What is a Migraine?
A migraine is one of the most common disorders prevalent today, affecting approximately a billion people. Migraine is classified as a headache disorder which features recurrent headaches as the disorder’s hallmark.
Characteristically the headaches are present on one side of the head and are throbbing in nature. The pain experienced may be very severe or moderate, unfortunately however, a migraine is rarely without other symptoms.
Associated symptoms include heightened sensitivity to light, sound and smell. Most often the headache and the sensitivity will be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
The condition can prove debilitating, as any physical activity seems to worsen the symptoms. The only hope for relief is to lie down and wait for the symptoms to run their course, normally this process can take anywhere from between a couple of hours to a couple of days.
Migraine takes a serious toll on the individual and affects his productivity. It is estimated that the loss in productivity attributed to migraines goes well into billions of dollars.
Prevalence of Migraine
Affecting almost a billion, migraine is not an uncommon occurrence and trends show that it will only rise. In terms of a percentages by gender, migraines affect more women than men.
However, in teenagers approaching puberty the incidence is higher in boys than in girls.
Teenagers with a propensity towards the illness first start exhibiting symptoms around their mid teen years, while the disease becomes full blown by the time people approach their middle age.
The loss in the ability to do work has a major impact on the life of the individual. Interestingly, migraines have a higher occurrence in the West when compared to Asian nations.
What Causes Migraine?
The high degree of prevalence and the sheer number of people affected by it have sparked a large interest in investigating the origins of the disorder.
The causes have been scrutinized as possible sources for the cure, but the causes are far from easy to point out.
Migraines occur because of a combination of factors that include genetics and triggers. The triggers can further be divided into physiological, dietary and environmental.
New research has shed light that migraines may be a neurovascular condition with coming in heavily. Genetics play the most prominent role in bringing out these conditions.
The likelihood of migraines associated genetics is higher for symptoms that feature visual disturbances called the aura. Similarly hormonal levels are also associated with migraines, these symptoms are largely felt by menstruating women.
The type of migraine that they experience is without the visual disturbance called, aura.
The dietary triggers have been mostly self-reported, but constitute important information regarding the cause of migraines.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), a culprit in many other disorders has frequently been reported as a trigger towards migraines.
Living with a history of migraine can present itself to be a persistent challenge. The best treatment methods target managing the disorder through medication and coping mechanisms that can get a person through the dreary episode.
The reports which suggest that diet plays an important role in triggering a migraine episode, has left people wondering that if certain foods can trigger migraines, then some of them can provide relief from them.
This has resulted in research being conducted to determine which food or drink can serve as effective migraine pain reducers.
The underlying logic is that, it is generally acknowledged is that the splitting headaches caused by migraines, may have hormonal or chemical imbalances as their core cause.
An example is that a fall in serotonin levels in the bloodstream can cause a strong pain which develops into migraine.
The reason behind this fall in levels may be due to some nutritional oversight on the person’s part.
An adequate supply of these lacking nutrients through the diet can bring the chemical levels within the norms and thus reduce the symptoms of throbbing pain.
Treatment & Management of Migraines
Traditionally migraines have been treated with a combination of drugs that aim at reducing the symptoms, most notably the splitting headache.
Drugs prescribed towards this end include the likes of paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Triptans are prescribed for reversing the neurological changes in the brain that bring migraines about while anti-emetics tackle nausea and vomiting.
Grape Juice as a Potential Relief
A recent study by the University of Maryland Medical Center has revealed that foods rich in Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin have been extremely effective in reducing migraine headaches.
Use over a period of time showed that the number of migraines experienced decreased by half due to the use of Vitamin B2.
This is where grapes come in to the picture. As a naturally occurring fruit, grapes are filled with much needed vitamins, among the most potent ones are vitamins A, C and B2.
Squeezing the grapes and making a juice out of them can be the perfect concoction for a migraine induced headache relief.
The seeds and skin of grapes are particularly high in Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).
Hence while preparing your juice it is essential to extract the beneficial Riboflavin from them to extract full advantage from them. Other antioxidants present in the liver can also be of immense value as they aid liver function.
It is important to mention that store bought grape juice will not do the trick.
Aside from the monstrous amounts of sugar added to it, the normal retail version of grape juice is made without the riboflavin containing seeds, which are central to reducing migraine induced pain.
Hence, it is best to either prepare your own juice or buy, organic grape juice that has all the essentials intact. The recommended dose is two medium sized glasses of grape juice a day.
The effect reduces the symptoms of an already existing migraine, while protracted practice of this regimen reduces the occurrence of migraines.
The added advantage of this alternative remedy is that they do away with the disturbing side-effects of prescription migraine drugs.
Following such a regimen will lower dependence on drugs and will encourage you to avoid triggers. The world seems to be moving to more natural lifestyles and this an interesting and efficient remedy.
Ferrari, Michel D., et al. “Oral triptans (serotonin 5-HT 1B/1D agonists) in acute migraine treatment: a meta-analysis of 53 trials.” The Lancet 358.9294 (2001): 1668-1675.
Morandi, E., et al. “Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale: a new migraine treatment?.” Journal of interventional cardiology 16.1 (2003): 39-42.
Lipton, Richard B., Sandra W. Hamelsky, and Jeffrey M. Dayno. “What do patients with migraine want from acute migraine treatment?.” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 42.s1 (2002): 3-9.