No cure is available for migraines at the moment, but treatments options are. Once your doctor establishes a migraine headache diagnosis, you can begin treatment. The purpose of migraine treatment is to relieve the severity and frequency of migraine headaches. Your doctor may either recommend medication to either decrease the chances of you getting migraine headaches or to provide relief during the migraine headache; or both. You may also be able to manage the frequency of your migraine headaches with stress management techniques, changes in diet and lifestyle, and alternative medicine.
Alternative practices such as acupuncture, cervical manipulation or other chiropractic methods, herbs, minerals, and vitamins (especially vitamin B-2, magnesium taken orally, coenzyme Q10, etc.) or massage may help you treat and manage migraine symptoms. Before you decide on any alternative treatment, however consult with your doctor, as there may be no strong scientific evidence in favor of some alternative practices (e.g. cervical manipulation).
A diet to help prevent migraines may be useful. A few people with migraine headaches may see a decrease in frequency, for example, when they prevent low blood sugar, which has been linked to headaches. Your doctor may be able to work with you to see if your low blood sugar is perhaps a trigger of your migraines.
Preventative and lifestyle practices may help you manage your migraine headaches. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular sleep patterns, and stress management techniques are good places to start. Activities that combine physical exercise and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, may be especially convenient for you. What may also be helpful is to talk with your doctor about reducing or not taking medication that have estrogen, since estrogen may be a trigger for some women.
Taken during a migraine headache, pain relief can include prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen might help. Or prescription-strength drugs such as anti-nausea medications, butalbital combinations, ergots, opiates, and triptans may be given to you from your doctor. These prescription-strength medications may treat only the pain itself, or may help reduce sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and other symptoms.
Preventative migraine medications may be taken daily, or only when a known trigger occurs. These preventative medications reduce the changes and severity of migraine headaches. Prescription-strength medications include-anti-depressants, anti-seizure medications, botulinum toxin type A (Botox), cardiovascular drugs, and cyproheptadine.
As with any treatment for any condition, consult your doctor. Drug interactions and complication may occur from some types of medication. For example, some medication designed to treat the pain during migraine headaches may actually increase headaches if taken too frequently. Additionally, the types of anti-depressant drugs known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) can have life-threatening consequences if taken with other migraine mediations, such as triptans.
Although migraine headaches are a chronic disorder, there are a variety of methods available for treating pain and discomfort. Some migraine therapies such as exercise, regular sleep patterns, and diet changes don't even require a prescription! With an array of treatment options, you and your doctor are in a much better position to treat and alleviate symptoms of a migraine headache.
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