MIGRAINE – Types and Treatment

Types of Migraine

We have been talking about Migraine with or without aura as they are the two main types of migraine.  But there are several other types of migraine which include:

  • Abdominal migraine mostly affects young children and involves moderate to severe pain in the middle of the abdomen lasting 1 to 72 hours, with little or no headache. Additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
  • Basilar-type migraine occurs most often in teenage girls and may be associated with their menstrual cycle. Symptoms include partial or total loss of vision or double vision, dizziness and loss of balance, poor muscle coordination, slurred speech, a ringing in the ears, and fainting. The throbbing pain may come on suddenly and is felt on both sides at the back of the head.
  • Hemiplegic migraine is a rare but severe form of migraine that causes temporary paralysis-sometimes lasting several days on one side of the body prior to or during a headache. Symptoms such as vertigo, a pricking or stabbing sensation, and problems seeing, speaking, or swallowing may begin prior to the headache pain and usually stop shortly thereafter
  • Menstrual-related migraine affects women around the time of their period. Symptoms may include migraine without aura, pulsing pain on one side of the head, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to sound and light.
  • Migraine without headache is characterized by visual problems or other aura symptoms, nausea, vomiting, and constipation, but without head pain.
  • Ophthalmoplegic migraine is an uncommon form of migraine with head pain, along with a droopy eyelid, large pupil, and double vision that may last for weeks, long after the pain is gone.
  • Retinal migraine is a condition characterized by attacks of visual loss or disturbances in one eye. These attacks, like the more common visual auras, are usually associated with migraine headaches.
  • Status migrainosus is a rare and severe type of acute migraine in which disabling pain and nausea can last 72 hours or longer. The pain and nausea may be so intense that sufferers need to be hospitalized.

Migraine Treatment

There is no cure for Migraine.  At the present time the best treatments are to prevent the attacks from occurring or at least lessening the severity of the attack when it happens.  I personally am on such a treatment and I have my life back.  There are break through attacks but they are nothing that I cannot handle now.

Drug therapy for migraine is divided into acute and preventive treatment. Acute or “abortive” medications are taken as soon as symptoms occur to relieve pain and restore function. Preventive treatment involves taking medicines daily to reduce the severity of future attacks or keep them from happening

Acute treatment for migraine may include any of the following drugs.

  • Triptans-the preferred treatment for migraine – ease moderate to severe migraine pain and are available as tablets, nasal sprays, and injections.
  • Ergot derivative are most effective during the early stages of migraine and are available as nasal sprays and injections.
  • Over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen can ease the pain of less severe migraine headache.
  • Combination analgesics involve a mix of drugs such as acetaminophen plus caffeine and/or a narcotic for migraine that may be resistant to simple analgesics.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Nausea relief drugs can ease queasiness brought on by various types of headache.
  • Narcotics are prescribed briefly to relieve pain. These drugs should not be used to treat chronic headaches.

Some people with frequent and/or severe migraine need preventive medications

Several preventive medicines for migraine were initially marketed for conditions other than migraine.

  • Anticonvulsants were originally developed for treating epilepsy, these drugs increase levels of certain neurotransmitters and dampen pain impulses.
  • Beta-blockers are drugs for treating high blood pressure that are often effective for migraine.
  • Calcium channel blockers are medications that are also used to treat high blood pressure and help to stabilize blood vessel walls.
  • Antidepressants are drugs that work on different chemicals in the brain; the types of antidepressants used for migraine treatment include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and tricyclic antidepressants (which are also used to treat tension-type headaches).

Natural treatments for migraine include riboflavin (vitamin B2), magnesium, co-enzyme Q10, and butterbur.

Non-drug therapy for migraine includes biofeedback and relaxation training, both of which help individuals cope with or control the development of pain and the body’s response to stress.

Lifestyle changes that reduce or prevent migraine attacks in some individuals include exercising, avoiding food and beverages that trigger headaches, eating regularly scheduled meals with adequate hydration, stopping certain medications, and establishing a consistent sleep schedule.

In conclusion, knowledge is vital when dealing with your health or the health of a dear one.  I hope this helps.

Have a Great Day!




About Donna

I came from a financial background including banking, insurance and real estate. I am an advocate for people taking there health into their own hands. That includes mental, physical and spiritual health. I am also a mother and grandmother (babcia) to a delightful, rambunctious, curious, beautiful, precious....(I can go on for ever) little boy.. who melts my heart every day.
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