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Migraine: preventive measures and early treatment

According to health experts, more than every tenth in Germany suffers from migraine. The common disease causes throbbing headaches that can literally incapacitate the affected patients. Experts explain what helps patients and how to avoid them.

Every tenth German affected

Almost one in ten Germans suffers from migraines. Typical for the generalized disease are palpitation, pounding and especially unilateral headache. Often, other complaints such as nausea and vomiting, dizziness and loss of appetite are added. In addition, many patients are noisy and sensitive to light. Complaints are often treated with medication. But there are other therapy options. And also different preventive measures.

Millions of people in Germany suffer from migraines. The pounding headache can take patients from their daily routine. Health experts explain what can help those affected. (Image: Rawpixel.com/fotolia)

Migraine Attack Often Announced Before

In most cases, a migraine attack heralds early. Thus, in many patients, concentration decreases in terms of tiredness, irritability, and depressed mood.

Sometimes, however, the opposite happens, as DAK health insurance explained on its website: those affected feel very alert and energetic.

According to experts, every ten migraines have an aura: this neurological symptom of migraine usually manifests in visual disturbances, such as colored flashes, intermittent zigzag lines, milky circles or veils.

Some migraine sufferers also experience tingling or weakness in an arm or leg. Migraine pain usually occurs only on one side of the head and aggravates movement.

Many patients are sensitive to light, smell, noise and touch.

Different causes

But how does this actually result in a migraine attack? Not all causes of migraine have been resolved yet.

Experts believe that genetic factors play a role. Among the immediate triggers of a migraine attack include hormonal fluctuations. This applies according to health insurance, especially for women before and during menstruation

Other triggers (triggers) are very little or too much sleep, stress and some food and drink, especially alcohol and coffee.

Environmental factors as well as climate can also play a role. The effect is individually different.

According to the DAK, it is clear that a migraine attack in the areas of the nerve nucleus of the brain stem originates.

Due to the triggers above, there is thus the explosive release of so-called vasoactive peptides. These are special inflammatory substances. These dilate the cerebral vessels, which swell and become inflamed. The result is then the migraine attack.

Describe the complaints as accurately as possible

Because there are so many different types of headaches, many sufferers do not know they are suffering from migraines.

Therefore, anamnesis plays an important role in diagnosis. In a detailed conversation with the doctor, it is important to describe the complaints as accurately as possible.

Useful in this case may be a headache diary. It records the circumstances in which the headaches occur and how long they last.

In addition, the doctor should learn what type of pain it is. In order to rule out other types of headache, it is sometimes necessary to perform imaging procedures, such as computed tomography of the head.

What can help patients

To reduce the frequency of attacks, drug and non-drug therapies are currently used.

Those affected are often advised by experts not to rush to take medicine. Because taken painkillers migraine permanently leads to more seizures.

Many patients can get their complaints well with home remedies for migraines anyway.

It is recommended, among other things, that you withdraw in pain attacks in a quiet and dark room to protect yourself from external stimuli.

Mild massage with mint oil on the temples and forehead may also help. Even a refreshing cloth on the forehead can provide relief.

Those who need medication can use analgesics such as acetylsalicylic acid or ibuprofen. According to DAK's health, triptans have proven to be effective in treating severe migraine attacks.

These prescription drugs work exactly where the pain is in the brain.

Available as a tablet, pre-filled syringe or nasal spray vasoconstrictors, anti-inflammatory and reduce nerve cell sensitivity of the nerves.

And, as studies have shown, even butterbur-containing medications can prevent an attack. In addition, the butterbur should be able to reduce the number of migraine attacks.

Prevent Properly

It is ideal if you take measures so that you do not reach a migraine attack.

This should be handled in order for complaints to be triggered. It may help a migraine diary. If you identified the triggers, you should avoid them in the episode.

A regulated lifestyle, endurance sports and relaxation exercises can also be preventative. (Ad)

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