Family Health

Common Questions About Migraines and How to Recognize Them

Jun 15 • 2015

Headaches are a common problem for a lot of people, but do you know the difference between a headache and a migraine? Many people do not know how to tell the two apart, which can leave them in more pain than necessary if treated incorrectly.

What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a headache that is located in a specific area of the head. Oftentimes it comes with sensitivity to sound and light. They typically develop gradually and get more painful as time goes on. Migraines can range in severity and frequency. Most often they start during the morning for people between the ages of 5 and 35. Women suffer from them more commonly than men.

What Are the Symptoms?
There are two main types of migraines and the symptoms vary for each one.

Migraine with aura, or classic migraine, is known for causing:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Numbness and tingling in lips, fingers of one hand, and lower face
  • Temporary paralysis on one side of the body

Migraine without aura, or common migraine, is what more people tend to suffer from. Symptoms include:

  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Mental fuzziness
  • Fluid retention
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased urination
  • Nausea and vomiting

What Increases the Risk?
While migraines may be genetic, there are also several other risk factors that are believed to trigger a migraine.

  • Missing meals
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Eating foods that are high in MSG, caffeine, nitrates, nitrites, or tyramine
  • The use of menstrual or oral contraception
  • Not getting the appropriate amount of sleep
  • Stress
  • Environmental factors

If you think your headaches are actually migraines, make an appointment with your doctor. He can help you determine the best method of treatment so you can continue to live your life unhindered by the pain.