February 5, 2009

I vomit when i get a headache... should I be scared?

Question: I get bad headaches. I end up locking myself in the bathroom and throwing up. I get one-sided headaches, especially when it's too noisy or too bright. What should I do? (asked by Phyrethyme from the Philippines)

Doc Alma says: It looks like a migraine.

Migraines are an enigma... there has been some progress as to what the world of medicine knows about them: they now know that blood vessels are involved, and that there is a wave of constriction, then dilation, of blood vessels, causing the symptoms of a migraine attack. But our knowledge of migraines is rather limited.

Migraines may mimic some disorders, like aneurysms, so it is best not to take these headaches lightly. Asking a neurologist for help is a prudent decision.

But in case what you do have is a migraine, here are a few things that you should know:
  • Migraine headaches are best treated when they are just starting. Don't wait for a headache to get really bad before drinking an analgesic.

  • When you get a migraine, avoid noise & bright lights. These are stimuli that aggravate the headache.It is best to stay in a dim, quiet room until the episode subsides.

  • Sleep it off. Migraines are alleviated by sleep, so this may work for you.

When you have headaches as severe as migraneurs do (and you don't know you're one), it can be very alarming. You have to identify the enemy for you to know how to fight back.