Chronic Migraine: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments | Medtalks

Chronic Migraine: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments | Medtalks

What is a Chronic Migraine Headache | Chronic Migraine

Migraines are a severe, often incapacitating type of headache. Migraine sufferers frequently require prescription medication or medical treatment to alleviate their symptoms. A simple over-the-counter headache medication is rarely effective in the treatment of migraines.Migraines can be either episodic or chronic in nature. An episodic migraine (EM) can last for hours. Then, weeks or even months may elapse between migraine attacks. Chronic migraines (CM), on the other hand, are more common and last longer.


Symptoms of Chronic Migraine | Chronic Migraine Headache Symptoms

Chronic migraine symptoms occur at least 15 days per month for at least three months in a row. A chronic migraine must also have two of the following migraine symptoms for at least eight days per month:

  • moderate to severe pain primarily affecting one side of the head 

  • causes a throbbing, pulsating sensation in the affected side of the brain 

  • begins or is exacerbated by routine physical activity, such as walking or cleaning.



Causes of Chronic Migraine | Chronic Migraine Causes

Doctors and researchers do not have a good understanding of migraines. Although possible causes have been identified, definitive answers have yet to be discovered. Some hypotheses about what causes migraine include:


  • Central nervous system disorders: A central nervous system disorder may be the cause of chronic migraines.


  • Chemical imbalances: For proper brain function, all chemicals must be balanced and all nerve pathways must be clear. Migraine headaches may occur if any of these things are disrupted.


  • Genetic factors: If a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, has had migraine headaches, your chances of getting them increase.


  • Vascular irregularities: Migraine headaches can be caused by problems with the shape, size, or blood flow in vessels leading to or inside your brain.



Chronic migraines may be an underlying symptom of another serious condition in some cases. Chronic migraines can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:


  • traumatic brain injury 

  • inflammation, or other problems with blood vessels in the brain, such as 

    • stroke 

    • infections like meningitis 

    • brain tumors

  • inadequate or excessive intracranial pressure.


When your doctor diagnoses you with chronic migraine, he or she will most likely order tests to rule out these conditions.


Potential Triggers

Migraine triggers are not the same as migraine causes. People who are migraine prone may find that certain situations, behaviors, or environments trigger a new migraine attack. These elements are known as triggers.Each person's triggers are unique. They may also have different effects on the same person each time they are exposed to them. Avoiding common migraine triggers may help reduce the likelihood of a flare-up of symptoms in people who suffer from chronic migraines.


Migraine triggers commonly include:


  • Anxiety and stress: Migraine sufferers may experience painful headaches during times of increased stress and anxiety.


  • Poor posture: How you sit can have an impact on how you feel. Poor posture can cause a reduction in blood flow through your neck. This decreased blood flow may also result in a migraine headache.


  • Caffeine use and abuse: Caffeine is a stimulant that can precipitate a migraine attack. Caffeine-containing drinks or high-sugar sodas can also cause migraines.


  • Certain foods and beverages: Artificial sweeteners, as well as salty, spicy, and aged foods (such as cured meats and cheeses), may be triggers. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a common food preservative that has also been linked to migraine headaches.


  • Hormones: Women are more likely than men to suffer from both episodic and chronic migraines. This could be due to the fact that women go through regular hormonal changes as a result of menstruation. Women also go through significant hormonal changes before and during menopause. Hormonal medications, such as birth control pills, can also cause CM.


  • Vasodilators: Vasodilators are medications that affect your vascular system (blood vessels). A vascular problem can either cause or aggravate a migraine. Because vasodilator medications dilate your blood vessels, they may cause CM.


  • Headache medication: If you take over-the-counter headache medication more than three days per week or more than nine days per month to treat your migraines, you should consult your doctor. Your doctor can advise you on the best medication to use to treat your migraines.


  • Sensory stimulation: Bright lights, loud music, and strong odors can all set off a migraine headache attack.


  • Sleep issues: Both a lack of routine sleep and an excess of sleep can trigger a chronic migraine episode.


Changes in temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure can all have an impact on your migraine status.


Treatment of Chronic Migraine | Chronic Migraine Treatment

Chronic migraine treatment may include a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and alternative remedies.


Medication For Chronic Migraine

If you have chronic migraines, your doctor will most likely advise you to take a prescription medication. Depending on your condition, you may be prescribed medication to take as a migraine attack begins or to take on a daily basis to prevent or lessen the severity of migraine attacks.Triptans, such as almotriptan and eletriptan, are acute migraine medications used to reduce the severity of a migraine attack. To reduce migraine activity, you may also be prescribed antidepressants and antiseizure medications.


FAQ's For Chronic Migraine

What disease causes chronic migraines ?

Migraine is a common neurological disorder that affects about 15% of the population. It can be classified as either episodic or chronic migraine, depending on how often it occurs

and whether there are any symptoms between attacks. Episodic migraine usually lasts for 4 to 72 hours; however, some people experience headaches lasting longer than this without an accompanying aura.

chronic migraine treatment

Migraines are a common and debilitating condition. They can be very difficult to treat, as they often occur in clusters with no clear trigger or pattern. The most effective treatments for chronic migraines include preventive medications that reduce the frequency of attacks, abortive drugs used when an attack is about to start, and non-drug therapies such as biofeedback, relaxation techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, yoga, meditation, massage, chiropractic care.

Conclusion

Consult your doctor if you are experiencing migraines for the first time, or if they are becoming more severe or frequent. You can consult your primary care physician, who may refer you to a neurologist or headache specialist. If you begin to experience any new symptoms in addition to a migraine, you should contact your doctor.A sudden or unusual migraine can be a sign of a medical emergency. Seek emergency medical attention right away if you have a sudden, severe headache with the following symptoms:


  • severe vomiting

  • nausea

  • shortness of breath, especially when combined with a fever, rash

  • stiff neck 

  • weakness

  • dizziness

  • loss of balance

  • numbness or tingling throughout the body 

  • blurry vision

  • double vision

  • blind spots

  • headaches following a head injury

  • personality changes

  • inappropriate behavior

  • difficulties with speech 

  • confusion 

  • seizures


References: 


  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/migraine/chronic