What Are Hemiplegic Migraines?


Hemiplegic migraines are rare and belong to the extreme types of migraines. Before we fully explain their characteristics, let us first go over what migraines are in general. In the latter part of this blog, we will also discuss the other types of migraines that anyone can deal with and a natural method to get rid of migraines successfully.

Migraines are a neurological disease that occurs when the brain becomes over-excitable in specific areas. It leads to a pounding or throbbing headache. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, the headache does not appear in migraines. Instead, patients deal with other neurological symptoms, including:

  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and certain smells
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Unilateral pain in the head
  • An aura (sensory disturbances that appear before the episode)

The Migraine Research Foundation estimated that about 39 million Americans suffer from migraines. Around the world, as many as 1 billion people have it. In addition, women are three times more prone to have migraines than men. Unknown to many, even infants as young as 18 months old can show symptoms of migraines.


What Causes Migraines?

While doctors and researchers are still to find out the singular cause of migraines, they all recognize some theories on its origin. They acknowledge that genetics may have to do with migraines as they tend to run in families. About 80 percent of migraineurs have a parent or immediate family member who also has the condition. 

The most popular theory is that migraines develop when excited brain cells spark the trigeminal nerve. The nerve then releases chemicals that inflame or irritate the blood vessels in the brain. As a result, these blood vessels transmit pain signals to the brain through the brainstem.

When this happens, pain affects the temples or the surroundings of the eyes. Some migraineurs even experience pain in their neck, jaw, face, or sinuses during a migraine attack. In addition, they become sensitive to anything that touches their head. To some extent, combing the hair or shaving can be unbearable.


List of Migraine Triggers

Triggers are the things or factors that can bring on a migraine episode. People with migraines should know their personal triggers. If you do not know yours yet, keep a migraine journal and write down what you ate, what activities you did, and what the weather was like before a migraine attack happened to you. This way, you can see a pattern developing. According to the National Headache Foundation, these are the common triggers for migraines:

  • Excessive noise
  • Skipping a meal, resulting in low blood sugar
  • Changes in your wake/sleep schedule
  • Overusing headache medications
  • Medications that cause inflammation of blood vessels
  • Sunlight, bright lights, or fluorescent lighting
  • Certain foods


What Are Hemiplegic Migraines?

“Hemiplegia” means paralysis. Hemiplegic migraines are rare migraines that cause paralysis, temporary weakness, numbness, and tingling on one side of the body. Migraines of this kind affect a few people who have migraines with aura.

Hemiplegic migraines may also cause fever, concentration problems, and memory loss. The symptoms may stay for weeks or months after the migraine subsides. Some patients have to live with permanent issues with coordination and nystagmus. 

It has two categories:

  • Familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) affects two or more relatives in one family.
  • Sporadic hemiplegic migraine (SHM) affects people who do not have a family history of the disorder.


Other Types of Migraines

Hemiplegic migraines are an extreme type of migraines. Below are the more common types:

  • Vestibular migraines

Vertigo is the major characteristic of vestibular migraines. Patients may go through a loss of balance, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. 

  • Silent migraines

Silent migraines are absent of a headache but involve the other typical symptoms of migraines.

  • Abdominal migraines

These migraines do not involve the head. Some report claims that some children with sporadic abdominal pain possibly have an abdominal migraine. It is quite rare but may affect adults too. 

  • Ocular migraines

The distinct trait of these migraines is the blindless or vision loss accompanied by headache. It often lasts less than an hour. Another term for them is retinal migraines. They are quite not common and should be assessed by your doctor immediately. 

  • Complex or atypical migraines

These migraines are associated with exaggerated or prolonged visual auras


Choose a Migraine Care Wisely

As you may already know, migraine patients can choose from numerous care options to relieve their migraines. However, it turns out, not all migraine care is safe. One such product is the migraine patch called Zecuity, which was available for a moment in 2013. It was a battery-run patch that you wore on your thigh or arm. It used a dose of Sumatriptan, a common migraine medication for nausea. By using the patch, nausea was eliminated.

However, shortly after it got an FDA approval and was sold in American stores, people complained of severe burns and scarring from the patch. Soon after, the manufacturer of the device recalled it from the market and stopped producing it.

So, migraineurs are now looking for an answer: “Is there a safe and natural way to care for migraines?” Fortunately, there is. 

Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Migraines

Upper cervical doctors always consider the importance of addressing the underlying cause of migraines to bring lasting relief to patients. Migraines can due to a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine, specifically the C1 and C2. If these bones are out of alignment, they cause the brainstem to suffer from too much stress, resulting in improper signals to the brain. This can hinder the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid to and from the brain. 

An excellent way to fix this problem is through upper cervical chiropractic. It is a safe and gentle technique that helps realign the bones of the upper neck. It uses scientific measurements without adding more pressure to the body. But is it effective?

A case study of 100 migraine patients found that all of them improved the severity and frequency of their migraine attacks after only a couple of upper cervical adjustments. Most of the patients reported the elimination of their migraines for good.

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.