We all know about migraines and how debilitating and painful they can be to those who suffer from them but one of the rarer kinds of migraines is the hemiplegic migraine and there are two types – familial hemiplegic migraine (known as FHM) and sporadic hemiplegic membraine (known as SHM). The main difference between these two types is that FHM runs in families (there can be a close relative that carries the same genes that cause the symptoms) while SHM has no known family connection.
Hemiplegic migraines are yet another type of migraine that can come with an aura
Similar to a regular migraine with aura, the hemiplegic migraine may include an aura in the form of blind spots, flashing lights, crooked lines or double vision. These symptoms may last just a few minutes or as long as an hour.
The word hemiplegia means “paralysis on one side of the body” and the main symptom of this type of migraine is a problem with moving one side of the body. This can be particularly frightening the first time it happens because, as many people will know, this is also a common stroke symptom.
Symptoms of an hemiplegic migraine
These can be a short lived headache before the hemiplegia itself and, along with the partial paralysis, there can be numbness or a prickly sensation in that area. In rare cases, the symptoms can last for many weeks but most people will have such a migraine for less than 24 hours.
- Symptoms of meningitis without the illness itself – this condition is called meningimus
- Confusion or impaired consciousness
- Defective muscle coordination
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Light and/or sound sensitivity
Of course it is vital to see your doctor as soon as possible - if you suffer from any of these symptoms - in order to rule out an even more serious condition and for treatment to commence.
Treatment for these migraines
Treatment is difficult and challenging because of the wide range of symptoms and you may well be referred to a specialist who has experience with such rare migraines so that the treatment decided upon is the best possible one for you. Frequently, NSAIDs, anti-emetics and narcotic analgesics are prescribed for relief and hemiplegic migraine care as they are considered the safest option at this time but there is continual medical research for new drugs along with the introduction of natural remedies.
Research natural remedies
for this condition because of possible side effects from drugs and particularly if the migraines are long term.
Consider a Medic-Alert bracelet
If and when you are diagnosed with hemplegic migraine, think about wearing a medic-alert bracelet so that there is never any confusion for those around you should suffer a particularly debilitating attack where you might have confusion and/or speech problems.
Be aware that there can be after effects from a hemiplegic migraine as some sufferers may experience permanent coordination difficulties, rapid eye movement and memory loss, making it more important than ever to find the right treatment for this condition.