Posts tagged ‘migraine’

This 27 year young woman with a doctorate in Pharmacology consulted me in October 2004 with a complaint of migraines which had started about 1 year back, a few months after she was married. The migraines attacked her at least 2-3 times a month with each episode lasting 2 days even with analgesics. The headache was concentrated in the right occipital region and when severe, it would radiate to the front. The pulsating pain was brought on by even 5 minutes in the sun, by skipping meals, stress, noise and often by rich, oily food. The pain would get worse after an afternoon nap and was also worse on holidays if she overslept. Movements of the head and jarring aggravated her. She got some relief by hard pressure and by oiling her hair. She mentioned that she always felt a sensation of heat and swelling of the right side of her face along with the headache.

Her job is a rather stressful one and she has a lot of responsibility to handle along with long hours of work. Her mother suffered from osteoarthritis of the knees and her father had undergone an angioplasty.

She had a good appetite and thirst. She disliked sweet things and meat and loved chocolates, sour foods, esp. sour pickles. She took extra salt with her food. She happily ate bitter food like bitter-gourd (karela). Spices aggravated her, esp. in the morning.

She hardly perspired in general but perspired quite a bit on the tip of her nose. She had a feeling of heat on her palms and felt as though she wanted to cool them. She slept more on her left side and was a light sleeper, easily disturbed by noise. If upset, she had great difficulty in falling asleep. She often woke due to starting in sleep as if falling or missing a step. She preferred a cooler climate, disliked crowds; as she said, “I like my space”.

She had a sensitive nature; was easily hurt by statements of others, but didn’t show it. She wouldn’t cry in the presence of anyone else. She was basically introverted and her ability to mix with new people was dependent on how they reacted to her. After an emotional upset, she would brood for days. She liked to maintain relations and hence tolerated a lot. She loved to read and used to paint earlier when she had more time.

Based on her symptom picture, I prescribed Natrum Muriaticum 200 as a single dose and she was given Bryonia 200 to use only when she felt her headache coming on.

At her first follow-up two weeks later, she said she felt happier, slept better and could handle stress better. She had used Bryonia once when she felt her headache coming on from loss of sleep and Bryonia had been successful in arresting it. At the end of a month, she reported that she had had no migraines. She had an episode of migraine in January 2005 when she also told me that she had pain in her knees as well for the last 2 years with swelling of the knees after exertion. Natrum Muriaticum was prescribed in a 1M potency. This prescription helped her further and she remained free of migraine episodes for the next few months.
I prescribed Sulphur 200 as an intercurrent remedy later and she remained free of migraines and knee pain. She later moved to London as her husband had a job-transfer and from what I heard from her family later (her mother and brother are also patients), she remains in good health.

This case appears a simple one with quick resolution. Not all cases respond so well; in fact, very few do. Her case history was uncomplicated making it easy for me to locate her remedy. In complicated cases, Homoeopaths often need much more time to find the right remedy and then the case may also need different remedies and intercurrents as the patient progresses. Not many patients are patient and switch doctors or therapies. In the long run, it is obvious that there are great benefits to being patient during Homoeopathic treatment.

A migraine is an intense, incapacitating headache, accompanied by other symptoms, that occurs repeatedly in some persons, occurring in episodes or ‘attacks’. It can affect both sexes but is more common in females. The nature of attacks varies between persons and from time to time in the same person. Attacks may last from 4 hours to 72 hours in some individuals.

Symptoms of a classic migraine attack may appear as follows:
Some sufferers have a warning ‘aura’, which is often visual in nature, flashing lights, zig-zag lines etc. Some people may get other warning symptoms like tingling of the side of the head or face, etc. The pain may be throbbing or pulsating, often affecting one side of the head. It may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting.

It is believed that constriction, then dilatation and inflammation of blood vessels that go to the scalp and brain result in migraine headaches. Vision disturbances occur when blood vessels narrow. Headache begins when they widen again.

Attacks may be triggered by:
· Tension or stress. Emotional problems are probably the most common reason for migraine attacks, but headaches don’t necessarily coincide with emotional upset. They often occur on weekends when stress is decreased.
· Menstruation.
· Use of oral contraceptives.
· Consumption of alcohol or certain foods.
· Bright lights or flickering lights.
· Lack of sleep or too much sleep.

The risk of developing migraines increases with a stressful life style, be it at the home or at the office, a family history of migraines, smoking or excess alcohol consumption.

Hence it is important to cut down the stress in your life. Practicing relaxing techniques, Yoga, meditation are of benefit. During a severe attack, rest is essential but in between attacks, exercise is essential to maintain a general level of fitness. Exercise (including deep breathing exercises) also works as a stress reliever. Two key points for reducing pain with acupressure are the web between the forefinger and thumb (squeeze there until you feel pain) and under the bony ridges at the back of the neck (use both thumbs to apply pressure there). Foods like nuts, chocolates, cheese, excess salt may trigger headaches. No particular dietary restrictions are necessary unless you find that a certain item of food triggers your headaches.

Homoeopathy has a holistic approach to a human being and hence is well suited to curing a person who suffers from migraines. The Homoeopath will take a detailed history of the individual that will encompass his mental, physical and emotional profile along with the main problem. Treatment will then be instituted, aiming at bringing in greater balance at all levels, thus making the person better adapted to life’s stresses and strains. Immune levels are improved, and the person is put on the road to cure.