A migraine is a very painful, often a debilitating, form of a headache. It can be either episodic or chronic. Usually, the episodic migraine lasts for hours and several weeks to months can pass between two migraine episodes. However, chronic migraine symptoms not only last longer but also occur more frequently. If you have a chronic migraine, you will probably suffer from throbbing headaches at least 15 days a month. These severe and frequent attacks can make it difficult for you to live a normal life.
An episodic migraine is much more common than a chronic one. Various medical research reports have shown that some people who suffer from an episodic migraine can eventually develop the symptoms of a chronic migraine! According to medical studies, 0.5% of men and 1.3% of women in the country experience chronic migraine symptoms.
Other than taking medications, some healthy lifestyle changes can also help one in dealing with the symptoms of a chronic migraine. Here is a list of the symptoms along with some effective treatments for a chronic migraine.
Chronic Migraine Symptoms
Having chronic migraine is nowhere similar to having just a simple headache. In reality, it is much more than that! A chronic migraine may include the following symptoms:
- Feeling dizzy
- Auras, which means seeing shadows, colors, lines, or flashing lights
- Tingling in the hands, feet, and face.
These symptoms are accompanied by severe pain! While having it, one can also find the sounds, touch, smell, and bright lights very painful. Most of the times, the episodic migraine symptoms are almost similar to the chronic migraine symptoms. However, the major difference is in how frequently these attacks are occurring.
According to the medical experts, this chronic migraine can be triggered by different factors. Sometimes, it runs in families. Sometimes, it happens due to the changes in the brain chemicals. Experts have mentioned that abnormal activity in the brain is another major cause of this severe headache. Among the different triggers, some of the common ones are being under excessive stress, lack of proper sleep and lack of caffeine.
Various medical study reports and surveys have reflected the fact that most of the times, women suffer from a chronic migraine. While having the monthly period, women go through many hormonal changes. Also, during the pregnancy and while going through the menopause phase, complex hormonal changes happen, which may result in a chronic migraine. Birth control is another thing that plays a role in causing a painful migraine.
Treatments for a Chronic Migraine
Both an episodic migraine and the chronic one can be treated with proper medications under the doctor’s guidance. However, to deal with and prevent chronic migraine symptoms effectively, the following healthy lifestyle changes can be of great help:
- Adding Fresh Foods to the Diet
Eating healthy and fresh foods including a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean meat not only keeps one in good health but also helps to stop triggering the painful headache. Foods that have the omega-3 fatty acids are also a good choice to add to the diet. The foods containing nitrates (processed meats like bacon, sausages, and hot dogs), sucralose or aspartame (artificial sweeteners), tyramine (aged cheeses such as red wine and blue cheese) and chocolates containing beta-phenylethylamine should be avoided.
- Drinking Enough Water to Stay Hydrated
One of the most common factors to trigger a chronic migraine pain is dehydration. Hence, drinking enough water is necessary to stay fit and healthy. Sometimes, for a change in taste, one can try health drinks or herbal teas.
- Including Caffeine in the Diet
In any headache relief medication, caffeine plays an important role as it has pain-relieving properties. Hence, taking a moderate amount of caffeine every day actually helps in preventing migraine pain.
- Not Skipping Meals
According to many medical professionals, rather than having large meals after a huge time gap, following the pattern of small and regular meals is good for stopping a migraine attack. It is advisable not to skip meals. Even if portions are small, maintaining the regularity with the meals is important.
- Maintaining a Healthy Weight
For not only staying healthy and fit but to also prevent chronic migraine symptoms, maintaining a healthy weight is recommended. If one is overweight, one is more likely to get a chronic migraine! Hence, it is better to make exercise as a part of the daily routine.
- Get Enough Sleep
Any changes in the sleeping pattern can trigger the migraine pain. It is not just about getting enough sleep but also about maintaining regularity in the sleep patterns.
So, these are all the measures that you should take, keeping in mind to effectively prevent the painful chronic migraine attack. When you are suffering from severe chronic migraine pain, some medications can definitely help to deal with it. However, it is always advisable to consult a medical healthcare professional before taking any medication.