Some researchers think migraines may be caused by functional changes in the trigeminal nerve system, a major pain pathway in nervous system, and by imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin, which plays a regulatory role for pain messages going through this pathway. During a headache, serotonin levels drop. Researchers believe this causes the trigeminal nerve to release substances called neuropeptides, which travel to your brain's outer covering (meninges). There they cause blood vessels to become dilated and inflamed. The result is headache pain. During an attack, an artery that lies on the outside of the skull just under the skin of the temple enlarges (Temporal artery). Enlargement of this artery stretches the nerves around the artery and causes the release of certain chemicals. These chemicals are then responsible for inflammatory changes and pain.

The sympathetic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that controls initial responses to stress and pain. Migraine attacks commonly activate the sympathetic nervous system in the body. The increased sympathetic nervous activity affects different body systems in different ways to bring about various symptoms in migraine attack.

  • In intestine: Nausea, Vomiting, And Diarrhea

  • In stomach: Delayed emptying of the stomach into the small intestine which reduces effectiveness of oral pain relieving drugs

  • The circulatory system: Decreases circulation, results in pallor of the skin, cold hands and feet.

  • Sensory nervous system: Heightened sensitivity to light and sound and blurred vision.

Most common symptoms of Migraine headache:

  • Intense, throbbing pain

  • The pain usually one sided, both sides, change side during every new attack,

  • A migraine headache usually is aggravated by walking upstairs.

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, facial pallor, cold hands, cold feet, and sensitivity to light and sound common with migraine headaches

  • Migraine sufferers usually prefer to lie in a quiet, dark room during an attack.

  • The duration of attack may be from few hours to few days

Some migraine headaches are preceded by an aura. The most common auras are:

  • Flashing, brightly colored lights in a zigzag pattern

  • A hole in the visual field, also known as a blind spot

  • Pins-and-needles sensations in the hand and the arm on one side or pins-and-needles sensations around the mouth and the nose on the same side

  • Auditory hallucinations

  • Abnormal tastes

  • Abnormal smellss

Some migraines are associated with neurological disturbances:

  • Vertebrobasilar migraines are characterized by dysfunction of the brainstem

    • Fainting as an aura

    • Vertigo

    • Double vision

    Hemiplegic migraines:

    • Paralysis

    • Weakness of one side of the body

    • The duration may be few hours to few days

    Post migraine attack problems are:

    • Feeling of drained energy levels

    • Experience a low-grade headache along with sensitivity to light and sound

    • Recurrences of the headache during this period

    Migraine headaches are usually diagnosed when the history. Migraine generally begins in childhood to early adulthood. A family history is usually present, which indicates genetic influence in migraine patients.

    Migraine Triggers:

    • Stress

    • Sleep disturbances

    • Fasting

    • Hormones

    • Bright or flickering lights

    • Odors

    • Cigarette smoke

    • Alcohol

    • Food: aged cheeses, chocolate, monosodium glutamate, nitrites, aspartame, and caffeine

    Life-style modifications for migraine sufferers include:

    • Go to sleep and waking up at the same time each day

    • Exercise regular

    • Do not skip meals, and avoiding prolonged fasting

    • Limit stress through regular exercise and relaxation techniques

    • Limit caffeine consumption to less than two caffeine-containing beverages a day

    • Avoid bright or flashing lights and wearing sunglasses if sunlight is a trigger

    • Identify and avoid foods that trigger headaches by keeping a headache and food diary.

    • Review the diary with your doctor.

    • It is impractical to adopt a diet that avoids all known migraine triggers, however, it is reasonable to avoid foods that consistently trigger migraine headaches

    Role of Homeopathy in Migraine:

    Homeopathy has proved its efficacy in various types of Migraine. Homeopathy successfully treats migraine in more than 80% of cases in all age groups. Constitutional homeopathic treatment approach is the best suitable approach to the treatment of migraine. You may not have to take pain reliving medicines during acute episode of pain as homeopathic medicines act promptly even during acute episode of pain when fast relief is desired by the patients. Patients will have to take regular course of medicines even when there is no pain so that subsequent attacks of migraine attacks are reduced in intensity and frequency. The duration of treatment is variable from patient to patient.