Chronic Migraine – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Chronic Migraine is a severe headache on one side only that occurs in the form of attacks lasting from 3 to 72 hours for 15 days or more per month for more than 3 months. In addition, migraine attacks usually evolve with worsening frequency and intensity, generating daily Chronic Migraine . It is most often caused by the overuse of oral pain relievers that the individual takes to self-medicate against migraine.

Remembering that  Chronic Migraine has no cure, but the symptoms can be alleviated for days or months when the individual follows the treatment indicated by the neurologist correctly.

Chronic Migraine Symptoms :  Symptoms of Chronic Migraine , in addition to chronic daily headaches with more than 15 days of pain per month for the past 3 months, include:

  • vomiting;
  • Insomnia ;
  • Poor quality sleep;
  • Body pain;
  • Irritability;
  • Depression;
  • Changes in appetite and mood;
  • nausea ;
  • Anxiety;
  • Sensitivity to light and noise.
  • Headaches can be made worse when performing activities such as squatting and going up or down stairs.

Causes of Chronic Migraine:  The causes of Chronic Migraine can be:

  • Psychiatric problems such as depression or anxiety;
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine and derivatives.
  • Self-medication related to the individual’s excessive use of analgesics;
  • Rheumatological or orthopedic problems;

Chronic migraine is more common in women than in men.

Which Medications to Use?:  As long as it is prescribed by a specialist, medication is one of the ways out that help in the search for pain relief. In addition, medications can be divided into two types: symptomatic, which control the crisis immediately, and prophylactic, which, instead of relieving only at the moment of pain, prevent the onset of migraine
. properly guided by a doctor. Otherwise, the risks of self-medication may kick in.

Identifying the Problem:  Considering that Chronic Migraine is an evolution of attacks that become increasingly frequent, the first step is to immediately seek a neurologist. The professional will be able to evaluate the whole picture taking into account details that are often not noticed, such as:

  • Pain Frequency:  Chronic Migraine  lasts from 4 to 72 hours. It is important to have the pain intervals at the tip of the pencil; such as the time in which it persists.
  • Influence of Diet:  The food ingested should also be taken into account when identifying the causes of Chronic Migraine . Therefore, it is always important to pay attention to everything that is ingested, including snacks between main meals.
  • Analgesics:  One of the main indications that Chronic Migraine has evolved into a chronic condition is when the patient does not make frequent use of analgesics. This is because when they are taken indiscriminately, they can make the pain come back even stronger and no longer react to its effects.
  • Too Many Sensitivities:  Smells, loud sounds and some types of lighting can become factors for the onset of a crisis. If the pain is triggered by the stronger perfume of a colleague or the head starts to ache while watching television, it is necessary to observe the frequency with which these discomforts occur.

Treatment for Chronic Migraine:  Treatment for Chronic Migraine can be divided into three groups: Often, the doctor will use one, two or even all three modalities of treatment for migraine.

Abortive Treatment: As the name suggests, in this case the pain stops as soon as it starts to manifest. This treatment is indicated for cases where the episodes of pain are less frequent (usually less than twice a month) or in cases where the attacks are milder.

There are several different types of remedies that can be used. However, for this type of treatment to be successful, a consultation with a neurologist is essential, because, in addition to indicating the correct medication, the professional will also be responsible for explaining the correct forms of use.

Prophylactic Treatment: In this case, medical monitoring is also essential. In addition, It is a treatment in which the individual will take a medication daily to prevent the episode of pain from occurring. It is a very effective way for cases of frequent pain, which occur more than two to three times a month.

Pain Diary: Here, the patient writes down all the relevant information that refers to migraine attacks to be passed on to the specialist. It is a treatment modality that involves avoiding the ‘triggers’ of pain.

Triggers are substances (food, drink, medication, illicit drugs) that can trigger migraines. In this way, we guide these individuals to fill in a diary noting the episodes of pain, their characteristics and the food, drinks, medication and drugs ingested in the days before the crisis.

After a few episodes, we cross the data and observe if there is any suspicious element, we guide the individual to temporarily stop this element and observe if the pain decreases or disappears. It is worth mentioning that the Cure for Chronic Migraine does not exist. However, episodes of Chronic Migraine commonly tend to decrease and subside almost completely in most individuals after 50 years of age.

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