Migraine is a widespread disease that affects many people and for which there is still little help. For some years now, I have known that I am actually one of those affected. The migraine has accompanied me for some time, but only with the information source Internet I was able to classify the headache correctly. Because headaches and migraines are not the same thing. My migraine experience report is intended to help other sufferers to better deal with migraine and to develop new ideas for dealing with the disease.
Today is a beautiful early summer day, the sun is shining, a long weekend is behind me. Shortly after getting up, the migraine announced.
The bad omen: the migraine aura
Aura is a visual disturbance that is typical of migraine, but differs from patient to patient and does not necessarily occur. In my case, severe migraine attacks announce themselves with a flickering, colorful pattern. This aura appears in the field of vision in different places, grows and intensifies until it suddenly disappears after about 20 minutes.
The aura hardly affects those affected at first. Most of the time, it just distracts a little. In addition, there may be numbness and other false sensory impressions (for example, a strange taste or smell). The aura here is just like the migraine: diverse and individual. Sometimes the aura appears exactly in the middle where you can see sharply, making reading or driving impossible.
When the aura has completely subsided, the worse part of the migraine attack occurs. The headache sets in. Slowly – sometimes over up to two hours – it becomes stronger. It is usually one-sided, exactly on the opposite side of the aura. Due to the headache, it is impossible to exercise physical or mental exertion.
Any attempt to continue his life normally during the headache phase is doomed to failure in a strong attack. Because every effort is immediately acknowledged with nausea and dizziness. This phase usually lasts about two hours for me.
The topic of therapy is difficult. Migraine is one of those diseases for which there are countless therapeutic approaches. From esotericism to surgery. Medicines are also available in every price range. Nevertheless, relief from migraine is a difficult topic: there are no universally working approaches.
The big corporations are involved with very expensive tablets, which are also available in individual packaging for testing. This shows the status of migraine therapy: cause unknown, therapy a matter of luck!
However, these expensive preparations usually really have it all, the patient comes from the rain into the eaves. At least that’s how I felt: the headache was significantly alleviated. But the nausea became stronger and the situation did not improve one bit.
Other remedies for migraine
Painkillers for migraines
If the expensive special preparations do not help, then you should resort to proven and rather harmless means. My first way to insert the aura leads me to the medicine cabinet, where aspirin is always in stock. The dose recommended by the manufacturer will not completely neutralize a migraine attack, but can relieve migraine symptoms.
According to my family doctor, there are even studies that present a higher dosage as safe and suitable for migraines. He advised me to take 3 g of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, popularly referred to as “aspirin”), which I also tried for a time with moderate success. I no longer practice this today and would even advise against it. Because ASA beats very much on the stomach and changes the blood clotting, which brings other side effects with it.
Beta-blockers for migraine
Beta-blockers inhibit excitability by blocking adrenaline and norepinephrine receptors. Beta-blockers, for example, have been used for some time in heart attacks and high blood pressure with good success to reduce heart excitability. This group of drugs is generally well tolerated.
I was briefly prescribed beta-blockers – tentatively – to prevent subsequent migraine flare-ups. I should take a small dose of beta-blockers after a migraine day, because this could prevent further flare-ups. Of course, this is only worthwhile if the migraine attacks occur in groups, which was the case with me (three relapses with two days apart were the rule).
Surgery against migraine
Operations should always be the last resort. Those who suffer greatly from their migraines, for example because a normal life is not even partially possible, could consider surgery. However, I ask you to keep in mind that the causes of migraine are still largely misunderstood. Without a clear cause, an operation is of course only of limited success.
However, approaches similar to epilepsy therapy are also conceivable with surgery on the brain. As I said, as a last resort in case of high suffering, operations may be a viable way. In any case, however, you should not visit the first institute and always get a second and third expert opinion.
Esotericism and meditation exercises against migraine
As in all medical fields, alternative medicine has a say in this disease. There are herbs and remedies, fragrances and accessories. You could fill a basement with many things. Why not with esotericism: if it helps. But this should be doubted. Especially when it comes to money. Migraine is a real disease that needs sound therapy.
What I can most suggest, from the esoteric realm, is Mariuhana and meditation.
Marijuana for migraines
That’s right. At least about marijuana and the active ingredient THC there are now also studies that it can help with migraines. I suspect that the relaxing effect lowers the stress level of the brain. Similar to what the beta-blockers listed above do. In addition, there should be a positive influence on nausea, which could also help chemotherapy patients – if you believe the relevant studies and experience reports.
Whether it actually helps, I have not personally tried. Not least because of the restrictive drug policy, it is hardly possible today to investigate the effect of marijuana on migraines for oneself. If you have access to hashish or marijuana, you might be able to make it happen during a boost.
Meditation for migraines
Similar to marijuana, it will also behave with relaxation and meditation. Or in the extreme with hypnosis. Both methods are suitable for lowering stress levels and reducing migraine triggers.
I would like to dedicate a separate paragraph to modern stress factors. By that I mean flickering neon lights, hectic movies, everyday noise. From my own experience, I can say that a main trigger of the migraine for me was probably the 50 hertz flickering, unnatural neon light at work. Such triggers are also known from epilepsy, in which the brain gets “out of step” and the patient gets into life-threatening convulsive states.
If the migraine attack is there, inform your environment about it. Only then will you be spared. Find a quiet, dark place (preferably your own bed) and try to get some sleep until the worst is over. For years, this has been the best way for me to deal with this painful phase of migraine.
Conclusion: What really helps with migraines…
I have no patent remedy, because every migraine is different and medicine is largely at a loss and at best profit-hungry behind the patients – in view of the bad and overpriced drug treatment options, I unfortunately can not come to any other conclusion.
Therefore, my conclusion for fellow sufferers is limited to the following tips:
- Reduce stress factors: noise, artificial light, fast image sequences on the TV/monitor, but also caffeine, tein and nicotine consumption.
- Light painkillers bring minor relief. For example, an aspirin dose according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Some hashish or marijuana can help with pain and nausea at the worst stage. Alternative hemp preparations should already be available on prescription. Other herbal medicines and preparations are also worth trying: for example, valerian or hops.
- Beta-blockers can then be helpful when flare-ups come in groups or clusters. They could ward off follow-up flare-ups. In addition, deal with the topic of cluster headache, perhaps this diagnosis applies better to your clinical picture.
- If you want to do about migraines, always talk to your family doctor or a suitable specialist (neurologist, psychologist) beforehand. Only he can take your medical history into account and knows the state of medical research.
Feel free to write us about your migraine experiences or testimonials of other diseases that you have defeated! You can leave experiences in the comments section or email them to the editors.