Diagnosis of Migraine
Doctors diagnose migraines by listening to your symptoms, taking a thorough medical and family history, and performing a physical exam to rule out other potential causes. Imaging scans, such as a CT scan or MRI, can rule out other causes, including:
- abnormal brain structures
Treatment of Migraine
Migraines can’t be cured, but your physician can help you manage them so you get them less often and treat symptoms when they occur. Treatment can also help make the migraines you have less severe.
Your treatment plan depends on:
- your age
- how often you have migraines
- the type of a migraine you have
- how severe they are, based on how long they last, how much pain you have, and how often they keep you from going to school or work
- whether they include nausea or vomiting, as well as other symptoms
- other health conditions you may have and other medications you may take
Your treatment plan may include a combination of these:
- self-care migraine remedies
- lifestyle adjustments, including stress management and avoiding migraine triggers
- OTC pain or migraine medications, such as NSAIDs or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- prescription migraine medications that you take every day to help prevent migraines and reduce how often you have headaches
- prescription migraine medications that you take as soon as a headache starts, to keep it from becoming severe and to ease symptoms
- prescription medications to help with nausea or vomiting
- hormone therapy if migraines seem to occur in relation to your menstrual cycle
- alternative care, which may include biofeedback, meditation, acupressure, or acupuncture
You may want to take these actions to help prevent a migraine:
- Learn what triggers your migraines and avoid those things.
- Stay hydrated. Per day, Men should drink about 13 cups of fluids and women should drink 9 cups.
- Avoid skipping meals.
- Get quality sleep. A good night’s sleep is important for overall health.
- Quit smoking.
- Make it a priority to reduce stress in your life and learn to cope with it in helpful ways.
- Learn relaxation skills.
- Exercise regularly; Exercise may help you not only reduce stress but also lose weight. Experts believe obesity is linked to migraines. Be sure to start exercising slowly to warm up gradually. Starting too fast and intensely can trigger a migraine.
In Conclusion, Speak to your doctor
Sometimes the symptoms of a migraine headache can mimic those of a stroke. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention if you or a loved one has a headache that:
- causes slurred speech or drooping on one side of the face
- causes new leg or arm weakness
- comes on very suddenly and severely with no lead-in symptoms or warning
- occurs with a fever, neck stiffness, confusion, seizure, double vision, weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking
- has an aura where the symptoms last longer than an hour
- would be called the worst headache ever
- is accompanied by loss of consciousness
Make an appointment to see your doctor if your headaches start to affect your daily life. Tell them if you experience pain around your eyes or ears, or if you have multiple headaches a month that last for several hours or days.
Migraine headaches can be severe, debilitating, and uncomfortable. Many treatment options are available, so be patient finding the one or combination that’s best for you. Keep track of your headaches and symptoms in order to identify migraine triggers. Knowing how to prevent migraines can often be the first step in managing them.