Abhay Ayurvedic & Panchkarna Hospital


Migraine headaches are a neurological condition characterized by abnormal brain activity that affects nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels in the brain. These headaches typically manifest as pulsing pain, often located in the forehead, on the side of the head, or around the eyes. Over time, the headache tends to intensify.

Migraines are often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, numbness, tingling sensations, and heightened sensitivity to light and sound. These migraine attacks can persist for anywhere from 4 to 72 hours, and the pain experienced can be extremely severe.

Migraine Symptoms

Prodrome Stage
The prodrome stage refers to the period one or two days before the actual migraine headache begins. During this stage, individuals may experience:

1. Feelings of depression.
2. Cravings for specific foods.
3. Fatigue.
4. Frequent yawning.
5. Increased hyperactivity.
6. Irritability.
7. Stiffness in the neck.

Migraine with Aura
Following the prodrome stage, some individuals experience what’s known as a migraine with aura. During this phase, patients may encounter issues related to vision, sensation, movement, and speech, including:

1. Difficulty speaking.
2. Tingling sensations in the face, arms, or legs.
3. Seeing light flashes or bright spots.
4. Temporary loss of vision.
5. Hearing unusual noises or music.
6. Uncontrollable jerking movements.

Attack Phase
The attack phase is when the most severe pain associated with a migraine occurs. Common symptoms during this phase include:

1. Increased sensitivity to light and sound.
2. Nausea.
3. Feeling faint or lightheaded.
4. Throbbing head pain, often localized on one side of the head (left, right, front, or back).
5. Pulsing headache.
6. Vomiting.

Postdrome Phase
In the postdrome phase, individuals may experience shifts in mood and feelings, such as extreme happiness, profound fatigue, or apathy. The duration and intensity of this phase can vary among different people, and sometimes this phase may be skipped altogether.

Migraine Causes

Migraines have a complex origin, and while not fully understood, they are believed to involve genetics and changes in the brain, particularly interactions with the trigeminal nerve. Imbalances in brain chemicals, particularly serotonin, which regulates pain in the nervous system, are also thought to play a role.

Migraine triggers can be categorized into various factors:

Emotional Triggers:

  1. Stress
  2. Anxiety
  3. Tension
  4. Shock
  5. Depression
  6. Excitement

Physical Triggers:

  1. Tiredness
  2. Poor-Quality Sleep
  3. Shift Work
  4. Poor Posture
  5. Neck or Shoulder Tension
  6. Jet Lag
  7. Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

Dietary Triggers:

  1. Missed, Delayed, or Irregular Meals
  2. Dehydration
  3. Alcohol
  4. Caffeinated Products like Tea and Coffee
  5. Specific Foods such as Chocolate and Citrus Fruits
  6. Foods Containing Tyramine

Environmental Triggers:

  1. Bright Lights
  2. Flickering Screens, like televisions or computer screens
  3. Smoking (or being in smoky rooms)
  4. Loud Noises
  5. Strong Smells

Medicational Triggers:

  1. Some types of sleeping tablets
  2. The combined contraceptive pill
  3. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), used to relieve menopausal symptoms.

Types of Migraine

Migraine headaches come in various forms, each with its unique characteristics:

Classical Migraines (Migraines with Aura): Classical migraines begin with a distinctive warning sign known as an Aura. This Aura often involves visual disturbances like flashing lights, changes in colors or shadows, and temporary vision loss.

Common Migraines (Migraines Without Aura): Common migraines do not have an Aura preceding them and are hence called Migraines Without Aura. They often start slowly and can disrupt daily activities. The pain in common migraines is typically on one side of the head, and most people experience this type.

Chronic Migraine: Chronic migraine results in frequent attacks occurring on over 15 days each month.

Menstrual Migraine: Menstrual Migraines follow a pattern associated with the menstrual cycle.

Hemiplegic Migraine: Hemiplegic Migraines cause temporary weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.

Abdominal Migraine: Abdominal Migraines connect migraine attacks with irregular gut and abdominal function, primarily affecting children under 14 years old.

Migraine with Brainstem Aura: A rare type of migraine that can lead to severe neurological symptoms, including impaired speech.

Cluster Headaches: Cluster headaches are rare but highly painful headaches that occur in clusters or patterns. They typically affect one side of the head.

Cervicogenic Headaches: Cervicogenic headaches result from an underlying physical condition, often related to neck problems. They are usually triggered by sudden neck movements and typically affect one side of the head or face.

Retinal Migraine: Retinal migraines cause temporary vision loss in one eye, which can last from minutes to months but is usually reversible. This condition requires immediate medical attention.

Vestibular Migraine (Migraine-Associated Vertigo): Vestibular migraines affect balance and induce dizziness.

Acute Migraine (Episodic Migraine): Acute migraines, also known as episodic migraines, are characterized by up to 14 headache days per month.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Migraine

Ayurvedic treatment for migraine, referred to as Ardhavabedhaka in Ayurveda, focuses on alleviating the intense and piercing one-sided pain often associated with this condition. Migraine in Ayurveda is often linked to a dominance of Vata-Pitta Dosha, where patients may experience intense pain, redness, and a burning sensation in the eyes. Typically, migraines are related to a history of acidity and digestive issues.

The Ayurvedic approach to treating migraines involves:

  1. Samshodhana (Panchakarma-Bio-purificatory techniques): This includes therapeutic purgation known as Kaya virechana to cleanse the body.

  2. Pathya Ahara (Regulated Diet): A carefully regulated diet is recommended to manage migraine symptoms effectively.

  3. Vihara (Regulated Lifestyle): Lifestyle adjustments are crucial to managing migraine triggers and promoting overall well-being.

Shathayu Ayurveda offers personalized treatments based on the severity of migraine. The Migraine Kit, a combination of medications, is a safe and effective way to manage migraines over 120 days. This treatment plan is complemented by dietary and lifestyle modifications, all designed to minimize side effects and complications.

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