A migraine is a headache that often affects one side of the head and can be extremely painful, throbbing, or pulsating. It frequently comes with high sensitivity to light and sound as well as nausea and vomiting. The agony from a migraine episode can be unbearable and linger anywhere from hours to days, making it difficult to go about your everyday activities.
A warning sign known as an aura may appear before or concurrently with the headache in some persons. Auras can include speech difficulties, tingling on one side of the face or in an arm or leg, as well as vision problems like light flashes or blind spots.
Some migraines can be prevented and made less painful with medication. The correct medications, together with self-help techniques and lifestyle modifications, may be helpful.
Children and teenagers can also experience migraines, which can develop through four stages: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome. Not every migraine sufferer experiences each stage.
You may detect little alterations one or two days prior to a migraine that indicates an impending migraine, such as:
- mood swings between pleasure and sadness.
- yearning for food.
- a stiff neck.
- a rise in urination.
- Retention of fluid.
- usually yawning.
Auras can happen before or during migraines for certain people. Auras are temporary nervous system symptoms. Most of them are visual, but they can also involve other disruptions. Each symptom often starts out mildly, intensifies over a few minutes, and lasts for up to 60 minutes.
Auras associated with migraines include:
- visual phenomena including the perception of different shapes, bright spots, or light flashes.
- sight loss.
- Leg or arm tingling or pins and needles.
- weakness or numbness on one side of the body, especially the face.
- Speaking is challenging.
If left untreated, a migraine often lasts 4 to 72 hours. Each person experiences migraines differently. Migraines can hit infrequently or repeatedly each month.
Symptoms of a migraine include:
- Pain typically on one side of the head, but frequently on both.
- discomfort with a throb or pulse.
- sensitivity to touch, scent, and occasionally light and sound.
- vomiting and nausea.
You can experience post-migraine drowsiness, confusion, and fatigue for up to a day.
Some people claim to feel happy. A sudden head movement could briefly reactivate the pain.
Some migraine sufferers may find that vomiting lessens their symptoms, especially nausea. By releasing pain-killing chemicals or altering blood flow, vomiting may assist in reducing nausea.
Migraine headaches are frequently chronic, which means they can recur in the future. For assistance with nausea and other migraine symptoms, consult a neurologist.
Why can vomiting relieve migraine symptoms?
Vomiting may provide some relief for those who are suffering from migraine headaches and nausea. There has not been much investigation into this issue, though.
Vomiting may aid with migraine headache symptoms, according to a 2013 review paper, because it:
- towards the end of a migraine, the episode reduces the symptoms.
- adjusts blood flow to lessen pain or inflammation.
- produces molecules that alleviate pain, such as endorphins.
These concepts are backed by some research.
For instance, a 1986 study contends that vomiting causes endogenous opioids to be released. These endorphins can lessen pain sensations.
The parasympathetic neural system, which includes the vagus nerve, is also involved in vomiting. Vomiting may have a pain-relieving effect on the vagus nerve.
Both vomiting and migraine headache discomfort may be reduced by vagus nerve stimulation. Implants that stimulate the vagus nerve are increasingly used by doctors to treat chronic migraine sufferers’ discomfort.
The part nausea plays in migraine
One typical sign of migraine headaches is nausea. a 2013 evaluation, 70% of migraine sufferers also have vomiting in addition to their migraines. According to the study, experiencing nausea and vomiting together with headaches indicates a person may be at risk of developing migraine headaches.
The reason migraine headaches make people feel nauseous is yet unknown. One hypothesis is that the same brain activity that causes headaches also causes nausea.
Typically, migraine attacks start with an aura or prodrome.
Prodrome is a phase that includes, among other health issues, mood fluctuations, food cravings, dizziness, trouble concentrating, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Before the commencement of a migraine headache, there is a period of symptoms called the aura phase, such as visual or hearing problems.
The aura typically precedes the primary migraine symptoms, which include nausea. Some people’s episodes may terminate with nausea or exhaustion.
Why does vomiting reduce your migraine?
The exact reason some people’s migraine pain is relieved by vomiting is unknown. There are numerous rationales that could apply.
A 2013 study put out numerous theories as to why vomiting might reduce migraine discomfort.
These and other theories were expanded upon by headache specialists.
- Conclusion of a migraine theory: Some scientists think that the ultimate step of a migraine attack, vomiting, is all that it is. It is claimed that for some people, vomiting signifies the end of a migraine. Others simply experience it as a side effect of their migraine. Why a migraine could terminate with vomiting is a mystery. The stomach slows down or even stops moving (gastroparesis) during a migraine. Vomiting is a side effect of a migraine finishing as the GI (Glycemic Index) system starts to function once again, which happens as the migraine stops.
- The hypothesis of reduced sensory input: By reducing sensory information to the gut, vomiting may have pain-relieving effects. Or, alternatively, the GI tract assists in a feedback loop to stop the migraine once it rids itself of the sensory stimuli.
- Complicated interaction theory: The interconnections between the body’s numerous nerve systems may cause migraine pain to end. Another view is that a migraine [attack] is a complicated interaction between the central nervous system, the enteric nervous system (in the gut), and the autonomic nervous system. The outcome of these interactions is thought to be vomiting, which is a sign that the migraine has ended.
- The vagus nerve: One theory is that vomiting stimulates the vagus nerve, a cranial nerve. As there are drugs categorized as vagal nerve stimulators available that have [had FDA (Food and Drug Administration) authorization] to treat a migraine episode, it is well known that vagal stimulation can lead to the breaking of a migraine.
- The neuropeptide theory: Vomiting may cause unconscious chemical changes that lessen migraine symptoms. The hormone arginine-vasopressin (AVP), also known as vasopressin, is one instance. The release of arginine-vasopressin (AVP) may increase because of vomiting. AVP increases have been linked to migraine relief.
- The hypothesis of peripheral vasoconstriction: Additionally, vomiting may cause uncontrollable vascular consequences that lessen migraine discomfort. Finally, vomiting might result in peripheral blood vessel vasoconstriction, which may lessen blood flow to pain-sensitive capillaries and lessen discomfort.
During a migraine attack, lying down in a cool, dark area may assist with nausea. Ondansetron and other antinausea drugs may be helpful for some persons.
It can be useful to keep a symptom journal to find triggers. Tracking your nutrition, exercise, and stress levels, for instance, may help you identify patterns that cause migraine attacks.
The following remedies could be beneficial for migraine headaches:
- drugs for other conditions, such as beta-blockers and antidepressants supplements
- neuromodulation treatments, which use nerve stimulation to change brain activity and disrupt migraine headaches.
- over-the-counter pain relievers, which may ease symptoms during an episode of antimigraine. Medications, which are useful for preventing migraine headaches emotional support, including therapy, to help with adjusting to living with migraine headaches.
When to seek medical help?
To rule out alternative causes, anyone who suffers from migraine headaches should speak with a doctor. A doctor will also be able to provide advice on available treatments.
If a person should get medical help:
- migraine attacks stop responding to treatment.
- during an attack, the existing symptoms get worse and new ones start.
Anyone experiencing nausea and head pain after a head injury or impact should seek emergency care. Emergency indications also include confusion, unconsciousness, and hallucinations.
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