What is a migraine?

A migraine is more than just a headache. A migraine is an intense and throbbing pain, which often occurs in one side of the head, although it can be more generalised. Other common symptoms are feeling or being sick and finding light and noise uncomfortable.

The pain you experience may be made worse by movement. This makes it difficult to carry out your usual daily activities, as you might want to rest and keep still, preferably in a quiet darkened room.

Migraine affects 15% of adults in the UK, which means that almost 6 million people have their lives impacted by migraine.

What are the different types of migraine?

The most common types are:

  • Migraine without aura – 70-80% of sufferers
  • Migraine with aura – 10% of sufferers

15-20% of sufferers have both types of attacks. Other types of migraine are extremely rare.

The aura, if it happens, occurs before the headache, usually lasting around 5 to 60 minutes. It mostly affects vision. You may notice blank patches, bright or flashing lights or coloured zigzag lines spreading in front of your eyes, usually to one side.

A migraine attack can last any length of time from 4-72 hours. Early warning signs will include tiredness, changes of mood or food cravings. After that the typical symptoms of migraine will vary between sufferers, but can include:

  • Bad, throbbing headache, which usually occurs on only one side of the head and gets worse when the head is moved.
  • Feeling sick (nausea) – experienced by almost 70% of sufferers.
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia). This is the most common symptom, being experienced by around 80% of sufferers.
  • Sensitivity to sound (phonophobia) – around 70% of sufferers experience this symptom.

In around 60% of attacks, sufferers will be forced to bed. Even when the symptoms have ceased, it can take up to 2 days for a sufferer to feel completely normal again.

We understand you can’t afford to keep losing days to migraine, and this is where Imigran Recovery can help. By acting on the root cause of the migraine it can stop the symptoms in their tracks, giving you back the precious time you might otherwise have lost.

What causes migraine?

Migraine is thought to be due to a widening of the blood vessels around the brain. This stimulates the neighbouring nerve endings, which trigger pain and inflammation. The brain chemical, serotonin, has a big part to play in this process as it has been found that serotonin levels drop during migraine. This causes the widening of these blood vessels and the stimulation of the nerve endings.

The pain people suffer varies, and can often be very severe. Although migraine is not life threatening, it impacts on your quality of life. We want to help you find ways to reduce that impact.

Imigran Recovery helps to relieve the root cause of the migraine itself by helping to restore the chemical imbalance and reduce the swelling of blood vessels in the head. It does all this through its active ingredient - sumatriptan.

What triggers migraines?

There are lots of potential triggers for a migraine, which can vary from person to person. Here are some of the more common ones:

Diet: Diet is a very individual trigger, but some foods and drinks are more frequently identified.

Here are some examples:

  • Alcohol
  • Cheese
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus fruits
  • Garlic
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Onions
  • Pickled foods
  • Wheat

Chocolate may cause migraine, but a desire to it eat it just before an attack is common, as there is often a craving for sweet things.

Skipping meals leads to a change in blood sugar level, which is a common cause of attacks, as is dehydration.

Female hormones: In women, hormonal changes may also contribute to the onset of a migraine. Some women suffer menstrual migraines in the days before, during or after a period, and many experience their first migraine in the same year as their first period.

Many women may find the menopause is the worst time of all for their migraines. Hormone replacement therapy may be helpful, particularly therapy which stops periods for three months.

Pregnancy can cause variable responses in migraine sufferers. Some mums-to-be become totally free of migraine until after they finish breast-feeding. Others may find their attacks worsen for the first three months.

Sleep: Too much or too little can trigger an attack, so it is very important to maintain a regular sleeping pattern.

Emotional: Stress is a trigger for many people. We understand how quickly stress levels can build up from time to time in today’s hectic world. However if you suffer from migraine, it’s even more important to try and manage your stress and not take on too much.

More frequently, and unfortunately, migraine will start when you begin to relax. For example when you go on holiday or finish work for Christmas. This is why it is important to be prepared and keep your treatment with you at all times. There is nothing worse than losing precious relaxation time to migraine.

Physical: Light physical exercise may be helpful, but heavy strenuous exercise can trigger an episode. Sadly so too can energetic sexual activity.

Environmental: Heavy weather and bright lights (particularly strip lighting) can precipitate an attack. Flashing lights and bright computer screens may be individual triggers.

Check out Chemist Direct's extensive range of Imigran products here.

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