What is a Migraine?

Approximately 23.6 million Americans have suffered from migraine headaches. Severe headaches have a significant impact in the United States, both to the individual suffering from them and on society as a whole. Considering just the cost of lost work and productivity, migraine headache costs in the U.S. are approximately $13 billion annually. This is the equivalent of 112 million “bedridden days” per year. Migraine headaches have also been shown to negatively affect an individual’s life more than osteoarthritis, hypertension, or diabetes.

Migraines are headaches that can be either one-sided or on both sides, and are recurring. Often, the patient can “predict” the headache before it begins. Nausea, vomiting, and hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, including light and sound, usually accompany them. Migraines are often incapacitating. Aspirin and other pain relievers rarely help.

Current theory is that migraines are caused by a disturbance in blood flow around the head, especially in the back, which then causes an inflammatory response to begin. Common migraine triggers include: stress; excessive sleep; menstruation; pregnancy; oral contraceptive, antihistamine, or diuretic use; or a variety of food triggers, including red wine, aged cheese, MSG, and chocolate.

Migraines without aura, or common migraines, account for 80% of all migraine headaches. There is no “prodrome,” or visual disturbance prior to the headache. They typically last 4 to 72 hours and are associated with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Common migraines are aggravated by physical activity, but are usually not disabling. These migraines can be either unilateral or bilateral, and are more common in women.

The Classical Migraine, or migraine with aura, is preceded by a progressively increasing blind spot surrounded by flashing lights about 30 minutes prior to the onset of the headache. These migraines last for several hours up to 1 to 3 days, and are relieved somewhat by a dark, quiet environment. They are one-sided and throbbing, and there is often associated nausea and vomiting. There is also usually a family history of these headaches.

If the prodrome is more prominent than or outlasts the headache, it is known as a complicated migraine. There are three types of complicated migraines:

opthalmoplegic, which causes double vision and eye pain; hemiplegic, where one side of the body is paralyzed, often for days; and basilar, which leads to vertigo, difficulty swallowing, double vision, difficulty hearing, and ringing in the ears. There are also subsets of classical and common migraines, including:

retinal, which produce a “jigsaw” pattern of visual disturbance that enlarges and merges; coital, which affects mostly men and is brought on by the changes in blood flow from intercourse and orgasm; and rebound, which is caused by the excessive use of medications used to treat migraines (more than two days a week). There are many conservative treatment approaches to migraine headaches. First and foremost, patients with migraines need to pay attention to what may be triggering them and avoid those triggers. Migraines often respond to chiropractic manipulation. Other conservative options are biofeedback and acupuncture. Nutritional supplementation has also been shown to decrease the incidence of migraines. Feverfew, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, and riboflavin have all been shown to help migraines. Deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy relax the muscles in the back of the head that may be involved, and ice packs applied to the back of the head will constrict the blood vessels and decrease the inflammatory response.

References: Souza, Thomas A. Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor: 415-433. Gaithersburg, Maryland: Aspen Publishers, 2001. Huff, Lew, and David M. Brady. Instant Access to Chiropractic Guideline and Protocols: 12-15. Saint Louis, Missouri: Mosby, Inc., 1999. Flanagan, Michael, DC. “Migraines, Strokes, and Chiropractic.” Chiroweb. 26 Sept 2002. Dynamic Chiropractic. http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/20/21/06.html

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Migraine Headaches Relief – What is a Migraine?

Migraines are a very common occurrence and literally millions of people suffer from migraines. In the U.S. alone the number of migraine sufferers is believed to be around 30,000,000. You can imagine how that number will be multiplied if you go outside of the U.S. This basically means that you are not alone in the pain, agony and destruction that migraine headaches bring in your life.

The most unfortunate but realistic fact about a large and majority number of migraine relief seekers is that they posses very little knowledge about migraines and what they really are, that is if they posses any knowledge at all as is sadly the case with some migraine sufferers.

Moving on to answer the question at hand “What are migraines”, a migraine is a type of painful headache one can have and they are usually accompanied by a number of symptoms. A migraine usually affects one side of the head with one of the most common symptoms being sensitivity to light. They typically last anything from a few hours to a few days even. The frequency of migraines may differ with each migraine headaches relief seeker but it can be anything like daily, weekly and with other somewhat fortunate migraine headaches relief seekers they might just have only a few attacks a year.

Common Migraine Headaches Symptoms!

Some common symptoms that will accompany migraines and ones that you might be seeking migraine headaches relief for include nausea, vomiting, vertigo and sensitivity to light and sound as well. As you can see if you have frequent attacks then these types of symptoms are just not something that you would want to deal with often as they can bring disorder and interruptions to your daily activities. Right at this moment you are reading this on your computer and you probably do most of your work on that computer as well. Just imagine this situation with you suffering from a migraine and being sensitive to light, not the most pleasant situation at all. Unfortunately millions of people do have to deal such a situation frequently in their lives.

Migraines Are Not Curable!

This is sadly a reality as harsh as it may sound to someone seeking migraine headaches relief. The real course of migraines is known yet known and that makes it hard to treat and basically impossible to cure completely. With that being sad, you do not need to despair at all. Even though they cannot be cured, there is a form of migraine headaches relief. Migraines can be treated, prevented and controlled.

There are a number of medications out there available to treat migraine headache symptoms and they do work as well. You can also chose to treat, prevent and control you migraine headaches symptoms 100% naturally. The later option is has always been my number one recommendation, as I had mentioned that migraines are not curable so the medication will just treat your symptoms and then you have to wait for the next attack and then take medication again and again whereas with natural treatment you can learn to truly prevent and control your migraines.

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Migraine Symptoms – The Link Between Migraines and Insomnia

If an individual is prone to having migraine then a bout with insomnia will almost surely trigger an attack. Conversely, having migraine almost always leads to insomnia. It is definitely one vicious cycle for migraine sufferers.

If a person finds it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep or fall back to sleep if awakened then it can be concluded that he is suffering from insomnia. The inability to sleep is often exacerbated by the headache and the abdominal pain that often accompanies migraine attacks.

The Journal for the American Headache Society published a study back in 2005 that discussed the links between poor sleep and migraines. Majority of the research participants reported some form of sleep problem and more than half blamed the onset of migraine to sleep disturbances at least some of the time. Close to half of the participants said that they sleep six or less hours per night. People who sleep for a few hours only experienced more frequent and severe migraine attacks than those who got more sleep. These individuals are also more likely to suffer from transformed migraines or daily headaches that tend to wake up sufferers. Among the participants, 75% said that the pain forced them to sleep while 85% of them said that they chose to rest or sleep because of headache pain.

Both insomnia and migraine are linked to serotonin deficiency. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is believed to play an important role in regulating sleep, mood, vomiting, appetite and body temperature. The substance is manufactured in the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system and then stored in the blood.

People with insufficient levels of serotonin suffer from one of many forms of gastric disorders. This is probably why many migraine sufferers also experience stomach problems before or during a migraine attack. Lack of serotonin is also most likely the cause of the condition known as abdominal migraines.

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Migraine Headache Relief – Learn What Foods Will Help Stop the Pain

Migraine headache sufferers know the pain. They deal with body twisting pain all the time and just do not know how to get rid of it. Most of the time people are too hesitant about taking prescription drugs. But that is a good thing because taking medication for your pain all the time is not a good thing at all. It can and will only lead to further health problems. That is why there are various natural cures for relieving migraine headache pain. A lot of people are starting to naturally get rid of their pains and you can too. You just have to start following a few easy tips.

Getting started is easy. First of all just like anything you need to start changing your diet. If you want to get rid of those headache pains for good then eating right is your first priority. Making a few adjustments to your current diet is crucial towards curing the pain. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. These are great choices especially things like grapes and apples. They are full of the vital vitamins and nutrients your body needs. And they will do nothing but help you cure away the pains.

If you are a migraine headache sufferer and are looking for relief, then try these tips. They will work it just takes a little effort to stop eating more of the foods you love. But the results will be astonishing and you won’t want to stop eating healthier. Remember the healthier you eat the less pain you will be in.

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Migraine Headache — Causes And Cures

Oh, What Pain!

You know you have a migraine headache when your head is pounding so hard that it hurts to touch, you can’t stand light, and your stomach is queasy and upset. A migraine headache is one of the worst types of headaches people can get. They can cause missed days at work, depression, and a general sense of despair. If you suffer from them, or you think you suffer from them, you know that they are more than just some discomfort and a little inconvenience. With medical advances, there is no reason that you should continue to suffer from even occasional migraines. There are effective treatment methods that will bring you long-lasting and quick relief.

Be Aware Of The Symptoms

If you are not sure if what you are dealing with is a migraine headache or not, you should make yourself aware of the symptoms and get help if you need it. One of the key indicators of migraines is that you have nausea caused by the headache-also, a sensitivity to light. If you are experiencing frequent headaches accompanied by these symptoms you should talk to your doctor.

Create A Headache Journal

There are things that you can do that will help to prevent a migraine headache, but you have to understand what your “triggers” are. Keep a journal of everything that you eat, drink, and do and note when you get a migraine. If you notice a certain pattern of foods or activities that seem to happen before you get the migraine headache you may have found one of your triggers and you can find ways to possibly avoid it.

When you visit your doctor take your “headache journal.” This will help your doctor to make a better evaluation of what is going on with you and your migraine headache. Your doctor can then prescribe one of the may pain killers on the market today that are designed specifically for migraines. Doctors today realize that this type of headache is not something that you have control over, or that you are causing through worry or other emotional issues. A migraine headache is a biological disorder of the brain and it can be treated. Although sometimes they are triggered by stress, many people who suffer from stress do not suffer from migraines, and on the other hand, people who sometimes suffer from a migraine headache are not necessarily suffering from stress. This is one reason why it is important to keep a migraine headache journal-you can pin down more accurately what brings on your headaches and try to eliminate that factor.

Holistic Medicine

For those who are interested in a more holistic approach to medicine, there is an herbal treatment that has been used on the migraine headache called Petadolex. It contains an herb called Butterbur which has been used since medieval times to treat fever, plague, allergies, headaches, coughs and asthma. The compounds in the herb help to prevent inflammation of the blood vessels which is one of the causes of headaches, including migraines. Petadolex can probably be found at your local nutrition or herbal supplement store.

The key to getting rid of migraines is to seek out treatment. They will not go away on their own. You need to get help and you will be glad you did.

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