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Shanker Dixit, MD -  - Neurology

Neurology Center of Las Vegas

Shanker Dixit, MD

Neurology located in Las Vegas, NV

Migraine headaches are overwhelmingly painful, causing an agony that leaves you unable to function for hours or sometimes days at a time. If you have migraines, neurologist Shanker Dixit, MD, Neurology Center of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, can help. Dr. Dixit offers advanced migraine medication management and innovative treatments like Botox® injections to help prevent migraines and reduce their intensity. To benefit from expert migraine therapies, call Neurology Center of Las Vegas and schedule a consultation or use the online booking form today.

Migraine Q&A

What is a migraine?

A migraine is one of many types of headaches. Some headaches are due to sinus infections or exposure to an allergen, while others can come on seemingly for no reason. A mild headache results in minor discomfort that fades quickly, but a migraine causes significant, disabling pain and can last for several days.

The cause of these debilitating attacks is unclear. However, they seem to originate in the trigeminovascular system in your brain, where nerve cells and blood vessels connect.

Other factors include increased levels of a protein in your body called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and imbalances in the brain chemicals that help regulate pain in your nervous system. The tendency to get migraines may also have genetic origins.

Some people experience migraines infrequently, but others get them several times a month or more.

What are the stages of a migraine?

A day or two before a migraine, you might experience prodrome – subtle neurological and physical changes that warn of a migraine coming. Prodrome may cause food cravings, constant yawning, excessive thirst, and mood swings.

Around one-third of people who get migraines experience an "aura" shortly before the head pain hits. Auras can cause visual disturbances like blurriness, blind spots, flashing lights, and squiggly lines. 

You might develop numbness, tingling, or weakness, or you may feel like someone invisible has touched you and have problems speaking.

When the pain begins, it's likely to be severe and throbbing. It often affects just one side of your head, bringing on symptoms like extreme sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, and vomiting.

After your pain subsides, you're likely to be exhausted and might continue to feel weak, dizzy, moody, sensitive, and confused for another day or so.

What treatments are available for migraines?

To treat your migraine appropriately, Dr. Dixit assesses your medical history and performs a thorough neurological examination to rule out any other causes for your symptoms.

Your individualized treatment program for migraine might include various medications plus nerve block or medical Botox® injections. Some treatments stop the migraine from progressing, while others help prevent it from starting.

It's also important to learn what triggers your migraines so you can reduce your exposure. Common triggers include:

  • Processed foods
  • Aged cheeses
  • Food additives like aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Alcohol
  • Bright lights  
  • Strong smells
  • Stress

Fluctuating levels of the female sex hormone estrogen in women can also play a part.

You can identify your triggers by keeping a diary of everything you do, eat, drink, and experience, so you can see what occurs before a migraine.

Don't let recurring migraines continue to disrupt your life. Call Neurology Center of Las Vegas or book an appointment online today.