26 Feb Migraine – A common brain neurological condition
The medical term migraine has its roots in the Greek language, and means “half of the head”. A migraine can cause severe, often throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head, while 50% of people experience pain on both sides. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to light, noise and odors, lack of appetite, intestinal dysfunction and worsening of symptoms with activity.
Although a migraine episode can last from 4 to 72 hours, people with chronic migraines have at least 8 migraine episodes per month and at least 15 days a month headache of any kind.
Finding the primary cause(s) of migraine is imperative in order to treat it.
In some cases there may be a genetic predisposition, but the expression of migraine is directly related to the general health status of an individual.
The warning signs
Warning signs which are known as an “aura” can occur before or with a headache. These may include flashes of light, blind spots or tingling on one side of the face or on the arm or leg.
Migraines can imitate the symptoms of a stroke and be the result of a stroke.
The more complex manifestations of migraine may not include headache as a prominent symptom. These are called “Late Life Migrainous Accompaniments”, but despite their name they can also occur in those who are 40 years old.
Dizziness, slurred speech, tinnitus, double vision, trembling gait and loss of consciousness may be associated with migraine and brain aura.
Migraines are the most common neurological disorder.
4.4% of patients visit general doctors, 5% are hospitalized and 20% are still a topic of discussion and concern of many neurologists.
20% of women and 10% of men experience migraine headaches during their lifetime.
Patients with chronic migraines are at risk for drug abuse syndrome, to the extent that most people use painkillers for almost ten days a month.
The Causal Factors
A combination of genetic and environmental factors seems to play a role in migraine. Various chemical imbalances in the brain – including the hormone serotonin, which helps regulate pain in the nervous system – can also be involved. Serotonin levels fall during the onset of a migraine. This can stimulate the trigeminal nerve to release substances called neuropeptides, which are carried to the outer area of the brain. The result is pain.
Other neurotransmitters have been found to play a role in pain, including the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP).
environmental factors such as sensitivities to food, chemicals, alcohol, stress, changes in sleep, as well as physical factors such as changes in weather or barometric pressure are Also important
Finally, great importance is given to the role of the intestine with emphasis on its microbiome as well as the different combination of bacteria that can, for example, make people more sensitive to certain foods. This activates the immune system and it changes the permeability of the intestine (“leaking intestine”).
Migraines are often associated with the menstrual cycle with premenstrual migraines being more common. These can occur either at the beginning of the period or during ovulation.
The cause is the dominance of estrogen (more estrogen than progesterone), which can aggravate headaches.
They can also occur during menstruation when inflammatory prostaglandin (PG) levels are high inside the uterus.
The fluctuation of blood glucose and insulin
Insulin is the hormone that increases during the consumption of carbohydrates and leads the glucose to the cells with the aim of producing energy in cases of its rapid increase and its rapid decrease (hypoglycemia). After consuming processed carbohydrates and sugar, insulin can lead to the development of migraine.
Not surprisingly, stress is a major cause of migraines. Constant stress can increase the levels of catecholamine, dopamine, adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol ( the adrenal hormone) in the bloodstream. These increases can cause migraines.
The therapeutic approach
Conventional treatment prescribes the immediate use of drugs after the onset of symptoms. Unfortunately, all of these drugs can have side effects and do not promise a definitive cure.
Based on the above etiological factors, it would be appropriate to mention some of the most useful therapeutic approaches to the prognosis and treatment of migraine.
The evaluation and balance of hormones is always considered necessary in combination with a proper lifestyle that includes proper nutrition, supplements of vitamins and minerals, use of herbs and natural hormones.
Given that proper treatment presupposes the correct approach and radical endoscopy of both the causes and the overall condition of the patient, the prognosis sets the cubit high enough and the total elimination of the disease and the symptoms is no longer impossible.
Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.
Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).
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