Migraine Headaches Be Gone
Twenty-Four million people in the United States alone suffer from migraines. A migraine is typically a throbbing or pulsing headache, often focused on one-side of the head, and associated with nausea,
sensitivity to light and sound, as well as certain smells. Attacks are typically recurring, and can be less severe as the migraine sufferer ages.
Migraines can occur at any age, but typically begin between the ages of 10 and 40. While some people experience several migraines a month, a select few only have a few migraines throughout their lifetime. Nearly 75% of migraine sufferers are women.
Though migraines can happen at any time, some women experience migraines just prior to or during menstruation.
These migraines, called menstrual migraines, are related to hormonal changes and often do not occur during pregnancy. Meanwhile, some women only develop migraines for the first time during pregnancy, or even after menopause.
The actual cause of a migraine is unknown. It is believed, however, that the condition results from a series of reactions in the central nervous system, usually caused by changes in the body or in the environment.
Migraines often appear to be inherited, as there is often a family history of the condition. These migraine sufferers may inherit the sensitivity to triggers that produce inflammation in blood vessels and nerves around the brain, which cause pain.
The signs and symptoms of migraine pain are often intense and severe, described by throbbing or pulsating pain that only gets intensified by routine physical activity, coughing, straining, or even moving the head.
These headaches can often gets so severe that they interfere with the day-to-day activity of a person.
Sleeping migraine sufferers can be awakened by the attack, which can also cause a numbing sensation in hands and lips, as well as interfere with eyesight and vision for the duration of the attack.
Migraines can be so debilitating – causing sufferers to feel tired and weak even long after the migraine has passed.
Migraines typically begin in a specific area, usually on one side of the head, and can spread and build in intensity over a course of a few hours, then gradually subside. They can last an entire day, or in some extremely severe cases, several days.
The problem with migraine symptoms is that they are as varied as the individual sufferer. The strange sensations, such as tingling or the feeling of numbness, are known as auras, and can start anywhere from ten to thirty minutes before the migraine pain actually sets in.
Migraine treatment is possible. Knowing what triggers your migraines and avoiding them is one of the best ways to avoid a migraine. Treating acute attacks as they appear is crucial.
Talking to your doctor, who may prescribe regular use of a preventative medication can also be the way to go. Over the counter treatments for migraines can be helpful, as well as resting or sleeping in a completely dark and quiet place.
Common Migraine Food Triggers
No one knows for sure what causes migraine headaches. The most likely to answer to-date is that a serious of small irritations or reactions pile up until, finally, a migraine headache is triggered.
Migraine triggers are different for each individual, but many migraineurs claim that a particular food or combination of foods will push them over the edge into a headache.
Keep in mind that most science disagrees with migraineurs when it comes to food triggers.
There are no conclusive studies indicating a link between certain foods and migraine headaches, so all information is anecdotal. The thing is there is a lot, tons in fact, of anecdotal evidence for the link.
While a migraine trigger food can be, quite literally, anything, some foods come up on the trigger list for enough people to merit discussion.
Cheese is a major trigger for many migraineurs. Particularly likely to cause an attack are hard or aged cheeses. Soft cheeses like cream cheese and new cheeses seem to be fine and unlikely to cause problems.
Nitrates are believed by many to be a major migraine trigger. For most people, the most common source of nitrates is processed meat, items like hot dogs, sausage, bacon, processed lunchmeats, etc.
Salad dressings are a trigger for many. The reason is not known, but is probably tied to a combination of other triggers all coming together in one place.
Spices and Additives
Any spice can be a trigger. Spices as triggers may be tied, at least partially, to scent sensitivity, since many spices have a pungent odor.
Seasonings that seem to give migraineurs the most trouble include monosodium glutamate (MSG), common in Asian foods, artificial sweeteners, food dyes, and vinegar.
Migraineurs who suspect a food trigger should consider trying an elimination diet to pinpoint the trigger food(s).
There are a number of different types of migraine headaches, including both the classic and common migraine. One particularly rare type of migraine is the hemiplegic migraine.
Hemiplegic migraines are migraine headaches with very particular symptoms. They include:
* A sudden attack unilateral (one-sided) weakness and/or paralysis, typically during the aura phase of migraine.
* The weakness frequently involves a migraineur’s face, arm, and leg.
* When the right side of the body is the affected side, the migraineur may be speech impaired.
* A mild head trauma can trigger a hemiplegic migraine.
* A migraine headache follows the paralysis.
* The paralysis lasts from an hour to days, but usually clears up within 24 hours.
* Dizziness, vertigo, double vision, and difficulty in walking or balancing may all be part of a hemiplegic migraine.
Hemiplegic migraines are predominantly genetic and sufferers usually have at least one first or second-degree relative (parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, first cousin) who also suffers from hemiplegic migraines.
Since many hemiplegic migraines are brought on by minor head trauma, people with a propensity for this type of migraine are encouraged to avoid contact sports.
In families where the condition is common, onset frequently occurs in childhood, so the no-contact rule is particularly important for children in hemiplegic prone families.
Several genetic markers have been identified for hemiplegic migraine specifically. It is not a condition that screening is normally offered for, but screening is available for it upon request.
This type of migraine is particularly disturbing because its symptoms so closely resemble a stroke. Fortunately, the stroke-like effects usually reverse completely within 24 hours.
They are also problematic because hemiplegic migraines do not respond to most migraine medications and often have to be treated more like epilepsy with more dangerous medications than regular migraineurs take.
Migraine Headaches – Effective Natural Treatment Methods!
Headaches are comprised of two major categories, primary and secondary.
Headaches belonging to the primary group are not caused by underlying medical conditions while secondary headaches are the result of a medical condition such as trauma, infection or possibly even a brain tumor. Most headaches belong in the primary category.
The primary category headaches include migraine headaches and tension headaches. These two headache types are the most common of all headaches with tension-type headaches being the most common.
Tension headaches constitute about 75% of all headaches while migraine headaches affect as many as 30 or 40 million Americans, or approximately 10% or more of the American population.
Migraine headaches can become chronic in nature, but are typically experienced at most once or twice a week, not daily.
Females experience the pain of migraines about 3 times as often as males, or about 75% of the time. Migraine headaches can be severe and disabling.
They can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and a sensitivity to light. About 20% of migraine patients will experience an aura. An aura is a disturbance in vision that consists of brightly colored blinking lights that move across a person’s field of vision.
There are many types of treatment methods that are available to migraine sufferers, both natural and unnatural.
The most common method of treatment are pain relievers that are bought without a prescription, or over-the-counter.
Non-prescription drugs can include aspirin, Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin (ibuprofen), or a combination of acetaminophen and aspirin.
These are the most commonly purchased types of non-prescription pain relievers. Migraine headache patients experiencing more severe pain may need prescription medicine.
There are also many types of natural treatment methods that don’t involve the use of non-prescription or prescription medications.
These methods of treatment can often relieve migraine headache symptoms and are increasingly gaining popularity in today’s society as people are becoming more educated on the potentially dangerous side effects of drugs.
One of these natural treatment methods is putting an ice pack on the back of the neck at the base of the skull. When using an ice pack there should be a barrier between the ice pack and the skin such as a wetted cloth or t-shirt that has had the water squeezed out of it.
Ice therapy can lessen the flow of blood to the head resulting in less pressure in the head. It can often help relieve the throbbing pain of a migraine headache by decreasing the flow of blood to the head.
It is often beneficial for a person to put their feet in a container of warm water at the same time. This can have the effect of attracting the blood to the feet instead of to the head.
Migraine headaches can sometimes be caused by foods and can be prevented by eliminating these food triggers.
Foods that can trigger migraine headaches include, but are not limited to, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, MSG (monosodium glutamate), nuts, cheese, beans, onions and others. Eliminating the trigger may eliminate the migraines.
Another natural treatment method for migraine headaches is simply to reduce stress by relaxing. Many migraines are caused by stress, so eliminating the stress can relieve the pain.
Relieving stress can sometimes be achieved by getting plenty of sleep, lying down in a dark quiet room, or a combination of lying down in a dark quiet room with a small ice pack positioned on the neck at the base of the skull as explained above.
This article is a general overview with regard to natural migraine headache treatment methods and may not apply to everyone.
As always it is a good idea to seek the help of a professional before treating yourself for a potentially serious health condition.
Using White Noise to Treat Migraine Symptoms
Phonophobia, an extreme sensitivity to noise is one of the most unpleasant side effects of migraine headaches. Doctors can’t help with this sensitivity, but there is hope.
The phonophobia most migraine patients experience is particularly sensitive to very loud noises or sudden noises. White noise can help.
What is white noise? If you’ve seen Pollyanna, you know that white light is actually composed of light from every color of the spectrum. White noise is a combination of all audible frequencies.
The sounds are spread evenly across the frequency band so that no one single sound or frequency stands out. When the frequencies are mixed they cancel each other out and create a deadening effect.
This deadening effect has helped some migraine sufferers by masking other, more painful sounds during a headache.
One of the best natural ways to relieve migraine pain is to sleep through it. Migraine pain makes it hard to fall asleep, especially when you add in the photo- and phonosensitive elements.
A white noise machine or recording can help soothe the sensitivity long enough to allow a migraineur to fall asleep.
For migraineurs who experience prodrome symptoms, symptoms that let them know a migraine is coming, white noise can help stave off a headache.
For many migraine sufferers, noise is a headache trigger and the noise canceling properties can help stop a headache by removing the noise trigger from the environment.
One article even suggested that white noise machines be made available to migraineurs at work as a prophylactic measure to reduce lost time due to headache.
Some people find relief from migraines by staring at the static–visual white noise–on a television screen set between channels or with the cable unplugged.
Some report that the migraine disappears completely. Those who use visual white noise recommend doing so with the sound off.
Relieving Headache the Natural Way
Migraine headaches affect about 15 percent of the population. Although men can actually suffer from migraines, it is the women that are more affected.
Experts believe that migraine is hereditary as researches have revealed more than 80 percent of people suffering from it have a family history of the problem.
Migraine headaches may not seem so serious but without proper care and proper diagnosis, those headaches may develop into something more. It is recurrent and may be a manifestation of an underlying problem in the brain that can be really dangerous.
Causes of migraine
Migraines are actually caused by the changes in the size of the blood vessels that are found in the brain and in the head area. These changes may be due to some inflammation or constriction that prevents the blood from flowing properly.
Unlike the common type of headache, which only lasts for about a few hours, migraine headaches can last from four hours to as much as three days.
It is more severe and more frequent than your ordinary type of headache. Migraine headache however only affect a certain area on the head, often the side area or the temples unlike the common type that encompasses the whole head including the neck.
People suffering from migraine headaches may also experience a hallucination called aura. Auras are visual perceptions that are presented as a zigzagging light or a bight spot. People often see these visual disturbances immediately before their migraine attack.
Prevention is still the number one treatment for migraine. The best way is to make sure that one avoids the factors that may trigger the attack.
One of those factors is stress. By learning to relax a bit and do some stress management, one can prevent migraine headaches from recurring.
Try to spread your workload to a degree, which you can manage. Rest for a while when you feel that you are getting tired.
Another great way is to deal with the attack head on.
Relieve the pain in the head by keeping warm and avoiding extreme temperatures. If the problem is the position of the head when you are sleeping, buy a different pillow.
Choose a fluffier one that will cushion your head better. You can also experiment with a different sleeping position.
You can also rub your temples and massage the area that is painful. Try to close your eyes for a while and let it rest especially when you have been staring at the computer screen for a long time.
A migraine aura is a specific type of prodrome, or premonition, that heralds a migraine. It is a symptom or series of symptoms that let migraineurs,
people who suffer from chronic migraines, know in advance that a migraine headache is about to make itself felt.
Aura effects develop over about five minutes and generally occur from twenty minutes to an hour prior to the start of a headache. They are a symptom of what used to be called “classic migraine”.
Recently, medical practitioners have moved to a more scientifically accurate term, migraine-with-aura. Only about 15-20% of migraineurs consistently experience any kind of aura before a headache begins.
Most migraine auras are visual. These auras are called positive visual phenomena because, rather than their vision fading or going dark, people who experience them see things. Examples include:
-Auras or Haloes: a nimbus of light or haze surrounding objects, particularly light sources
-Flashing or Floating Lights: colored or white (rarely dark) spots that appear to move
-Lightning Bolts: a jagged or zigzag line that sparkles and/or arcs over the field of vision; with the frequency or severity increasing over time until the person can no longer see (a whiteout); This effect usually stops with the onset of headache pain.
-Photophobia: an extreme sensitivity to light; this effect frequently lasts the duration of the headache
Most auras last less than an hour. Migraineurs who experience auras that last more than an hour are said to suffer from migraines with prolonged aura.
In some cases a migraineur may experience aura effects without a headache developing, but it is still considered to be a symptom of chronic migraines.
At various times the same person may experience all three variations, migraine with aura, migraine with prolonged aura, or typical aura without headache.
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