The 4 phases of migraine, a disabling disease

Experts define migraine as a primary headache . That is, it is a disease that occurs independently and is not caused by other diseases.

The main symptom of migraine, which is a neurological disease, is the headache , which comes with other side effects like nausea. In this sense, the headache can last between 4 and 72 hours and that are usually of strong or very strong intensity.

Currently there are some medications that serve as a treatment for migraine. Why, of course, who has never had a headache? But it must be clear that migraine is not just a headache. Many times it prevents a patient from leading his normal life in.

It is a disabling pain , it is not a catarrhal or a catarrhal headache. tiredness. It can hurt several days, and even only half of the head, for example. This is what Dr. Pablo Irimia, neurologist and coordinator of the Headache Study Group of the Spanish Neurology Society (SEN), point out in an interview with Infosalus. It is a pain that is sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Likewise, in general, they are patients who present increased sensitivity to light to noise and.

This, many cases means that they have to be isolated in. To this must be added that it is a pain that worsens with routine physical activity, according to regret.

Migraine, a disabling disease

For these people, on some occasions, the specialist in Neurology at the Clinic of the University of Navarra in Pamplona says that the simple act of walking, bending over, or climbing stairs, for example, can lead to a worsening pain, and that many, moreover, obliges them to lie down.

Mujer con migrañas
Woman with migraines

Sometimes a crisis of migraine can be so strong that the person cannot do any type of activity, neither work, nor family, nor social. It is a very disabling type of disease; specifically, the first cause of disability among the 16 and the 49 years because it does not allow the person to function properly, adds the expert.

Here it is striking that many people with migraine also suffer dizziness, a feeling of vertigo, or instability. There are people who go to the ENT because they feel dizzy, but it does not find anything for them.

In the migraine a common symptom may be dizziness, the feeling of vertigo, instability. It is what is known as vestibular migraine ‘, he stresses.

A brain disease

However, the expert of The SEN details which are the phases of migraine, making it clear that, from the medical point of view, it is known to be a very clear neurological base disease, which has several phases, and that these involve a specific part of the brain.

Mujer con dolor de cabeza migraña

Now, Dr. Irimia remarks that not necessarily all people have to go through the same phases of pain and in some person some phases predominate and others do not:

  1. Premonitory symptoms: the The person notices what is going to happen to him because he is more tired, he has increased sensitivity to light, he yawns a lot, and these symptoms make him think that the pain is going to start; involves the hypothalamus, very active during this phase.
  2. Aura phase: is approximately a 30% of people with migraine, the most common symptom being visual impairment, loss of vision or vibrating lights or zigzag appearance, bright lines in the visual field that make vision difficult; This can occur in less than an hour after the onset of the migraine attack and; Sensitivity disorders or problems expressing oneself or moving the arm or leg can also occur in it, for example; the cerebral cortex is usually the structure most involved in this stage.
  3. The migraine itself, the hemicranial pain, which can appear like a heartbeat, and which is disabling forces the person to lie down and; activation of the trigeminal nerve occurs generally.
  4. Fatigue phase with difficulty concentrating, also very limiting for people who suffer from it and is called the postdermic phase, and which lasts until 30 hours after the headache; It can also be very limiting because it especially hinders concentration and memory; in it there are several altered areas of the brain.

Migraine is not a psychological disease

With all this, the neurologist at the University of Navarra Clinic reiterates that migraine is not a psychological disease, but an organic one, a disease that affects the brain and is very well studied, and even the neurotransmitters that are released during its different episodes are known.

The expression of pain is different between people, seeing that how the way of living pain varies between people. It is true that headaches have a common pattern, but within this, there are people who do not always have half of the head hurt, while others never have the sensation of a heartbeat, he points out.

migraña dolor de cabeza

Add In addition, hypersensitivity to light is usually common and also in all crises the worsening with physical activity. The phases are not the same all over the world, clarifies Dr. Irimia.

Consult with a specialist

That’s right, the Coordinator of the Headache Study Group of the Sociedad Espaola de Neurologa (SEN) remarks that anyone who has a frequent headache, or that it is very disabling, should consult with a doctor to have a diagnosis of the type of headache.

Most headaches are primary headaches, without lesions in the brain, as in the case of migraine ; but for this it is necessary to have an accurate diagnosis, and also to select the best treatment for the person, he adds.

In fact, in migraines there are specific treatments for crises thanks to the Triptans: There are many people who do not use them and use simple analgesics such as paracetamol, when if the pain is intense, triptans are more effective than these.

The neurologist emphasizes the importance of if the migraine is frequent, work should be done to try to reduce the frequency of the pain, while the intensity of the same in the different episodes of headache, based on preventive treatments and.

There may be people who do not respond to these treatments but right now there are new drugs for migraine, monoclonal antibodies, which are very effective and are better tolerated than those we used before and. Apart from the fact that in 2022 new effective drugs are expected both for the prevention and for the migraine attacks themselves.

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