A migraine is a reoccurring headache disorder that can be moderate to severe, lasting anywhere from two to 72 hours. These headaches will often have a pulsating feel, alongside symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine Headache Symptoms
Migraine headaches often begin in childhood and advance through various stages of pain during each episode. Symptoms before the migraine attacks could include:
• Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
• Food cravings
• Neck stiffness
• Increased thirst and urination
• Frequent yawning
During the migraine, each symptom below can build over several minutes, lasting up to 60 minutes for some people.
• Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
• Vision loss
• Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
• Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
• Difficulty speaking
• Hearing noises or music
What Causes Migraine Headaches?
Genetics and environmental factors may be linked to the development of migraine headaches. There may be changes in the brain and nerve relationships—or imbalances in brain chemicals—that regulate pain in your central nervous system.
Some migraine triggers include:
• Hormones. Fluctuations in estrogen, before or during menstrual periods, pregnancy and menopause can be a trigger for women
• Drinks. Alcohol and caffeine seem to be a potential trigger.
• Sensory stimuli. Bright lights, sun glare, loud sounds and strong smells.
• Sleep changes. Too much or too little or changes in sleep patterns.
• Foods. Salty and processed foods may trigger migraines.
• Food additives. Sweeteners and preservatives may trigger migraines for some.
Treatments for Migraine Headaches
Lifestyle changes can often be helpful to avoid or lessen the persistence of migraine headaches. These include:
• Keep track of the severity and duration of migraines in order to identity the triggers.
• Maintain a regular schedule of eating and sleeping.
• Stay hydrated.
• Participate in relaxation strategies such as yoga or meditation.
• Exercise regularly.
• Avoid certain foods. Some foods such as aged cheeses, preservatives, red wines, artificial sweeteners, chocolate and dairy have been known to trigger migraines.
For those who suffer from frequent migraines, medications may be helpful to decrease their frequency and duration. These includes:
• Blood pressure medications
• Anti-seizure medications
• Antidepressant medications
• Ketamine infusions
Ketamine for Migraine Headaches
In a case study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain in December 2016, ketamine was shown to be a potential treatment for patients suffering from chronic migraine headaches. The ketamine study was done with women who had a median age of 36 years. Their migraines had to have been occurring for at least 15 years of their lives. As a result of ketamine infusions, all patients with migraines experienced pain relief, as well as short-term pain improvement.
Are You a Candidate for Ketamine Infusions?
At our Colorado area ketamine clinics, we treat patients who suffer from migraine headaches, as well as from cluster headaches and other chronic pain conditions. Ketamine has proven to be a highly effective treatment for migraine headaches, enabling patients to gain peace of mind and feel less anxious about the onset of a migraine. If you suffer from chronic migraines, contact us today for your free consultation to see if you are a fit for ketamine infusions.