Common Issues in General Practice: Migraines

Common Issues in General Practice: Migraines

The common migraine is a very painful type of headache. For unknown reasons, they tend to affect women more than men suggesting that hormones may play some role.

Migraines can be very distressing and disabling. An attack can last anywhere from four hours to several days. Symptoms experienced can be extensive but commonly include:

  • Pain and throbbing of the head
  • Pain exacerbated by movement
  • Feeling vaguely unwell (especially beforehand)
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Sensitivity to noise (phonophobia)
  • Sensitivity to smell (osmophobia)
  • Visual disturbances such as flashing lights, blind spots, fuzziness, difficulty focusing, often referred to as an ‘aura’.
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Numbness in the extremities

Many people who experience migraines state that they can ‘feel’ a migraine coming on before the other symptoms begin. They report symptoms such as yawning, food cravings, a stiff neck, fatigue, irritability and depression as early warning signs of a migraine to come.

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