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Migraine : What Is a Migraine Attack

May 13, 2008
Most migraines (very intense headaches) start when a person is young and sometimes many family members suffer with them. Most suffers will go to bed as the headache (usually on one side) takes hold and which could last a matter of a few hours but if left without attention, could last for days. Once the attack is over, the victim will still feel exhausted and not able to do much for some time.

The frequency of attacks between sufferers is not consistent with some only having one episode a year. Many of the symptoms experienced by sufferers are closely connected to other everyday illnesses. Migraine can affect people from as young as ten and up to the age of forty; strangely, very few individuals suffer with this condition after they reach fifty years old.

Hereditary links are often associated with migraine and occurrences may happen among members of a family; even though there may be a link, so far it has eluded medical science. It is pressure from inflamed blood vessels that places pressure on the nerves near the brain that actually causes the awful pain. With this condition, women do not fare as well as men with a ratio of 3 to 1 suffering from the condition regularly; only one in twelve men will experience an attack in their lives.

Some sufferers have a strange feeling anything up to 30 minutes before an attack; called a migraine with aura and may say they feel they have an attack coming. The warning signs may include:

*Feeling of sickness *Enlarged blind spots *Sense of smell and taste is affected *Lack of sensation in sufferers extremities

other symptoms exist but these appear to common with most people. However, the condition that's most common is a migraine without aura where the pain increases in one area of the head; these victims have no warning, but the symptoms can also be intensified if they move to much.

It is believed that conditions that cause the blood vessels in the brain to contract could be an explanation for migraine but this still hasn't been proved so the search for cause continues. It might be that it is the expansion of the blood vessels afterwards that causes the headache; most victims become unable to do anything for some time after the attack. There are many possible triggers for an attack some of which are shown below:

*Weather patterns *Particular foodstuffs *Height *Certain groups of drink *Bright lights *Not enough food *Tension

Only by carefully documenting everything that was going on prior to the attack can the victim hope to find out what starts the attacks off.
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