Alternative Medicine As an Effective Migraine Treatment

A migraine is a chronic headache which is primarily caused by the spasm and narrowing of microscopic blood vessels which carries blood to the brain. The headache is severe and debilitating and can occur from once a year or as often as four times a week. It is characterized by nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, aura but most of all by a throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Several factors have been identified as triggers for a migraine attack such as stress, anger, caffeine, nicotine and hormonal imbalance.

Medical marijuana has long been proven to be an effective treatment for migraines. Its main component, THC, is best known for its analgesic and neuroprotective effects that can give relief to the pain brought about by a migraine attack. Because of marijuana’s history of illegality, it has not been advertised as an effective migraine treatment alternative. People have also been apprehensive in using medical marijuana because of the wrong idea that smoking is the only way of using it. There are however other delivery methods that can be used such as vaporization, edibles which is done by infusing food with cannabis, or thru tinctures taken sublingually (under the tongue).

Another thing that discourages people from using medicinal marijuana is they think that getting a medical marijuana card is complicated and expensive. That is where the many Denver medical marijuana dispensaries can be of help. They can provide patients with assistance in the entire medical marijuana card application process. Denver marijuana dispensaries have through the years sprouted all over the city despite the slump in economy. So big the medical cannabis industry has become that several measures and a moratorium have been passed to curb and control Denver medical cannabis dispensaries.

Medical cannabis being made legal should be a welcome development to migraine sufferers who avoid taking their prescription drugs because of the side effects the drugs have. The most common of these side effects are fatigue, sleepiness, racing heartbeat, nausea, difficulty in thinking and numbness. Painkillers which dull the throbbing pain of a migraine headache may cause long term addiction to it. It is regrettable that patients are not made aware of these harmful effects of prescription drugs and there are no alternative treatments presented to them.

Not only has migraine patients found relief for the pain that is characteristic of the condition, they also discovered that benefits of medical cannabis like improved sleep and reduced stress can prevent its onset and thus reduce episodes of migraine. The quality of life of migraine patients that prescription drugs can deny them is seen to have been improved instead by medical marijuana.

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Headache – Learn About Its Causes and Remedies

What is the cause of the headache?

There can be several causes of headaches. Some of the more likely causes of headaches are stress and fatigue, tension, eye strain, dehydration, low blood sugar, migraine, viral infection, musculoskeletal conditions, hyper-mastication and sinusitis. In rare cases, headache could be a result of certain life-threatening conditions such as brain tumours, meningitis, encephalitis, cerebral aneurysms and extremely high blood pressure. Headache can also occur because of head injury. Erratic changes in estrogen levels during menstrual years may also cause headaches in some women.

Tension headache

Tension headache is one of the most common types and can affect people of any age and sex. But it is more commonly reported by adults and is more common among women than men. Tension headache is characterized by pain in both the sides of the head, though it may sometimes be pointed to the neck or the front of the head. The pain often starts at the back of your head and spreads forward. Besides, this is the only type of headache in which pain persists continuously throughout the day and night without any relief in between. Tension headache occurs mainly due to stress, depression or anxiety, fatigue, poor posture, eye strain, tobacco and alcohol use.

Cluster headache

Cluster headache is a type of primary headache. Though it is rarely reported, cluster headache sufferers are mainly men especially those in the 28-30 age group; however, headaches may begin in childhood. Cluster headaches are characterized by sharp, extremely painful headaches that tend to occur several times per day for months and then go away for a similar period. Sometimes the pain caused by cluster headaches is so intense that the scalp feels almost tender, the arteries can be seen pulsating and the patient is so uncomfortable that he finds it difficult to sit still.

Common remedies for headache relief

They cannot be cured but it is possible to control them by taking appropriate measures depending on the type of headache a patient is suffering from, individual response as well as associated health conditions. While home remedies work for some people, others need to take medicines to control the pain. The medications available for headache can be taken prophylactically (to prevent headache occurrence) or abortively (once the headache begins). Lifestyle changes such as avoidance of triggers, stress management, and relaxation therapy are also recommended to provide timely relief.

Many people these days are also resorting to alternative drug-free therapies for headache relief. Cefaly electrotherapy device is one such treatment option that is being increasingly recommended by doctors. The scientifically advanced device emits gentle electric impulses that influence the pain-affected nerves; this makes you experience a state of relaxation and well-being. You need to wear the Cefaly device like a headband and attach it to the electrode placed on the forehead. In just a few minutes, it provides relief from a throbbing headache.

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Headache – A Symptom of High Blood Pressure?

Just because you are experiencing headaches does not necessarily mean that you have a headache or migraine condition. Instead, your pain could be a symptom of a potentially life threatening disease, which needs treatment. This is why it is always recommended that you get treatment from a doctor for persistent or severe headaches instead of relying on self medication through over-the-counter pain medication.

Hypertension

One possible source of your headaches could be hypertension, also called high blood pressure (HBP.) Hypertension is believed to affect 73 million Americans according to the American Heart Association. As many as 69% of all Americans who experience their first heart attack have HBP as do 74% of those with congestive heart failure.

What is blood pressure?

Hypertension is a condition of high pressure in the arteries. A certain amount of pressure is needed in order to allow the heart to pump blood throughout the blood vessels of the body. The pressure comes from two forces – the strength with which the blood is pumped out of the heart, and then rest period between heart beats.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is considered anything higher than 140/90. High blood pressure can cause the walls of one’s blood vessels to become stretched and damaged, leading to spots of weakness and blockage. If blockages occur in one’s arteries, then the heart has to pump even harder to send blood and oxygen through one’s system. In some cases the heart may not be able to work hard enough to force freshly oxygenated blood through every vein.

What are the risks of hypertension?

If oxygenated blood is not able to travel throughout one’s system, this can lead to tissue damage and damage to the heart itself. Hypertension can lead to increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, kidney disease, hardening of the arteries, eye damage, and stroke.

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because it usually does not exhibit any symptoms except in the most extreme levels, known as hypertensive crisis (BP readings of 180/90.) Sometimes headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and/or nausea can be symptoms of high blood pressure. The only way to know if one has high blood pressure is to get tested and diagnosed by a trained medical professional.

Minimizing the risks of high blood pressure

High blood pressure is believed to run in families, have tendency to affect more men than women before age 45, increase with age, linked to poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, being overweight, drinking alcohol and smoking. The best way to manage this condition is to lose weight, exercise, eat a healthy diet, stop smoking, limit intake of alcohol, reduce stress, and take any medications prescribed by your doctor.

Conclusion

High blood pressure may be a silent killer but this is a condition that can be easily and painlessly diagnosed. In fact, if hypertension is diagnosed early on, the damage to one’s body can be minimized. For these reasons if you are worried that your headaches are caused by high blood pressure – do not hesitate to get tested and diagnosed!

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Headaches and Breastfeeding

Headaches are a difficult thing to deal with. They seem to come on for many different reasons. Some people get them because of changes in the weather or barometric pressure, others because of allergies and still others get them because of stress. In fact, it seems that the reasons that different people get headaches is almost limitless. There is, however, an uncommon reason why some people get headaches, and that is when a nursing mother is breastfeeding. While this is not common, it does happen from time to time. What is it that causes headaches and breastfeeding and what can be done about it?

Breastfeeding headaches are thought to come on because of a release of a hormone in the system that causes lactating to occur. This hormone is known as Oxytocin, and is present in all lactating mothers. It’s interesting to note that this chemical is also usually released into the body during a female orgasm, so it is not strange that you may also have a headache that is brought on by orgasm. There isn’t much that can be done medically about this type of a headache because of the dangers of passing dangerous chemicals onto the baby, but some mothers have tried natural headache relief methods in the past and have found a measure of relief. Such natural methods of headache relief should also be done cautiously if you are breastfeeding because, remember, what you put into your body is passed along to the baby through the breast milk.

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Migraine Aura: Is a Headache Coming or Something Worse?

Migraine aura is a symptom or group of symptoms that precede a migraine. They can last a few minutes or as long as a week. The most common migraine aura is the visual aura. This can manifest as blurry vision, flashing lights, zigzags, or a mirage effect. It is thought that these are caused by a depression of blood flow that ultimately leads to the excruciating headaches. Visual disturbance is one of the warning signs of stroke.

Numbness or tingling on one side of the body can also be a symptom. Facial drooping is common, and can be confirmed by trying to smile. And, while migraine aura will eventually resolve itself, these symptoms can also be attributed to stroke which needs immediate treatment. Better safe than sorry.

Migraine sufferers are some of the most misunderstood people, literally. When having aura, sometimes they just don’t make any sense. Another type of migraine aura which requires immediate medical attention is the slurred, or garbled speech, and trouble forming thoughts. Anytime this symptom occurs, it is a medical emergency. It is thought that migraines do not leave permanent damage. However, this symptom could be sign of a stroke and, in that case, minutes count.

There are also mini-strokes, Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs), which closely resemble migraine aura. They resolve within 24 hours and leave only minute damage behind. They are also called warning strokes, because there is a high likelihood of having a real stroke within one week. These are extremely important to diagnose. If you have migraine aura, you are almost three times as likely to have a stroke.

The Stroke Awareness Foundation features the acronym FAST! It stands for Face, Arms, Slurred Speech, and Time. Face refers to the facial drooping that can occur. Arms refers to the one-sided numbness or tingling. Slurred speech is self-explanatory. Time refers to the critical nature of the stroke emergency. Brain cells begin dying within minutes of the onset of stroke. The best stroke treatments are those given within the first three hours.

Visual Disturbances, numbness and tingling, and garbled speech and thought are all frightening experiences. It could be bad, or it could be worse. At best, you could have a very bad headache coming on. Even if you are a seasoned migraine sufferer, you need to go to the ER when you experience migraine aura symptoms that mimic stroke. It may be an inconvenience, but it could save your life.

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