A migraine means you suffer from severe headache attacks. Migraines will start suddenly and you’ll often have pain on one side of your head. Exercising can make the pain worse.
If you suffer from migraines, you may:
- Have a stabbing and throbbing pain in your head.
- Feel nauseous and vomit.
- Have diarrhoea.
- Not be able to stand bright lights and loud noises.
- Feel nauseous and start vomiting.
You may sometimes get an aura half an hour to an hour before the attack. This is when you’ll:
- See a light spot. This spot is made up of different colours and can become increasingly bigger. This spot will draw out on its own and subsequently disappear.
- Feel tingling or loss of sensation in your lips, face or one hand.
- Have less strength in one or both hands.
The causes of migraines are often unclear. However, there are a number of factors which will increase the chance of an attack, including:
- A hereditary predisposition.
- Female hormones.
- A bad night’s sleep.
- An irregular life.
- Prolonged fasting.
- Food with flavour enhancers, nitrates or sweeteners.
When you’re hit by a migraine, we recommend you:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Take your medication (if appropriate).
- Reduce stress.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
You should see your GP if:
- You often have headaches (more than once a month).
- You have had two or three attacks.
- Your medication isn’t working properly.
- You’re pregnant and are taking medication for the migraine.
Your GP will investigate the cause and type of your headache. Your GP may also ask you to keep a headache diary. That’s because you could be suffering from several different types of headaches. Your GP will then talk to you about which medication you need. If you’re already taking medication for the headache, you can discuss the effect of this medication with your GP.