Migraines are one of the worst types of headaches a person can have. They are very painful and can last a long time in some cases. Below are different ways a doctor can diagnose migraines, as well as three treatment options you have available to help you.
You should see a neurologist to diagnose your migraines. The doctor will recommend that you have tests done to ensure you do not have other causes for your headaches. They may first start out with a blood test to see if you have any type of blood vessel issues or infections in your brain or spinal cord. This blood work will also show the neurologist if you have any kind of toxins in your body.
The doctor may order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test. This test uses radio waves and a very strong magnetic field to show detailed images of your blood vessels and your brain. This test can show if you have any kind of brain tumors, bleeding in your brain, infections in the brain, strokes, and more.
Your neurologist may also order a computerized tomography (CT) scan. This test uses X-rays that create cross section images of your brain. This test can also show if you have any type of brain tumors, as well as bleeding in your brain or any type of brain damage.
If the doctor determines that you do not have any serious issues and only have migraines, they can offer you many treatment options. One type is giving you medication to help you deal with pain. There is also medication that you can take as soon as you notice symptoms of a migraine headache coming on. This medication will help stop the migraine from happening.
If you have constant migraines, the neurologist can prescribe drugs that you take on a regular basis to help reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines. You would likely take this drug once a day.
The doctor may also prescribe anti-nausea medications as it is common for migraines to cause nausea during the headache.
Learning the triggers of your migraines is important as this can help prevent you from having this type of headache. The neurologist will likely ask you to keep a headache diary. In this diary, you will write what you were doing before you had a headache. For example, there may be foods that are causing your headaches. Some common foods and drinks that can cause this include caffeine, artificial sweeteners, hard cheeses, chocolate, and red wine. There may also be certain smells that contribute to you having migraines. You may have a lot of stress that can also trigger migraines, or you may not be getting enough sleep.
Talk with your neurologist and they can give you much more information.