Migraines are severe throbbing or a pulsing sensations that are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise. These often occur anywhere for minutes to hours at a time. Some people may experience visual hallucinations like an “aura”, dots or flashing lights, disruptions in smell, touch and taste or numbness. After they subside, migraines often leave the sufferer feeling tired or unable to concentrate (9).
When To Talk To You Doctor
According to the Nation Health Institute, a headache can be a sign of something more serious, such as:
- Bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissue that covers the brain
- High blood pressure
- Brain infection, such as meningitis or encephalitis, or abscess
- Brain tumor
- Buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling (hydrocephalus)
- Buildup of pressure inside the skull that appears to be, but is not a tumor (pseudomotor cerebri)
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Sleep apnea
- Problems with the blood vessels and bleeding in the brain, such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM), brain aneurysm, or stroke
If you experience any of the symptoms listed bellow, seek medical assistance immediately:
- Your headache comes on suddenly and is explosive or violent.
- Your headache is “the worst ever,” even if you regularly get headaches.
- You also have slurred speech, a change in vision, problems moving your arms or legs, loss of balance, confusion, or memory loss with your headache.
- Your headache gets worse over 24 hours.
- You also have a fever, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting with your headache.
- Your headache occurs with a head injury.
- Your headache is severe and just in one eye, with redness in that eye.
- You just started getting headaches, especially if you are older than 50.
- Your headaches are associated with vision problems, pain while chewing, or weight loss.
- You have a history of cancer or immune system problem (such as HIV/AIDS) and develop a new headache.
While most people rely on headache medication to get through a bad migraine, these drugs can actually cause “rebound headaches”, which means that regular use of these medication can actually begin to trigger headaches.
If you suffer from chronic headaches, here are a few natural solutions that will provide you with lasting relief:
You may also benefit from drinking a tall glass of water and resting in a quiet, dark room with a cool cloth on your head.
As far as prevention goes, keep a headache diary to track potential triggers. Make sure to write the time and day when your pain began and ended, what you ate and drank int he 24 hours before your symptoms, how much you slept the night before and what your were doing and thinking when the pain began.This will help you identify you headache patterns and help you manage and predict future headaches.
You may also find it beneficial to consult a doctor, nutritionist or naturopath throughout this process to get more insight on your body and overall health.