Occurring in about 15% of the overall US
population, migraine is disorder that affects a considerable portion of the
population especially women. The intensity of the disorder in childhood is nearly the same, for boys and girls. However, this scenario changes as the focus is
turned to adulthood. It is observed that after attaining adulthood, women are
more susceptible to suffer from migraine headaches than men of the same age.
Studies show that 60% women experience migraine
during menstruation due to the increasing hormonal fluctuations and hence the
term menstrual migraine
. Also, this migraine is reported to be
more painful and difficult to deal with than the common migraine. It affects
women mostly during menstrual cylces in younger ages and starts fading away a year after menopause the
reason being the diminishing hormone numbers. Alleviation of migraine occurs in
women who are pregnant because the plasma count increases in the progesterone
and estrogen hormones during pregnancy.
Although no foolproof pattern of occurrence of
migraines has been achieved, studies are inclined mostly towards the fact that
it occurs due to a sudden change in the neurovascular system of the body. This
causes immediate brain perfusion in the cerebral region which happens as the
result of the fluctuation in hormonal pattern, numbers, arrangement and many
other reasons. Also, a decrease in the estrogen concentration leads to an
increased sensitivity of the trigeminal nerves, which causes migraine in women.
As far as the treatment of migraines is
concerned, the first step one should possibly do is to know the pattern of the
migraine if it is menstrual. Note the the occurrence in a diary for 3 months. It
will be useful to know the pattern and proceed with further treatment. The
treatment is also highly variable and differs from person to person, depending
on the resistance, cause and symptom intensity. If the migraine is not
menstrual, there might be other reasons that trigger migraine attacks.
Overexposure to sunlight and other flickering lights, consuming certain foods
like salami, red wine, whisky, turkey, smoked foods and aged cheese, inhaling
strong smells like perfume, motion sickness from travelling, excessive physical
activity, overuse of pain killer drugs and changes in eating habits are some
common factors that trigger migraine headaches. Find and eliminate the factors
that affect you the most.
The medicines for those suffering from menstrual
migraine and general migraines aren't different. Analgesics and triptans are some
instances where medicine can mitigate migraine pain. However, it is to be noted
that these medicines are patient specific and hence it is to be consumed as
recommended by a doctor. Triptan along with a NSAID (Non-Steroidal
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) are also very effective. Avoiding habits that induce
migraine headaches like sunlight exposure, certain foods and strong smells, 8
hours of sleep, regular and moderate exercise and keeping up the water content
may also reduce the intensity of headaches in many women.
Although triptan is very effective, there are many
other solutions you can opt for, as an alternate if it is not available or if
it doesn't suit you. Talk to your physician about which medicines could suit
you better, especially if you suffer from heart or kidney disorders.
Prophylaxis is the one not recommended for women with nausea and dosage should
be about 500mg 3 times a day. Frovatriptan has a pharmacokinetic advantage on
the patient due to its half life and provides immediate relief from migraine.
360 mg elemental magnesium supplements are also useful and can be taken daily