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Old 08-29-2006, 07:00 AM
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Migraine Awareness Week 9/3 - 4 phases of a migraine


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Migraine attacks are often made up of four phases, although they don't necessarily affect everyone.

The first phase is the warning phase, where the sufferer will experience food cravings, mood changes, muscle stiffness and fatigue. This is the best time to take medication as it may reduce the severity of the attack.

The second phase and the one most associated with a migraine is an aura, which varies from person to person but may include blind spots, seeing flashing lights and zig-zag patterns.

Vertigo, dizziness, confusion and speech difficulties are also in the aura phase and usually last less than an hour.

There is no treatment for the aura phase. But to limit the frequency of the aura in an attack, your doctor may be able to prescribe pizotifen (also known as Sanomigran) or amitriptyline. Daily doses of magnesium can also help.

The third phase is the headache and is often the worst part. The pain is often to one side of the head, although not always on the same side and it can move around the head.

It is during the headache phase that the sufferer usually experiences nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.

Once the headache phase passes, it would be expected that the person would feel better.

However, it is followed by the recovery phase which leaves the person feeling washed-out, tired and often quite down.

This can last for days and increases the debilitating nature of the condition.

September 3 to 9 is Migraine Awareness Week and the MAA hope it will give a better understanding of the condition and the effect it has on sufferers and their families.
The article I quoted above also lists a bunch of tips for dealing with a migraine: Doing Your Head In
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