Migraine is a complex condition which causes severe throbbing pain or a discomforting pulsing sensation, most often on either side of the head. Migraine is characterized by recurrent attacks of headache with variable intensity, frequency, and duration of each attack.
Types of migraine
- Migraine with aura (complicated migraine): Around 15% to 20% of people with migraine headaches experience an aura.
- Migraine without aura (common migraine): This type of migraine headache strikes without the warning an aura may give you. The symptoms are the same, but that phase doesn’t happen.
- Migraine without head pain: “Silent migraine” or “acephalgic migraine,” as this type is also known as, includes the aura symptom but not the headache that typically follows.
- Hemiplegic migraine: A person will have temporary paralysis (hemiplegia) or neurological or sensory changes on one side of your body. The onset of the headache may be associated with temporary numbness, extreme weakness on one side of your body, a tingling sensation, a loss of sensation and dizziness or vision changes. Sometimes it includes head pain and sometimes it doesn’t.
- Retinal migraine (ocular migraine): Temporary, partial or complete loss of vision in one of your eyes, along with a dull ache behind the eye that may spread to the rest of your head. That vision loss may last a minute, or as long as months.
- Chronic migraine: A chronic migraine is when a migraine occurs at least 15 days per month. The symptoms may change frequently, and so may the severity of the pain. Those who get chronic migraines might be using headache pain medications more than 10 to 15 days a month and that, unfortunately, can lead to headaches that happen even more frequently.
- Migraine with brain stem aura: With this migraine will have vertigo, slurred speech, double vision or loss of balance, which occur before the headache. The headache pain may affect the back of the head. These symptoms usually occur suddenly and can be associated with the inability to speak properly, ringing in the ears and vomiting.
- Status migrainosus: This is a rare and severe type of migraine that can last longer than 72 hours. The headache pain and nausea can be extremely bad. Certain medications, or medication withdrawal, can cause to have this type of migraine.
These factors vary from person to person, and they include:
- Hormonal changes in women
- Bright or flashing lights
- Loud noises
- Strong smells
- Too much or not enough sleep
- Sudden changes in weather or environment
- Overexertion (too much physical activity)
- Caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
- Skipped meals
- Medication overuse (taking medicine for migraines too often)
Some people have found that certain foods or ingredients can trigger headaches, especially when they are combined with other triggers. These foods and ingredients include:
- Aged cheeses
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Some fruits and nuts
- Fermented or pickled goods
- Cured or processed meats
Four stages of migraine
The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome (pre-monitory), aura, headache and postdrome. Few people experience symptoms before their headache starts.
The phases are:
- Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. May or may not experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the “preheadache” or “premonitory” phase.
- Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people don’t experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time.
- Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word “ache” doesn’t do the pain justice because sometimes it’s mild, but usually, it’s described as drilling, throbbing or may feel the sensation of an ice pick in the head. Typically, it starts on one side of the head and then spreads to the other side.
- Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. It’s often called a migraine “hangover” and 80% of those who have migraines experience it.
It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.
- One sided headache
- Throbbing and pulsating pain
- Moderate to severe pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lasts for 4 to 72 hours or more
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Aura of visual disturbance
- Weakness, confusion after attack
Each phase of the migraine attack can come with different symptoms:
- Concentrating problem.
- Irritability and/or depression.
- Difficulty speaking and reading.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Sensitivity to light and sound.
- Food cravings.
- Increased urination.
- Muscle stiffness.
- Numbness and tingling.
- Visual disturbances. You might be seeing the world as if through a kaleidoscope, have blurry spots or see sparkles or lines.
- Temporary loss of sight.
- Weakness on one side of the body.
- Speech changes.
- Neck pain, stiffness.
- Depression, giddiness and/or anxiety.
- Sensitivity to light, smell and sound.
- Nasal congestion.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Inability to concentrate.
- Depressed mood.
- Lack of comprehension.
- Euphoric mood.
- Are a woman: Women are three times more likely than men to get migraines.
- Have a family history of migraines: Most people with migraines have family members who have migraines.
- Have other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy.
- To make a diagnosis, health care provider will:
- Take your medical history
- Ask about your symptoms
- Do a physical and neurological exam
- An important part of diagnosing migraines is to rule out other medical conditions which could be causing the symptoms. May also have blood tests, an MRI or CT scan, or other tests.
Homeopathic remedies for migraine are reliable and safe. They offer effective treatment for migraine. In fact, they work wonders for acute migraine attacks or even chronic migraine. These medicines for migraine are selected as per individual case. Individual symptoms are studied in detail and the appropriated medicine prescribed. They identify and attack migraine at the root. Migraines with or without aura respond very well to natural medicines.
Belladonna can be very helpful for migraine headaches with intense throbbing, pulsating headaches. It is also indicated when there is an extreme fullness in the head. Light seems to worsen the headache. Noise is unbearable. In some cases, exposure to cold air can trigger a migraine episode. In others, a head bath with cold water can bring on migraine headaches. Hard pressure over the head is the only way some relief is felt in such cases. Key note for the use of Belladonna is sensation of fullness with a throbbing headache. At times it is also used for headaches resulting from high blood pressure.
Glonoinum is most helpful in treating migraine with excessive congestion in the head. The head feels very large, as if it would burst. In such a migraine attack, patients in pain are seen holding their head in hands. The eyeballs seem protruded. Extreme heaviness in the head is felt. Also, heat around the head is unbearable. Uncovering the head relieves the headache. The migraine also gets better with sleep while walking worsens the migraine headache. Apart from congestive headaches, Glonoinum is also the most suitable medicine for migraine headache triggered by sun exposure.
Iris Versicolor is a most valuable medicine for migraine when attended with intense nausea, vomiting or acidity. Burning may be noted in any part of the alimentary canal. Vomiting of acidic, sour, bitter nature is observed. Bitter, acrid, belching with intense burning behind the sternum and in the throat is well marked. Acidic stomach reflux leads to headaches. Headache with diarrhoea signals prescription of Iris Versicolor. This medicine is also useful where migraine begins with a blur before the eyes.
Epiphegus is a valuable medicine for treating migraine where exhaustion – mental or physical, sets off the migraine episode. It is used where the slightest deviation from routine work brings on a migraine attack. Although it works for both sided migraines, yet comparatively better results are seen in left-sided headaches with Epiphegus. A peculiar attending symptom is increased saliva with constant inclination to spit.
In case of a migraine attack triggered by stress, Kali Phos proves extremely useful. The unique indication for use of Kali Phos is that stress, tensions and worry lead to migraine headaches. Such migraine headaches are common among students who suffer school or college related stress. Exhaustion and weakness usually accompany the migraine in such cases.
Natrum Muriaticum is the best prescription for migraine attacks that worsen around the menstrual cycle. The headache may be triggered before, during or at the close of the menstrual cycle. Another unique symptom is migraine headache that starts with sunrise, continues through the day and vanishes after sunset. This is popularly known as the “sunrise to sunset headache”. Also, in cases where the migraine headache feels like little hammers knocking on the brain, Natrum Muriaticum will help. Natrum Mur is also used migraine that arises from any mental grief or stress.
It is also the most suitable prescription for migraine headaches in school girls or in girls who are anaemic. It is also considered the best medicine where numbness or tingling is felt in the nose, tongue or lips before the migraine attack. Natrum mur is also a very effective medicine for headache caused by eye strain.
Nux Vomica is a very effective remedy for migraine with gastric troubles. Migraine due to indigestion, flatulence, constipation and piles shows great recovery with use of Nux Vomica. Nux Vomica also helps where migraine headaches get worse after taking coffee, spicy food and alcoholic drinks. The headache may be located in any part of the head. The person feels the need to press the head against something hard for relief.
It works well when dim sight occurs with a headache. In some cases, temporary blindness precedes onset of headache. In most cases the pain is felt in the back of the head (occipital headache). With this a sensation of band around the head may be present. Heaviness of eyelids can also be there. Other than above its use is also made when headache worsens from mental exertion. Pressure may give relief in pain when it is needed.
Spigelia is a most effective medicine for left-sided migraine. It is indicated when the headache is located over the left temporal region, forehead and eyes. In most cases, the pain begins in the occipital region of the head, extends upward and settles over the left eye. The pain is violent, throbbing and pulsating in nature. There is a sensation of a tight band around the head. Stooping seems to worsen the headache. Severe pain in the eyeballs may attend. Eye movement worsens this pain.
Sanguinaria Canadensis is a good medicine for right-sided migraine. The pain starts from the back of the head i.e. occiput, ascends and settles over the right eye. Lying down quietly in a dark room brings relief. In some cases, sleep may relieve pain. Fasting (going without meals) often triggers a migraine headache in persons prescribed Sanguinaria Canadensis. It is also the medicine to prescribe when the headache starts in the morning, increases during the day and lasts until sunset. Also, Sanguinaria Canadensis is a significant medicine for migraine in women during menopause.
Sepia is the most suitable medicine for migraine attacks in women around menopause. In such cases, terrible headaches accompany menopause. The headache gets worse indoors, open air brings relief. Nausea and vomiting may attend migraine headaches. Lying on the painful side of the head affords relief. The top of the head may feel cool in such cases. In general, hot flushes, sometimes along with sweat, are well marked.
Cyclamen is majorly indicated for migraine attacks that begin with flickering, fiery sparks before the eyes or dim vision. These visual symptoms that precede the migraine headache are referred to as aura. Cyclamen is also useful where migraine headaches start on rising in the morning. Shooting pain is experienced in the temporal region. Vertigo, especially when standing, may accompany the headache.
It is a very effective medicine for females who get headaches before menses. It is accompanied with vomiting. Sometimes they may also complain of headache at the appearance of menses and end of menstrual cycle. In such cases pain is mostly throbbing at the top of head. They may also have irregularity of menstrual periods.
It is a very helpful medicine for cases of headache with nausea and vomiting. Throbbing and heated sensation is felt in the head. In most cases, the pain can be present in the back of the head or top of the head.
Ruta is an important medicine for headaches caused by eye strain. Stitching pain is felt in the head from reading mostly where it is required.
It is a beneficial medicine for managing headache preceded by blurred vision. The headache occurs in small spots and is marked over the eyebrows. Nausea and vomiting may accompany other symptoms.
Quick and effective results in migraine headache from sun exposure is Natrum Carbonicum. Vertigo appears along with headache from sun exposure in such cases. The pressive headache is accompanied by cloudiness of eyes. Heat in the head and congestion may be felt. Shooting pain in the forehead also suggests use of Natrum Carbonicum.
Migraines that come on after mental exertion or near the menstrual period may indicate a need for this remedy—especially in a nervous person who is very chilly. Headaches are usually right-sided, starting in the back of the head and extending to the forehead, and are worse from drafts or from going out in the cold without a hat. The person may feel better from lying down in a dark, warm room and also from covering the head.
This remedy is often indicated for migraines with throbbing pains (“as if the top of the head would fly open”) or shooting pains in the eyes. Headaches are often associated with the menstrual period or come on after long-term study or worrying. The muscles of the neck are usually involved in the headache, feeling very stiff and painful. The person (normally talkative and energetic) feels mentally dull and gloomy, or even fearful, during a migraine. Pain is worse from motion and sometimes improved by eating.
Left-sided migraines with congested, pulsing pain that is worse from pressure or tight clothing may respond to this remedy. The person’s face looks deeply flushed or blotchy. Headaches are often worst before the menstrual period and better once the flow begins. The person feels worse from sleeping (either in the daytime or at night) and is usually worse from heat.