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Migraine can be a devastating and utterly miserable condition that can have a profound effect upon the patient’s quality of life.

A migraine is categorised as a moderate or severe headache felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head. It is a common health condition, affecting around 1 in every 5 women and around 1 in every 15 men and they usually begin in early adulthood.

No-one knows exactly what causes migraines, although they’re thought to be the result of temporary changes in the chemicals, nerves and blood vessels in the brain. Many patients find they have a specific trigger such as certain food or drink, stress, tiredness or hormonal changes such as starting your period. Around half of all people who experience migraines also have a close relative with the condition.

Symptoms of migraine

There are several types of migraine, including:

  • migraine with aura – where there are specific warning signs just before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights
  • migraine without aura – the most common type, where the migraine happens without the specific warning signs
  • migraine aura without headache, also known as silent migraine – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but a headache does not develop

Migraine is generally accompanied with symptoms such as feeling sick, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound.  The frequency of the occurrence of migraines really depends upon the individual. It can be several times a week to every few years.

Treatment for migraine

There’s no one specific cure for migraines. Patients try pain medicines and triptans to help with the pain but some patients find these medicines can be ineffective. If you suspect a specific trigger is causing your migraines, such as stress or a certain type of food, avoiding this trigger may help reduce your risk of experiencing migraines. It may also help to maintain a generally healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, sleep and meals, as well as ensuring you stay well hydrated and limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol.

Cannabis medicines for relief of migraine

Cannabis medicines have been found by certain patients to be incredibly helpful in the management of pain. Cannabis medicines can have several useful roles in the prevention of migraine, and also reducing pain if a migraine attack does occur. It is likely that compounds in cannabis medicines supplement the activity of the brain’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid system. This system may be under-active in people prone to migraine. If a migraine does occur, cannabis medicines are likely to block the transmission of pain messages in nerves running from the brain stem to the pain centres of the brain, to reduce pain itself. Cannabis medication can reduce migraine severity by 49.6%, without causing the ‘overuse headache,’ that other pain medicines such as paracetamol may cause.

Am I suitable for cannabis medication for my migraines?

The cause and symptoms of your migraine will be diagnosed during a no obligation consultation and examination, here at Integro Medical Clinic. We will assess the type of pain, severity, functional impact and context. After a thorough examination and medical history check, your clinician will make recommendations for pain management or other investigations. Following this initial assessment, we can provide a plan, which may include cannabis medicines to help manage your migraine symptoms.

When conventional treatments reach their limit, our work begins.

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