We offer a variety of Migraine Treatments at the Wembley MediSpa in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
What is a Migarine?
A Migraine is a form of vascular headache and is caused by vasodiaqtation (enlargement of blood vessels) that cause the release of chemicals form nerve fibers that coil around the large arteries of the brain.
Enlargement of these blood vessels stretches the nerves that coil around them and causes the nerves to release the chemicals. The chemicals cause inflammation, pain and further enlargement of the artery. The increasing enlargement of the arteries magnifies the pain of the headache.
Migraine attacks activate the sympathetic nervous system in the body which is often thought of as the part of the nervous system that controls primitive responses to stress and pain. The so called “flight or fight” response and this activation cause many of the symptoms associated with migraine attacks and the activity in the intestine causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The emptying of the stomach into the small intestine and thereby prevents oral medications entering the intestine and being absorbed.
The impaired absorption of oral medications is a common reason for his ineffectiveness of medications taken to treat migraine headaches.
The increased sympathetic activity also decreases the circulation of blood, and this leads to pallor of the skin as well as cold hands and feet and also contributes to the sensitivity to light and sound sensitivity as well as blurred vision.
Migraine headaches can be aggravated by daily activities, such as walking upstairs. The symptoms of migraine headaches are describe as an intense, throbbing or pounding pain that involves one temple and the pain is mostly located in the forehead, around the eye, or at the back of the head. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, facial pallor, cold hands and feet and sensitivity to light and sound commonly accompany these headaches.
Migraine headaches are preceded by premonitory symptoms lasting hours to days and can include sleepiness, irritability, and fatigue, depression, yawning and craving for sweet or salty foods.
Migraine auras precedes the headache in 20% of headaches in the form of flashing, brightly colored lights in a zigzag pattern, usually starting in the middle of the visual field and progressing outwards, and a hole in the visual field, also known as a blind spot.
Migraines generally begin in childhood to early adulthood. A family history usually is present suggesting a genetic predisposition. Migraines can be treated by taking medication, using ice, biofeedback and relaxation but the best medication is to sleep.
The unilateral headaches change sides from on attack to the next and if it always occurs on the same side your doctor should be alerted to consider a secondary headache, for example, one caused by a brain tumor.
People who get constant migranes should avoid smoking and certain foods especially those high in tyramine such as sharp cheeses, wine, nuts and pressed meats.
Recently Botox has been proven to be the most effective treatment for chronic migraines in adult patients (≥ 15 headache days per month with
headache lasting 4 hours or more).