If I Have Recurring Migraines, Who Should I Call?
When you are experiencing a migraine, you have headaches that are moderate to intense. Migraine brings headache pains that are mostly felt on one side of your head. In other cases, you may experience headaches on both sides. This condition also causes other side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and high sensitivity to sound and light.
Migraine headaches mostly last for a significant amount of time. They last for as long as 72 hours without a break. Strenuous work or any kind of physical activity can worsen the symptoms. While it may be rare, some people may experience a syndrome known as aura. Aura generally includes a short period of visual flashes, tickling sensations in the arms, legs, or face. This is a warning symptom of the headache to come.
These pains eventually stop. They can be triggered again after some time but also disappear after a few days. Painkillers may be able to relieve pain and stop a migraine, especially if taken before or at the beginning of the migraine.
It is difficult to separate migraines from normal headaches. Other migraine headaches may be a result of a range of different medical conditions in the body. If you experience the following symptoms, then you should see a neurologist.
- Severe headaches accompanied by dizziness, balance loss and falling, weakness, numbness, and difficulties in moving your body.
- Problems with vision and seeing blind spots, double vision, and blurry vision.
- Experiencing headaches very late at night.
- Nausea that can be followed by vomiting.
- Pains around the neck and stiffness.
- Mood swings.
- Pulsing or throbbing ache.
- Pain all over the head or on a particular side of the head.
If you have headaches accompanied by such symptoms, then you may have chronic migraines, and you should see a doctor for treatment. All of the mentioned symptoms may occur during, after, or before the migraine attack. A neurologist may be able to treat recurring migraines, which are a result of chronic migraine.
Who is a Neurologist?
A neurologist is an osteopath or medical doctor who has specialized training in handling, diagnosing, and treating disorders of the nervous system. These may include muscles, the spinal cord, and brain diseases.
When you see a neurologist while experiencing a recurring migraine, he or she will be able to examine your body. This is because most of triggers of chronic migraine result from the nervous system. Carrying your medical history would be wise, as it would better help the doctor to diagnose your condition.
What is Chronic Migraine?
When you experience chronic migraine, you suffer headaches for at least 15 days in a month. The headaches should also occur for more than 15 days per month for the span of 3 months to be fit to be described as chronic.
If a headache persists for 8 successive days with a growing headache, ache on a specific side of the head, throbbing pain like the beat of a drum, and symptoms deteriorating with any work, then and only then the headache is most likely chronic.
Causes of Chronic Migraine
Chronic migraine does not have a specific cause like other short-term migraine headaches or episodic migraine. However, lack of treatment for short-term migraines can be one of the causes of chronic migraines. It can be caused by normal migraine triggers, such as change in type of food, bright lights, caffeine, hormonal changes, and changes in sleep.
Also, some of the following underlying symptoms may be the reason.
- Abnormality in the vascular system – The blood vessels supplying the brain may be abnormal.
- Hormonal or chemical imbalance – The hormones and chemicals that induce brain activity may be inadequate or sometimes in excess.
- Problems with CNS – There might be a neurological condition causing the headache to prevail.
- Inherited from family – You are more likely to be a victim if your family has a history of migraine or chronic migraine.
In severe cases, the migraine may be accompanied by disorders like migrainous infarction (long lasting aura) and status migrainosus (unbearable pain lasting three days).
Treatment for Migraine
Before any treatment is done, the neurologist will study your history. This is done by listening to your story on what experiences you have had with migraine. These may include when you first experienced migraine, the type of medications you have used, or the activities that worsen your migraine headaches.
Depending on your history and the type of test the doctor will carry out, you may be prescribed some type of painkillers, although they are also used in acute conditions. Blood tests, a lumbar puncture, or just an MRI would be carried out to confirm the condition.
The doctor can also recommend a change in your lifestyle to try and stop the condition. This is because some cases of migraine are triggered by the lifestyle of the victim.
The Bottom Line
The first and foremost step would be to avoid common triggers, such as caffeine, poor posture, unhealthy diet (which may include sweeteners, spices, or even MSG), hormonal medicines, and prolonged sleep deprivation.
It is not always a must to call or visit a neurologist once you experience recurring migraine. By studying the nature of the headaches, you may be able to treat or prevent them yourself. Some migraine headaches are caused by your behaviors and habits. This also means if you go back to such behaviors, the headaches will come back.
Medications can also be the cause of recurring migraine and can be handled without visiting a neurologist. This is where the recurring migraine is caused by over-use of medication. You can change this by changing the type of medicines. Over-the-counter medications should be avoided, as they may be unable to treat your specific condition and may also leave you with certain side effects that might worsen your current state.
It is elemental to study self–behavior, as the doctor may not always be able to analyze the reason for the pain. Keeping a journal of your day-to-day activities and diet would be a useful weapon to fend off those recurring symptoms.
- Who to call when with recurring migraines
- Chronic migraine