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Migraine

A migraine is an intense, throbbing headache, often only on one side of the head. Sufferers usually want to rest and keep still, preferably in a quiet, darkened room. Migraine affects up to 15% of the UK population and around two thirds of sufferers are women. An attack can last from 4 hours to 72 hours and sufferers may feel drained for a couple of days after that. A migraine sufferer can experience an average of 13 attacks a year, but this can vary from person to person. Sufferers are symptom-free between attacks.

Migraine triggers:

There are so many different triggers that cause a migraine that it is impossible to list them all. The triggers listed here are those most frequently reported by sufferers and are divided into three groups: food triggers, environmental triggers and physiological triggers.

Food triggers can include:

      • Chocolate

      • Citrus fruits

      • Tomatoes

      • Dairy products

      • Nuts

      • Coffee

      • Red wine

      • Alcohol

      • Preservatives/flavour enhancers/MSG

      • Aspartame (synthetic sweetener)

Environmental triggers can include:

      • Loud or repetitive noise

      • Certain weather conditions (dry winds, heat)

      • Changes in the weather

      • Altitude changes

      • Chemicals such as insecticides

      • Fluorescent lighting or flickering lights

Physiological triggers can include:

      • Stress

      • Birth control pills

      • Too much or too little sleep

      • Medicines such as antihistamines, aspirin or diuretics

      • Hypoglycaemia and missing meals

Characteristic features of migraines:

      • Sometimes accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting and increased sensitivity to light, sound or smell

      • Often made worse by movement

      • 4 to 72 hours in length

      • Sometimes accompanied by visual disturbances such as blind spots or flashing lights

Relieving a migraine

When it comes to migraines, it is vital that you learn what the triggers are and how to avoid them. These triggers will vary from person to person. Unfortunately the trigger is not always clear or is sometimes impossible to avoid. In this case, lying in a dark, cool room can help lessen the severity of the symptoms. A cool pack placed over the eyes and forehead may also help. There are also several migraine medicines that are available both over-the-counter and through your GP. Please consult your GP before taking any medication for your migraine.

4head QuickStrip is an advanced hydro-gel strip that can be used with or without tablets to provide instant, cooling relief from headaches and migraines, and help to relax tense neck and head muscles. Find out more