Swindon and Wiltshire Neurological Alliance

Helping improve the lives of those affected by neurological conditions in Swindon & Wiltshire

 

 

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Migraine

What is Migraine?

A migraine is a severe headache that usually affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by other distressing symptoms. There are two types:

Migraine with aura (classical) - the headache is preceded by a

preliminary phase called an aura, when symptoms such as seeing

flashing lights, temporary visual loss, speech problems or numbness of the face or arms may occur


Migraine without aura (common) - no aura precedes the headache

Symptoms of Migraine

 

Both types of migraine may frequently start with changes in mood and feelings of general hunger or particular food cravings. Migraine attacks last from four to 72 hours and are usually felt on one side of the head. During this time you may need to lie down in a quiet and darkened room since the throbbing headache is often made worse by movement, noise and light.

 

Causes
The precise cause of migraine is unclear, but changes in the size of blood vessels and the levels of neurotransmitter substances (chemical messengers) in the brain are thought to be responsible.

In particular, a drop in the levels of the brain chemical serotonin is believed to be responsible for the dilatation (widening) of the blood vessels that causes the throbbing headache.

Many factors can trigger migraines, including tiredness, stress, dehydration, hormonal changes, missed or delayed meals, and certain food and drinks, such as cheese, chocolate, coffee, tea and alcohol.

Being a migraine sufferer seems to run in families, and so although migraines are not directly inherited there may be a genetic link.


 

Group

TBA

Short Description

TBA

Web Address

TBA

Contact Details

TBA

 

Group

The Migraine Trust

Web Address

http://www.migrainetrust.org

Contact Details

Help line: 020 7462 6601

Group

Migraine Action Association  

Web Address

http://www.migraine.org.uk/

Contact Details

0870 050 5898

Treatment
The tendency to suffer from migraines can't be cured but it can be kept under control, limiting the number of attacks. Some people find that taking medicines early in the attack reduces the severity and duration of the attack. Those who suffer regular or frequent migraine may benefit from specific types of daily medication to prevent attacks occurring.

Not everyone with migraine needs to see a doctor, but if painkillers purchased from the pharmacist are not helping, attacks are coming more frequently or there's a change from usual migraine symptoms, you must consult a doctor.

 

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