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Migraine a complex condition with a variety of symptoms: Dr. Ruwani Gunewardane

3 June 2016 01:02 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Migraine is an intermittent throbbing headache that usually affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision.

Dr. Ruwani Gunewardane

According to the traditional ayurvedic medicinal practice, migraine is defined as ‘Lalaata Kotara Pradaahaya’ which comes in the Sinhala term of ‘Iruwaaradaya’. In the view of traditional ayurvedic medicinal practice, there are plenty of western expertise views on migraine.

In order to fill that space, the Daily Mirror held a discussion with Neurology Specialist   Dr. Ruwani Gunewardane of Chief Centre for Brain and Neuro Care in the United States of America who is a visiting professor at the University of Maryland. “As a migraine sufferer I always had a special interest in migraine. As a child when I went to watch a movie or was exposed to the bright light I had migraine. I had migraine since my childhood starting from 6 years.

When talking about migraine, quite a large number of the population are migraine sufferers in the United States. And also one of  four households have at least one migraine patient.  I am sure it must be the same in Sri Lanka too.”

“Usually people are affected by migraine as a result of being busy with their studies, exams, children, family issues etc. There were migraine sufferers in my class too. Migraine can cause a lot of problems in your lives.

Normally, females are highly affected by this when compared with the males. As a ratio it is 3:1. Cluster headaches are also common among females.”

Migraine is a complex condition with a wide variety of symptoms. For many people the main feature is a painful headache. Other symptoms include disturbed vision, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, feeling sick and vomiting.

The main symptom of migraine is usually an intense headache that occurs at the front or on one side of the head. The pain is usually a severe throbbing sensation that gets worse when you move and prevents you from carrying out normal activities. “It is a great genetic disorder. If you ever met a bad migraine sufferer you will surely find a family history.”

Top migraine triggers

The top main triggers of migraine can be declared as emotional stress, abrupt weather changes, and bright flickering lights, high altitude travel motion, lack of sleep, certain odours, food additives and certain food items. When considering food items, cheese, chocolate, food items contained in caffeine and red vine are specially migraine producers.

Functioning of migraine

Looking at the latest theory migraine is not just the stretching of blood vessels. It may be caused with the activation of many different triggers within the system and positive iron channels can pass the impulses. And those impulses go through the thalamus.

Effects of migraine

Patients may have cognate problems and concentration problems as a result of it. As a result of being affected by migraine people usually face some physical and mental disorders including the vision disturbances, deficiency while focusing on something, deficiency in concentration and a disturbance in word finding in day to day activities. Another main disorder of being affected by migraine is the neck pain.

Different types of migraine

Medically, migraine can be categorised in to several types. There are primary headaches, migraine with aura, and migraine without aura, tension type, cluster headaches, hemicranias continua, chronic pataxymal hemicranias and transdromed headaches.

There are also some other types of migraine including menstrual migraine, busilar migraine, abdominal migraine, opthmoplegic migraine, retinal migraine, familial hemiplegic migraine and status migrainiosus.

There is also another form of migraine which comes across during sexual activities. This type of migraine is common among especially male youths. They get severe headaches during orgasm and ejaculation.

Why is migraine common among women?

If a woman gets migraine, it is probably noticeable that they’re likely to get hit just before a period. These types of headaches are called menstrual migraines. Menstrual migraine are tied to shifts in the levels of the female hormone oestrogen during the menstrual cycle as the Oestrogen levels drop right before the start of the menstrual flow. Premenstrual migraines regularly happen during or after the time when the female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, drop to their lowest levels.

Treatments for migraine

There are also preventive methods for this troublesome decease including medicines, drug treatments, use medicines with established preventive efficiency. It is really very necessary to start with a low dose while commencing the medical treatment of a migraine patient. Then it is necessary to escalate until the clinical benefits are achieved in the absence or with the minimal adverse effects.
Nearly, four weeks are taken to cure migraine and these headaches cannot be avoided through medical treatments within two or three days. It takes some time. Therefore it is necessary to make the patient aware about the time taken to get rid of this troublesome headache in order to achieve the best results through medications.

Top Neurology Specialist lecture on migraine 

Dr. Ruwani Gunewardane, a Neurology Specialist at the Chief Centre for Brain and Neuro Care in the United States of America on May 26 delivered a lecture on migraine for Sri Lankan family practitioners on the invitation of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA). A student of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, Dr. Gunewardane graduated from the North Colombo Medical College and left for the United States to complete her higher studies at  St. George’s University, School of Medicine. 

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