Do you suffer from migraines? Do migraines affect the quality of your life? It is estimated that nearly 30 million people in the United States suffer with migraines, with women four times more likely to experience them than men. This increase in incidence can be attributed to the fluctuations of hormone levels that women experience throughout their lives. The onset of migraines usually occur during puberty and disappear right after menopause.
We Can Help!
Our doctors at Holtorf Medical Group are specially trained to detect and treat migraines using safe and effective treatments. Speak with your doctor or call (877) 508-1177 to speak with a patient representative.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is an intense throbbing or pulsation occurring on one side of the head, yet sometimes may occur on both sides. Nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light can also be present. The duration of a migraine is usually 4 and up to 72 hours. Most individuals experiencing a migraine just want to find a dark and quiet place to rest.
What Causes a Migraine?
A family history has been found in approximately 90% of people suffering with migraines and is the most common predictor in determining the chances of an individual becoming afflicted during their life. It is also believed that decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone, which occurs before/during menstruation, may cause blood vessels to spasm at the base of the neck.
Low adrenal and thyroid function may also be responsible for migraines. Imbalances of brain chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, also continue to be studied for a role they may play.
What Can Trigger a Migraine?
There are many factors that can trigger a migraine which include:
- Hormonal changes in women
- Foods (processed foods)
- Food additives (sweeteners)
- Alcohol consumption
- Physical factors (physical exertion)
- Sleep pattern changes
- Sensory stimulus (sun glare)
- Medications (birth control/vasodilators)
What are the Symptoms of a Migraine?
Migraines progress through four different stages, however, many individuals do not experience all of these stages. The first stage is called Prodrome, which may occur days before, indicating an impending migraine.
- Mood changes (depression/irritability/hyperactivity)
- Fatigue/muscle tension
- Neck stiffness
- Food cravings
The second stage an aura can develop just prior to a migraine. An aura occurs within the nervous system with symptoms affecting the vision. Sensory, motor
and or speech may also be affected These symptoms develop gradually, lasting from 20 to 60 minutes and may include:
- Flashes of light, blind spots, or vision loss
- Speech problems
- Pins and needles of the arms or legs
The third stage is the actual migraine pain itself. Migraines can last 4 and up to 72 hours. The frequency of a migraine may vary for each individual, with some developing only one per month while others may have several. During a migraine you may experience:
- Pain on one side (or both) sides of your head
- Pounding or throbbing pain
- Sensitivity to light
The final stage is called Postdrome, which occurs immediately following the migraine. In this final stage the individual can feel extreme fatigue, experience brain fog, and may not be able to eat right away.
How are Migraines Diagnosed?
The most common way of diagnosing migraines is by the description of symptoms which the individual provides to their doctor. A complete lab analysis can be done, with testing for mineral deficiencies such as magnesium, also known to produce migraines.
Is Treatment Right for Me?
At Holtorf Medical Group natural, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can be used to control the fluctuation of progesterone and estrogen levels, causing migraines in women. Botox injections, used in combination with natural hormone replacement, can be very effective treatment for relieving migraine pain.
The discovery of Botox for the treatment of migraines were found by individuals receiving Botox for facial wrinkles. Many individuals reported a relief of migraine pain soon after the injection, as well as, decreased occurrences of their migraines. Botox is derived from clostridium botulinum, a neurotoxin which produces illness when ingested in food. This same neurotoxin, however, is completely safe when small doses are injected into the muscle. The neurotoxin blocks the release of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter), rendering the muscle unable to contract or spasm. It is believed this “relaxed state” of the muscle prevents tension from building, decreasing migraine occurrence.
Talk with your doctor about your treatment options or call (877) 508-1177 to speak with a patient representative.