking – read our 3 part series on this website called The Real Truth about Tobacco.
And Finally – Sleep
We, yes our world has created a multi-billion dollar industry for sleeping aids. We cannot get to sleep or we have some sleep issue and so we demand, we find the Solution and the suppliers are coming up with all kinds of stuff to help us sleep, but no one is calling out that we need to get to the root cause of WHY we have a sleep problem in the first place.
Sleeping tablets could be a trigger for migraine – are we surprised?
WHY not check the side effects and whilst we do that, go and read the whole Sleep category on this website and all the comments posted on The Real Truth about Sleep.
For the record and a reminder Dear World. We have a natural internal body clock that has a rhythm and knows about the sleep wake cycle. Going against it “Because We Can” is not working and how we know this is because we have a global sleep epidemic that is creating so many other ills.
Migraine is a chronic neurological condition with episodic exacerbations.
Migraine is highly prevalent and associated with significant pain, disability and diminished quality of life. Migraine management is an important health care issue.
Migraine management includes avoidance of trigger factors, lifestyle modifications, non-pharmacological therapies and medications. Pharmacological treatment is traditionally divided into acute or symptomatic treatment and preventive treatment or prophylaxis. (8)
Prophylaxis – treatment given or action taken to prevent disease. (9)
Many migraine patients can be treated using only acute treatment.
Patients with severe and or frequent migraines require long-term preventative therapy.
Prophylaxis requires daily administration of anti-migraine compounds with potential adverse events or contraindications and may also interfere with other concurrent conditions and treatments. (8)
Well Hello again
Now we have it in writing and we cannot ignore it – Migraine is highly prevalent in our world today.
Now this bit is interesting – Migraine Management includes the avoidance of trigger factors. We have just presented above, by way of in depth commentary and Questions on how we could apply some common sense and consider avoiding the triggers.
Next – Lifestyle Modifications
This whole website which has 240 articles on health and well-being are all associated to lifestyle.Modify would be to make partial or minor changes. Hmm
Let us take a very practical example here and apply it – Sleep1
According to the list on Physical Triggers we have Loss of Sleep and Irregular Sleep.
Making a ‘modification’ would be like a band aid to a bullet wound. That means we are not going to get very far when it comes to real Change.
We could apply a few Dietary Triggers like Alcohol and Caffeine.
To drink less alcohol or cut down just a tiny bit on the caffeine intake (because that is what modification means), where are we going and who are we Fooling?
If we are unwilling to go the whole way and commit and be willing to give it our all and do what it takes to knock out these triggers that create such pain in our head, then we need to remove the words “lifestyle modifications” and change them to “Get Real and Get Honest” so we stand a chance.
It would be true to say that this so-called advice is a form of reductionism. We are not ever going to see real results while we play around with words and not hit the nail on what is needed to turn this debilitating disease around, once and for all.
That means you cannot possibly expect change when advice is given or some treatment is said to do this or that, if the very individual as great as they may look and sound, are not living what they are telling us to do. In other words, they have to be taking care of their health and wellbeing and not leading a Double Life or consuming a toxic poison to stimulate and alter their state of being, like Alcohol or Caffeine. Is this making sense?
Next – what if we add another dimension to this world Prophylaxis.
The context in which it is used is – we give say a medicine to prevent a disease.
How about we use this website – free of charge and apply, by way of action, what is being presented and see how that goes as a treatment taken to prevent dis-ease?
We create illness and disease and the Ageless Wisdom has told us throughout the ages. Some took note and others did not. It would be true to say that the masses did not and that is why we are where we are today, with no scientist out there giving us the answers we want of WHY and HOW we get migraines and how to eliminate them forever, so they are never on our radar again.
If this sounds a bit too much, add Heart Disease and Diabetes and then all the Mental Health problems and ask WHY have we not yet gotten to the bottom of this, considering how much technological and other advancements we have made as human beings.
Something is Not Right as it is not making sense.
Sure, we got the know how to build skyscrapers, get to the moon and now other planets but not yet work out what we need to do to stop Diabetes, which looks like it will bankrupt most of our health systems worldwide.
When are we going to be ready and open our eyes, wake up, smell something is not right and ask Questions like – Is there Another Way?
If there was Another Way to Live where we could prevent dis-ease, should this not be the number one public health priority?
What if we were prescribed certain articles on this website to read as a “preventative treatment” for migraine?
No cost but there would need to be a willingness to apply what is being presented and that means taking Responsibility. But before we could go there, we would need to commit to being Honest as that is the gateway for Real Change.
Treatments for Migraine
There is no absolute cure for migraine. However, lots of treatments are available to help ease the symptoms of a migraine attack.
When a migraine attack occurs, most people find that lying down in a quiet, dark room is helpful. Sleeping can also help. Some find that their symptoms die down after they have vomited.
Most people affected by migraine will already have tried paracetamol, aspirin and perhaps anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen before they seek advice from their doctor.
If ordinary painkillers alone are not relieving the symptoms, a doctor might prescribe Triptans which are drugs specifically for migraine headaches, to be taken in addition to over-the-counter painkillers. Triptans are available in different forms to suit individuals (tablets, injections and nasal sprays), although it is important to note that some people develop short-term side effects when taking Triptans.
Anti-sickness medication can also be prescribed for migraines.
However, if migraines continue and do not improve, then we can be referred to a specialist migraine clinic.
It is important to avoid taking painkillers on more than 2 days per week or more than 10 days per month. This is because the medication can trigger Medication Overuse Headaches.
Having a migraine headache more than 3 to 4 times per month, or if attacks are lingering on as a dull, muzzy headache, regular pain medication may not be the appropriate treatment. The patient may need to go on a preventative medication but before starting or stopping medication, always talk to a doctor. (2)
Of course, to re-iterate the point – we are always to seek professional medical help for any ailment, symptom, illness or disease.
However, it would be wise to note that the medics do not have all the answers and we should not just accept it all and never enquire about Another Way as it may work well to do both. Take the medication but at the same time, explore if there are things that can be changed that may help the situation. It is clear we want the pain to go away.
There is no one on earth who likes vomiting because we know it is such an un-natural state of being.
Have we stopped long enough to Question:
Why symptoms die down after vomiting?
What is the body communicating to us?
Is it purging and letting go of what is not truth for the body?
Is it throwing out the toxic poisons we have ingested inside us?
Is it telling us that it cannot accept or digest what we are giving it?
This type of questioning is needed if we are to work out what is really going on.
Yes by all means take the medication and do what it takes in the form of treatments, but if we do not stay open to the possibility that there could be even more to support us, then we may have closed the door to nailing this.
A side note and a reminder once again – ALL drugs have side effects and that must not be dismissed or conveniently ignored.
We ought to remind ourselves that some drugs make us feel nauseous or sick and we get given a counter for that – anti sickness medication.
Next – how many of us, reaching out for the painkillers are going to stop and pause so that we avoid taking painkillers on more than 10 days a month? Did we ever bother counting or are we guessing and just winging it as the pain is way too much to spend a nano second on thinking about medication overuse?
Now for just one moment, imagine the body trying to communicate “What are you doing giving me stronger medication, as you thought the last lot didn’t work? How about you just stop doing what you are doing, so we won’t need to give you the intense pain in your head. Throwing drugs at me means I have to clear it out of your system, just for you to get temporary relief, but all the while we got a mess going on inside here. We have been through this countless times, you know what the triggers are and yet you keep doing it and expecting Change. I am getting tired and the Sleep department tells me they are off track, hence why your sleep is all over the place.”
This is not Crazy talk – this is another approach that ought to be considered.
Preventative Medication and Therapies
Note – preventative medication for migraines are not pain medication but can help to reduce the number of migraines. They take time to work and the minimum time period required may be 3 to 6 months. Contact your specialist or doctor for further information. All treatments have advantages and dis-advantages and some of the medications might not be suitable.
Preventative medication might reduce the frequency and severity of your attacks but does not stop them completely. Other migraine treatments may need to continue when we experience an attack.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that GPs and specialists consider the following drugs and therapies if they think someone might benefit from preventative treatment:
Beta Blocking Drugs
These drugs are traditionally used to treat angina and High Blood Pressure. It has been found that certain beta-blockers prevent migraine attacks. Beta-blockers are unsuitable for people with certain conditions.
This drug is typically prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy but has also been found to help reduce the frequency of migraines. Again, it is not suitable for everyone. In particular, pregnant women or those thinking about getting pregnant should be advised of the associated side effects.
This is a type of Antidepressant which has also been shown to prevent migraines. This drug is prescription only and is also unsuitable for people with certain conditions.
Botulinum Toxin Type A
Commonly known as Botox, botulinum toxin type A was recently licensed for the prevention of chronic migraine in some patients. It is injected to between 31 and 39 sites around the head and back of the neck. It should only be administered by a trained Headache specialist.
Many people are keen to try more natural approaches for preventing migraines.
Magnesium, Coenzyme Q10 and Riboflavin have all been shown to help ease migraine attacks in some patients.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
This new procedure aims to reduce the severity of migraine symptoms, as well as to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation involves a device being held on the patient’s head, which then sends a magnetic pulse through the skin. It is not certain why the treatment helps to reduce severity and frequency of migraines in some patients and research is limited as to the long-term effects. For this reason, NICE recommends that TMS is only given by Headache specialists and records are kept for each patient to help increase understanding of the treatment.
External Nerve Stimulators
There is emerging evidence for handheld nerve stimulators as a way to reduce the pain and frequency of migraine attacks. The device is held on the side of the person’s neck and works by giving out an electrical current to stimulate a nerve in the neck. These devices have been approved as safe to use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), but more research is needed to confirm exactly how effective they are. Currently, the device is not routinely available on the NHS. (2)
Ways to Prevent Migraines
One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to try to avoid the things that might trigger your attacks.
Most people benefit from trying to get stable Sleep, eating regular meals, Drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated and trying to manage Stress. Taking regular exercise may also help prevent migraines since it helps with breathing, improving blood sugar balance and maintaining general wellbeing. We should take care not to engage in very strenuous activity that our body is not used to, as this can sometimes act as a migraine trigger.
Keeping a diary of migraines can be a useful way to record when and where we experience attacks, check for patterns and identifies triggers. Taking the diary to our doctor, we can communicate any symptoms, so that they can find the best way to help. (2)
It is far more Real and Honest to admit we love our Alcohol because as a Lifestyle Choice it gives us the socialising factor and healthwise we haven’t yet been hospitalised or anything serious, so why give it up when the benefits personally suit us.
It seems that we do not have the answers about migraine, but yet the triggers are huge signs in our face telling us we could start with that and see where it goes, while we wait for more and more research.
Next – no point ‘trying to manage stress’.
Get back on track by reading the article on the website called The Real Truth about Stress. We all know Stress is coming from our lifestyle choices – let us not forget that.
How about a practical example that we could relate to –
We over work and we do Late Nights. Our life is a constant catch up and we seem to forget how to breath correctly. Stable Sleep as mentioned in this above section are just words to us and on our wish list. Eating regular meals sounds great for those that can but sorry, our life is way too busy and stressed for that.
We do drink plenty of fluids, like it says but we choose what we drink and it just happens to be Coffee, soda and more soda, topped with energy drinks and then the beers with the lads or the wine with the ladies. We thought that when it says ‘drinking plenty of fluids’ we are keeping hydrated and we also find Caffeine, sugar in the soda drinks and Alcohol all manage our stress, as we feel things being pushed aside and not at the forefront of our mind.
Exercise – managing our Stress is enough, so taking regular exercise is a bit too much to ask. Yes we want the fit body but we want results fast. The thought of daily or every 2 days doing some kind of movement that would benefit our body is just not part of our list of lifestyle choices, thank you very much. There are other solutions out there we have been thinking about…
Keeping a diary – now who thought of that and came up with it have no clue what a stressed out life is like. No time, dog to walk, kids to pick up and laundry up to the max and that is just every day. Our migraines are so bad we want to forget them, not sit and reflect on what happened and make diary notes and record it all.
Sounds familiar, laugh out loud or is some of it making sense?
The point is, we are not going anywhere until we stop and address what is not working in our life. This goes for absolutely everything and it starts with a big dose of HONESTY.
Migraine is a common health condition, affecting around 1 in every 5 women and around 1 in every 15 men. They usually begin in early adulthood.
There are several types of migraine, including:
Migraine with aura – where there are specific warning signs just before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights.
Migraine without aura – the most common type, where the migraine happens without the specific warning signs.
Migraine aura without headache, also known as silent migraine – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but a headache does not develop.
Some people have migraines frequently, up to several times a week. Other people only have a migraine occasionally.
It is possible for years to pass between migraine attacks. (10)
What happens – what is going on that our Youth1start off their adult life with an intense head pain called migraine.
What future older adults are we going to have and how is society going to deal with this?
We know the masses in early adulthood are big into Screen Time and it is well worth stopping to read more on this topic, as what is being presented is staggering to say the least.
Let us not negate that our past patterns may indicate and reveal what we need to know, if we are to ever make lasting changes that support our human body.
Have they considered the triggers that may have led to migraines in early adulthood?
Imagine Real education on the school curriculum where articles like this on migraine, the one on Headaches and Junk Foods, Screen Time and Social Media are presented and discussed. Then offer educational material from websites like this that have done the research on other important topics like, Tobacco, Drugs and Alcohol.
Our young adults need direction and yet most of us are quite lost ourselves when it comes to living human life as we are simply not equipped. School did not give us tips on staying open, how to Express and the value of that and what harms us as humans. Very few of our kids and young adults today know how to nurture and care for themselves deeply. That is not a judgement, but a fact.
Back to migraines. If it is possible for years to pass between migraine attacks, then we must without fail track our life and the moves we make, as we may get the signs and become aware of what brought the next attack on, years later.
Other Migraine Preventative Medication
Propranolol is a medicine traditionally used to treat angina and High Blood Pressure, but it is also been shown to effectively prevent migraines.
It is usually taken every day in tablet form.
It should also be used with caution in people who have Diabetes.
Side Effects of Propranolol
This medicine may be recommended for adults who:
- have had Headaches on at least 15 days a month for more than 3 months, with at least 8 of those being migraines
- have tried at least 3 other medicines and they have not worked
Fremanezumab is given as an injection, either once a month or once every 3 months.
An assessment is given within 3 months of starting treatment to check if it is working. Treatment will continue if the medicine significantly reduces migraines. (11)
Side effects of any drugs are well known.
The truth is there is no drug in the world that does not have side effects because everything we ingest has an affect of some kind in our body.
Prescription drugs can work and they can help us and thank God we have the medical world assisting us.
However, we cannot rest on that and expect the drugs to do it all while we sit back wanting the pain to go or the symptoms to dissipate in the hope it will go away forever.
We have seen first hand that this is not the case, as other symptoms appear or the same stuff happens again, as in the case of more migraine attacks.
The above mentions the side effects of a drug used for migraine cause Cold Hands and Cold Feet, tiredness, problems sleeping and pins and needles. Now that is a lot of things not working in our favour. Correct?
But we take it as we are told, it can effectively prevent migraines. Great news but what about those freezing cold hands and feet – have we bothered to check in and ask them how they are feeling, with no warmth. If our hands and feet could talk back would they say – “Use your noddle, what you are taking is putting things inside out of sync and we cannot correct it as too many things are wrong and the Sleep department is having problems”.
Would it also be wise to Question if a drug was designed originally for High Blood Pressure then how was it going to nail the migraines? If it was, then how come we have a list of serious side effects? Yes for the record, the misery of Cold Hands and Cold Feet together with Sleeping problems is not to be taken lightly.
Preventing Menstrual-Related Migraines
Menstrual related migraine is generally longer lasting, more severe, and more difficult to treat compared to non-menstrual related migraine attacks. (12)
Menstrual-related migraines usually occur from 2 days before the start of a period to 3 days after.
These migraines are relatively predictable and it may be possible to prevent them using either non-hormonal or hormonal treatments.
Non-Hormonal Treatments that are recommended are:
- Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – a common type of painkiller
- Triptans – medicines that reverse the widening of blood vessels, which is thought to be a contributory factor in migraines.
These medicines are taken as tablets 2 to 4 times a day from either the start of your period or 2 days before, until the last day of bleeding.
- Combined hormonal contraceptives, such as the combined contraceptive pill, patch or vaginal ring
- Progesterone-only contraceptives, such as progesterone-only pills, implants or injections
- Oestrogen patches or gels, which can be used from 3 days before the start of your period and continued for 7 days
Hormonal contraceptives are not usually used to prevent menstrual-related migraines in Women who experience aura symptoms because this can increase the risk of having a stroke. (11)
Migraine remains 2nd among the world’s causes of disability and 1st among young women.
Findings from Global Burden of Disease 2019
Migraine remains 2nd overall (both genders, all ages) for years lived with disability, but takes 1st place in young women as it did in the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.
Migraine is the top cause of disability adjusted life years in young women.
No other disease, communicable or non-communicable, is responsible for more years of lost healthy life in young women, notwithstanding that migraine causes no premature mortality. (13)
Migraine and other Headache disorders over the past 28 years has remained the 2nd top cause of Years Lived with a Disability. (YLDs)
Global Burden of Disease Study 2018
This is a trend which seems to be rising in tandem with socioeconomic development, according to a 2021 paper by Goadsby et al.
Our Lifestyle may be contributing to a greater incidence of migraine and Headache and that headache disorders, including migraine are being increasingly reported among school aged Youth2 and children.
Migraine is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular events.
Migraine is often comorbid with a number of other conditions, e.g. hypothyroidism, Asthma, endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Meniere’s disease, epilepsy, interstitial cystitis, and with psychological conditions, including Depression and anxiety.
Note – this does not mean that everyone who lives with migraine also experiences these other conditions, but they frequently occur together.
Migraine causes varying levels of physical, cognitive and emotional impairment and disability which affects the individual and can also affect their family and friends. Severe migraine limits a person’s ability to engage in day to day family and Self-Care activities, requiring others to do these things for them.
In an attempt to reduce migraine attacks, people may alter their lifestyles, which can impact their families, professional working lives and social circles; e.g. dietary changes, reducing social interactions, avoiding certain triggering environments, etc.
Migraine is subject to significant stigma among the wider population, often leading to a sense of isolation and a reluctance to seek treatment. In some cases, people living with migraine will self-treat with “over the counter” OTC medications, at times causing a worsening of the condition.
People with migraine tend to worry about disappointing others or feel embarrassed about having migraine and the impact it has on them; which in turn, may affect their ability to maintain Relationships and friendships. (14)
We must stop and take note here – this is very serious.
30 years later we have Migraine remaining as the 2nd top cause of disability in the world.
Add to that the fact it is the 1st cause of disability worldwide for young women.
No other disease is responsible for more years of lost healthy life in young women.
WHY is this trend rising?
WHY are we being told that lifestyle may be contributing to a greater incidence of migraine and headache and that HEADACHE DISORDERS, INCLUDING MIGRAINE ARE BEING INCREASINGLY REPORTED AMONG SCHOOL AGE YOUTH1 AND CHILDREN?
THIS IS A 911
Are we going to Blame the pressures of modern day life or are we going to blame that “it is in the genes” theory as that then takes our personal Responsibility away and we become the victim of unlucky and the ‘bad luck syndrome’?
What if it is our Lifestyle Choices that lead to ALL that happens to us and the end result is some kind of illness or dis-ease in the body?
Let us look at this on a very practical everyday level with our kids, regardless of age.
First and foremost, are we ready to be open and Honest that this is going on.
Yes, you read correctly – our young children have headaches and migraines.
WHY WHY WHY is what we need to start with and not leave this questioning until we get answers that make some real sense to us.
Next – take a look at our parenting and how we are choosing to raise our kids.
This requires a huge level of Honesty, if we are to ever make Real lasting change.
Being lax and letting things go because it’s the school Holidays or the imposition of government restrictions, does not mean we have to change our Daily Routine and rhythm.
Be Honest that any of the triggers mentioned earlier in this article, could apply to children and so it is our duty and our Responsibility to support our children. Yes they play up and want the opposite to what is true in terms of health and well-being but we all know that giving in and Giving Up is not the answer. The greatest form of parenting does require a good dose of discipline, boundaries and a common sense approach in all areas.
Take note that our kids see us as role models, so we do need to step up our game, so to speak and get on the front foot. No point barking orders, demanding they do this and that and live the polar opposite to what we want them to be or do.
Enough said – let’s get back to a super practical example that we can all relate to.
We got a Birthday coming up. We have been leading up to this with wanting to please, give it all we got, go over the top, impress the other parents and so on…
We play into the game of what the world’s children now expect, demand and want for a Birthday. We only have to compare it to the last event we went to and we want to beat that for our child, as if that is going to support their Headache or migraine.
We feel the tension, the anxiety and the Stress leading up to the birthday, be it a small celebration or the big whammy “Because We Can” and showing off to others on Social Media is what it is all about for us.
Suddenly, all Sleep routine and early Wake Up is off the radar.
Making their bed or doing any house chores is a definite no no.
The list of “I want this for my Birthday” is getting bigger every day.
Money is not something we want to think of at all during this time.
Our child is unhappy or moody and we “cheer” them up with crazy promises.
We offer to buy them something that will not be of any support to their health and wellbeing but hey ho, they are our child and they deserve everything we can give them.
Now for the cake – it is those colours that we know have some kind of ingredients that set off Headaches but so what, it’s a birthday, only comes once a year, so what’s the big deal.
Birthday cakes are FULL of sugar and those that are ready to listen up – it is a drug.
We have thousands of books out there confirming this but those of us that are not ready, we will seek out something that says sugar has health benefits, just like the research studies that are not independent, but funded by the industry, telling us Alcohol has health benefits.
The thing is – to go against everything the world is throwing at us is not easy. Birthday cakes and going silly with our spending for a child’s special day is the norm.
But at what cost and was it worth it?
This is NOT having a go or telling a parent to not have a Birthday celebration – it is presenting what society expects of us and it could be harming our child and us, in more ways than we may have considered.
On that note, how are our children being celebrated – for what they do or don’t do or for who and what they truly are?
This is well worth a stop, pause and ponder on moment.
Unless we suffer with migraines or know of someone who does, we may not yet understand the impairment and disability that affects them, to the point where they are not equipped to deal with even the basic foundational activities of day to day life.
Example – if we love our Coffee, sugar and Alcohol, plus our Late Nights and Screen Time, that is ok and we have the choice, but what if ALL of that is harming us in some way, then we need to be Real and Honest and admit we don’t really and truly value this body we walk around and live with 24/7. Is this making sense dear reader?
Migraine is very real for those that have it. To feel a sense of isolation and a reluctance to seek treatment because of the stigma from the world, can and will lead to more pain.
Worrying or feeling embarrassed about this disease adds to the harm and we ought to be aware of this.
Enough said for now.
What you have read thus far gives some insight into what migraine is and how we live is a significant and contributing factor that cannot be ignored.
For those that need more – the book is coming and there are many more chapters, including:
History of Migraine
Migraines and Work
Migraines and Mental Health
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(2) (2016, December). Migraine. Brain and Spine Foundation. Retrieved August 14, 2021 from
(3) (n.d). Migraine Without Aura. The Migraine Trust. Retrieved August 30, 2021 from
(4) DiLiberto, R. (2019, June 14). This is Your Body on a Migraine. Everyday Health. Retrieved August 28, 2021 from
(5) Editorial Team. (2020, November 6). The Phases of Migraine. www.migraine.com Retrieved September 3, 2021 from
(6) Charles, A., & Brennan, K.C. (2010). The Neurobiology of Migraine. NCBI. Retrieved August 23, 2021 from
(7) (2020, February 10). The Brain of Migraine Sufferers is Hyper-Excitable, New Study Suggests. University of Birmingham. Retrieved August 30, 2021 from
(8) D’Amico, D., & Tepper, S.J. (2008, December). Prophylaxis of Migraine: General Principles and Patient Acceptance. NCBI. Retrieved August 15, 2021 from
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(10) (2019, May 10). Migraine. NHS. Retrieved August 29, 2021 from
(11) (2019, May 10). Prevention. NHS. Retrieved August 14, 2021 from
(12) Aurora, S., Lu, B., Connors, E., Li, X., Kellerman, D., & Kori, S. (2013, February 21). Analysis of Subjects with Menstrually Related Migraine vs. Non-Menstrually Related Migraine Treated with MAP0004. The Journal of Headache and Pain. Retrieved August 24, 2021 from
(13) Steiner, T.J., Stovner, L.J., Jensen, R., Uluduz, D., & Katsarava, Z. (2020, December 2). Migraine Remains Among the World’s Causes of Disability, and First Among Young Women: Findings from GBD2019. The Journal of Headache and Pain. Retrieved August 30, 2021 from