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What is a Migraine?
What causes a migraine is unclear, although temporary changes in the chemicals, nerves or blood vessels in the brain are currently thought to be the cause. It often runs in families. Common triggers are hormonal changes, stress, tiredness and certain foods and drinks, particularly coffee.
The most common food culprits contain tyramine or phenylethylamine, two amino acids found in chocolate, aged or fermented cheese (think cheddar, Stilton, Brie, and all hard or “moldy” cheeses), soy, nuts, citrus fruits, and vinegar. Some migraines can be better or worse for salt.
A migraine is classified as a moderate to severe headache usually felt on only one side of the head, but not always. The headache may be accompanied by visual disturbances, deja vu, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, odours, heat, cold or movement. They are surprisingly common; about 20% of women and 6% of men suffer from them.
It is worth noting that many children suffer from migraines but how they appear can be very different from the adult picture. A child many have multiple short migraines in a day with each one lasting just minutes, often accompanied by sudden nausea, vomiting or stomach ache. If you are concerned you should check the NHS guidelines on childhood headaches and consult your GP if appropriate.
Are Migraines a serious health problem?
While very debilitating and painful, most migraines are harmless and will resolve by themselves with rest but the NHS advise seeking immediate emergency help if you have the following symptoms as they may indicate a serious condition such as a stroke or meningitis:
You should call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone you're with experiences:
paralysis or weakness in one or both arms and/or one side of the face
slurred or garbled speech
a sudden agonising headache resulting in a blinding pain unlike anything experienced before
headache along with a high temperature (fever), stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision and a rash
For some people the following protocol can dispel a migraine or a headache in minutes. Submerge your hands and feet in warm/hot water in a large bowl or bucket. Then place an ice pack or pack of frozen peas on the back of the neck. The increased heat in your hands and feet draws the blood away from the head relieving some or all of the symptoms - often in seconds. Give it a try!
Can I use Homeopathy for Migraines?
First Aid Homeopathy means that you will need an homeopathic remedy kit as part of your home medicine cabinet such as the Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy 'Basic 36' (30c) and 'Emergency' kits (200c). If you don't yet have a kit, you can call Helios and they will advise over the phone and send the right remedies out the next day. You may also find the remedy you are looking for at your local Holland & Barrett or health food store.
If you suffer from migraines frequently then a visit to your doctor alongside constitutional homeopathic treatment to address your overall health is recommended. If you need help right now for a migraine then you can try one of the remedies from the list below. Choose the remedy where the symptoms listed for it fit best to your symptoms. You may not have all the symptoms, but one or two will stand out.
FULL feeling in head * Intense throbbing, pulsating pain * Worse for light, noise, jarring or cold air * Better for hard pressure against the head * Better for a cold flannel on the forehead *
One sided migraine with the sensation of 'a nail driven into the head' * Worse for emotional excitement, overstimulation * Senses are hypersensitive especially to noise (music, footsteps) * Insomnia with the mind facing, full of ideas * Dizziness/vertigo with the headache *
Migraine preceded by AURA or VISUAL DISTURBANCES * Flickering, sparks before eyes or dim vision * Worse on rising in the morning * Shooting pains in the temples * Dizziness/vertigo when standing *
CONGESTED feeling in head * Head feels large, bursting, heavy * Heat around head * Worse for walking * Better with sleep * Better for a cold flannel on the forehead * Can be triggered by exposure to sun *
Mostly right sided migraine with nausea, vomiting or ACIDITY * Acidic, sour, bitter vomiting * Bitter, acrid, belching with intense burning behind sternum and throat * Headache with diarrhoea * Head pain preceded by blurred or dim vision *
Migraine triggered by STRESS, TENSION, STUDYING & WORRY * "Student's" migraine * Feeling exhausted & weak *
Migraine after SUN exposure * Dizziness and vertigo * Pressing pain * Cloudiness of the eyes * Heat and congestion in the head * Shooting pains in forehead *
Migraine from EYE STRAIN or SUN exposure * Worse at sunrise, continues through the day, gone by sunset * Pain as if little hammers are hitting the brain * Auras & Hemiopia (half vision lost) * Numbness or tingling in nose, tongue, lips before an attack * Can be triggered before, during or at close of menstrual cycle * Better for a cold flannel on the forehead *
Migraine accompanied by GASTRIC troubles * Indigestion, flatulence, constipation and piles * Worse after coffee, spicy food, alcohol * Desire to press the head against something hard for relief *
RIGHT sided migraine * Pains starts from the lower back part of head (occipital region) * Extends upwards, settles over right eye * Worse for missing meals * Usually comes with nausea or vomiting. Headache is relieved by vomiting * Better for lying down quietly in a dark room, sleep * Tends to start in the morning, increases during day and lasts until sunset * Useful in menopausal migraines *
HORMONAL migraine with nausea and vomiting * Top of the head (Vertex) may feel cold * Better for fresh open air and lying on the painful side of head * Useful at menopause where head pain is accompanied by hot flushes and sweating *
LEFT sided migraine * Centred in temples, forehead, eyes * Often begins in lower back part of head (occipital region) * Extends upward, settles over left eye * Pain is violent, throbbing or pulsating * Sensation of a tight band around the head * Worse for stooping, moving the eyes * Severe pain in eyeballs * Better for a cold flannel on the forehead *
What's the correct dose?
You should take one dose (one pill) in the 200c potency if you have it to hand, and then wait (unless you are a sensitive person - ie. a tendency to allergies - in which case you should use 30c potency only). Repeat after 20 minutes if necessary. If you only have 30c potency then you can give more ie. three or four times, 20 minutes apart each time. If the patient does not feel any relief, try the next remedy on the list that appears to fit best to the patient's symptoms.
PS. Put the remedy under the tongue and let it dissolve in the mouth. If possible avoid eating and drinking for 10 minutes before and after taking the remedy, as well as touching it with your hands - try tipping it into your mouth from the bottle lid, or with a clean spoon.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider. First aid situations may require medical or hospital care. Do not use this article as a means to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think that your condition may be serious, before discontinuing any medication that has been prescribed for you, or before starting any new treatment.