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General Practice 2023

Chronic migraine: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Chronic migraine: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Chronic migraine: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Chronic migraine is a severe, throbbing headache that usually happens on one side and is characterized by attacks that last from 3 to 72 hours, with or without aura, for a period of 15 consecutive days and repeat for more than 3 months.

Often, acute migraine attacks evolve with worsening frequency and intensity, generating chronic migraine, which can be caused by the excessive use of oral analgesic drugs that the person takes to overcome the headache.

Chronic migraine has no cure, but symptoms can be alleviated with the treatment indicated by a neurologist, who may recommend anti-inflammatory and tryptamine-based medications, such as sumatriptan and zolmitriptan.

Main symptoms

Symptoms of chronic migraine, in addition to severe headaches that have not gone away for more than 15 days and that last for more than 3 months, include:

  • Poor quality sleep;
  • Insomnia;
  • Body aches;
  • Irritability;
  • Anxiety;
  • Depression;
  • Appetite and mood changes;
  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting.

In some cases, a type of body reaction, called photosensitivity, can arise, which is when the eyes become sensitive when coming into contact with light from lamps, the sun, or even the cell phone screen or computer, causing the chronic migraine attack to worsen. This can also happen with sounds, called photosensitivity.

Exercise or simply performing movements such as squatting, climbing and descending stairs also worsened headaches during a chronic migraine attack. See more other symptoms that may indicate migraine.

Possible causes

The causes of chronic migraine are not well defined, however, it is known that some factors can lead to the appearance of this condition, such as:

  • Self-medication related to excessive use of analgesics;
  • Rheumatological or orthopedic problems;
  • Psychiatric problems such as depression or anxiety;
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine and derivatives.

Chronic migraine can also be associated with obstructive sleep apnea and obesity, and it is more common in women than in men. Understand more why women have more migraines.

Treatment options

The treatment for chronic migraine must be indicated by the neurologist and is based on the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, triptans and even anticonvulsants, which promote relaxation in the head region, such as topiramate and valproic acid.

A drug for chronic migraine that can also be used and that has shown effectiveness is botulinum toxin type A, especially in case of refractory chronic migraine. However, some home remedies can be used to help treat chronic migraines, such as sunflower seeds. Check out other options for natural remedies for migraine.

In addition, to improve the benefits of treatment, reduce symptoms and avoid chronic migraine attacks, it is important to do regular physical activity, eat he althy foods, maintain ideal weight, control stress, do relaxation, physiotherapy, acupuncture and psychotherapy.

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