The dictionary tells us that the word "migraine" is a Middle French word, modified from the Latin word "hemicrania", meaning a pain in one half or "hemi" of the head. To the person who sufferers migraine, the pain may seem bigger than that, however. In fact, the current definition of migraine includes not only repeating, excruciating headache, but also nausea and possible vomiting. The dictionary fails to include the many ways in which the aura of migraine affects the body. It fails to describe the visual disturbances, the sounds and smells that are not there.
Migraine prevention is important to migraineurs because the pain and other symptoms disrupt life almost completely.
Migraine Prevention Medicines
We discussed in a previous article entitled "Best Migraine Prevention Medicines" the fact that many medicines, prescription and non-prescription, are claimed to have migraine prevention properties. Some seem to work for some people, while others are more likely to provide migraine prevention for others.
There is some controversy, however, as to whether one should even try a migraine prevention medicine.
As of this article's writing (early 2007), the FDA has approved four drugs for migraine prevention: propranolol, timolol, topiramate, and divalproex sodium. Amitriptyline, an antidepressant, is also prescribed for migraine prevention. Botox has been used successfully, but is not highly recommended.
The down side of using migraine prevention medicines is the fact that all of them require the patient to take adequate doses of the medicine for a length of time to determine the effectiveness. This can cause a building adverse effect before the sufferer even knows if migraine prevention is being provided. Physicians often need experiment, finding the smallest dose that will work without undesired side effects.
Side Effects of Migraine Prevention Medicines
Merely as an example, consider the side effects of Topamax. The makers of Topamax offer on their website "Important Safety Information about Topamax" under which heading they admit that serious risks are associated with the medicine. Risks such as these are given:
* Lowered bicarbonate levels in the blood: This increases blood acidity. In severe reactions, the patient may experience irregular heartbeat or changes in their ability to remain alert. This side effect, if not treated, could eventually increase the risk of developing kidney stones or bone disease.
* Hyperventilation, ie deep, rapid breathing with a feeling of not being able to catch your breath.
* Increased eye pressure. Such pressure can lead to glaucoma and blindness.
The warnings continue, ending with "more common side effects" such as tingling in your arms and legs, losing your appetite, nausea, dirrhea, and changes in your taste that may lead to weight loss or increase.
Natural Migraine Prevention
Many believe the option of migraine prevention medicines is too risky, the side effects too numerous. For those individuals, there are natural migraine prevention options.
1. Migraine Triggers
One very natural method of migraine prevention is a migraine trigger diary. Make it important by purchasing a small blank book specifically for the purpose. It will …