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What Is a Migraine?

From the Fitness & Wellness After Hysterectomy Articles List

Woman with migraineWhat exactly is a migraine?


A migraine is more than just a bad headache. Migraines are a complex condition which can be debilitating and even land you in the emergency room. Though the exact cause is unknown, they are believed to result from changes in your brain. They tend to be more prevalent in women and can be related to your menstrual cycle. Besides the severe pain in your head, you can also experience a variety of other symptoms during the stages of a migraine.

Migraines often occur on one side of the head, though they can be bilateral. The pain is most often felt in the temple or behind your eye or ear. Migraine pain can be moderate or severe and is usually described as throbbing or pulsating. Pain usually increases with activity, preventing you from being able to perform regular tasks.

In addition to the pain, you may also experience nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, sweating, and diarrhea. If you have migraines with aura, you may also see flashing lights, zig zag lines, colored spots, or stars. You can also experience tunnel vision and may feel numbness or tingling in your face or hand. Other migraine symptoms include sensitivity to smells, fuzzy thinking, watery eyes, stuffy nose, dizziness, and mood swings.

Prior to a migraine, you may experience feelings of depression, irritability, fatigue, and nausea. You could also have frequent yawning, neck stiffness, food cravings, and constipation or diarrhea. Following a migraine, you may feel drained, weak, and confused.

Migraines can last from 4 to 72 hours, greatly impacting your life and even those around you. Lying very still in a cool, dark room with cold compresses on your head can be helpful. While there is no cure for migraines, keeping a headache diary can help you learn your migraine triggers so you can try to prevent them. It can also help you learn your migraine warning symptoms so you can treat a migraine more quickly.

You can also work with a headache specialist to determine the type of migraine you are experiencing. This can allow you to find prophylactic and abortive medications which may work for you. As part of treatment, you may also need to make dietary and lifestyle changes in order to minimize the number and intensity of migraines.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

10-28-2015 - 02:00 PM


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