The Causes of Migraine Problems

May 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Headaches

Migraine problems can create enough havoc in a person’s life. A working person can lose precious working hours. A student can lose class hours, or worse, miss the examinations if she or he gets a migraine headache at the time of an exam, and even lose a semester. Permamnt migraine treatment so far have had limited success, and an effective and permanent remedy for migraine is yet to be found. However, the medical fraternity has analyzed the possible changes that occur in the body of a person suffering a migraine attack.

The changes that take place in the human system during a migraine attack are mainly related to the trigeminal nervous system. This is the body’s chief pain path to the nervous system. The trigeminal nervous system is very sensitive to changes resulting from the imbalances of certain chemicals like serotonin, which has a role to play in regulating the messages of pain that are taken to the brain.

We generally get a headache when our serotonin level is low. When serotonin level becomes low, the trigeminal nervous system produces a substance called ‘neuropeptides’ to balance the problem. These neuropeptides travel to the surface of the brain known as meninges. The neuropeptides interact with the blood vessels in the meninges causing them to inflame and dilate. It is this inflammation of blood vessels that translate as headaches or any form of migraine pain.

What exactly triggers off this low serotonin level and production of neuropeptides, and resultant onset of a migraine attack, is not fully known. Both environmental factors and internal body problems can initiate these changes. A combination of factors that can be hormonal, sexual, sensory, climatic, or those resulting from stress, tension, exhaustion, food habits, or sleep and wake cycles can lead to this and cause migraine headaches or other migraine symptoms.

Same environmental or internal factors can work differently for different people based on genetic traits, age, gender, mental health, use of certain medications, medical history, or treatments like hormone replacement therapy or contraceptive practices. Those who are more prone to migraine attacks might have more of these risk factors in them that can trigger migraine problems more easily.

How come that a person is forced to put up with migraine attacks?

Have you, rarely, or frequently, suffered from migraine symptoms? Has doctors ever suggested that some of your problems could be related to migraine? Is any of the risk factors mentioned above, which are likely to trigger a migraine attack, been part of your life? If you recognize in yourself any of the migraine symptoms, or suspect that some of your medical problems could be migraine-related, you have to consult a physician and confirm the diagnosis.

Migraine treatment and migraine relief are available. It is true that a complete failsafe remedy has not been isolated for migraine. But a combination of factors can help minimize the severity and frequency of migraine attacks. You don’t have to grapple helplessly with migraine headaches and migraine symptoms and lose precious man hours and suffer pain without submitting yourself to migraine treatment.

Preventing Migraine the Natural Way

May 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Headaches

Migraine is common condition that affects many people. There are many simple and natural ways to getting rid of migraines, or at least lessening their occurence and pain.

• Getting the necessary amount of sleep is an effective way of preventing migraine headaches, since sleep rests and relaxes the body. If, added to this, body is kept fit and healthy, it will further minimize the chances of getting headaches and migraines. Another preventive mechanism is taking melatonin, which is a body substance that aids in good sleep and also functions as a pain inhibitor. Depletion of this can increase the chances of migraine. Taking it in the form of dietary supplements can help.

• Aromatherapy is another migraine prevention aid. Night bath with aromatherapy essential oils will relax the entire body and tone up the muscles and give a person a good night’s sleep and thereby reduce the chances of headaches and migraines. Aromatherapy is a holistic form of treatment. As such when one body part is rested and toned, its effect will be seen in other body parts also.

• Smoking and drinking habits can trigger migraine headaches at the slightest provocation. So these have to be controlled. Foodstuffs that are migraine friendly are chocolates and nuts and can be avoided by those who have a tendency to have migraine headaches easily. Other things that could cause headaches are stress, tension, anxiety etc. These may not be completely avoidable, but they invariably give rise to headaches and migraines in those who are prone to it and might create a vicious circle of one leading to the other and then back again.

• Never let the body dehydrate. This can easily trigger a migraine headache. Exposure to the sun is another factor that can easily lead to headaches and migraines. Those who are prone to migraine should preferably avoid getting exposed to the sun, especially in summer. And where the situation is unavoidable, he or she should be amply protected by hat or cap or umbrella to ward off the sun’s rays and thus ward off a migraine attack.

None of these preventive mechanisms are absolute guarantee that you can entirely ward off future migraine attacks. But they could reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. Providing the body with the necessary amount of relaxation, and keeping off substances that could lead to migraine headaches, can reduce the chances of getting a migraine attack. And if a person can rest or relax or take some migraine medication as soon as he gets the warning bells, the intensity and duration of a migraine attack can be lessened.

Natural preventive mechanisms can definitely help in reducing the chances of getting migraine headaches. However, even for taking a supplement like melatonin, a physician should be consulted. There is every possibility that it could reduce the incidence of migraine problems, but that could not be at the cost of creating other health problems.

Key Facts About Migraines

May 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Headaches

Headaches and migraines are a common health problem.

Basic information regarding migraines:

A migraine headache is believed to result from the enlargement of blood vessels. Another explanation for migraine symptoms is that certain chemicals are released into the system from nerves. The headache could result from either of these or a combination of both. Because of the role blood vessels play in a migraine headache, it is often referred to as a ‘vascular headache.’ A migraine headache is such a crushing and excruciating pain that victims often refer to it as a migraine attack.

What leads to migraine symptoms?

Much of the migraine symptoms are believed to be the result of the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Besides the piercing pain, there is generally nausea and vomiting, and sometimes diarrhea. Blurred vision, being oversensitive to sound, paleness of skin, and cold hands and feet are other migraine symptoms.

Statistics of migraine headaches:

About 28 million people are victims of headaches and migraines in America alone. There are more reported cases of migraine headaches among women than men. The severity of migraine headaches is such that sufferers are invariably forced to skip school or office. Prognosis for migraine headaches is not very satisfactory, since only half of the sufferers seek proper migraine treatment.

The crushing pain of migraine:

Migraine headaches generally involve severe pain, and the victim has a pounding feeling in the head which makes it impossible for him to even open the eyes. The pain may sometimes be on one side of the head and sometimes on both sides. And a person, who had pain on one side of the head during one migraine attack, might have pain on the other side when he gets the next migraine headache. However, all migraine attacks may not be accompanied with a headache. Migraine headaches are a chronic condition and diagnosis and treatment will take time to show tangible results.

Warning signals of an impending migraine attack:

Those who are chronic migraine patients can easily sense the symptoms of an approaching migraine attack. Fatigue, irritability, throbbing at the temples, certain types of cravings for food, yawning, or inability to focus, can be warning bells that something is amiss. There is also something known as migraine aura, experienced by some victims of migraine. Migraine aura consists of a sensation of bright lights in the center of the vision which moves outwards. In others migraine aura will be a black hole like feeling in the center of vision. Migraine aura can also be peculiar auditory sensations like tastes and smells.

How to Get Migraine Relief the Natural Way

May 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Headaches

Many of us might have been victims of a maddening migraine headache now and then. Or, we might have seen a friend of a kin suffering from a tension headache. Causes of headaches are galore and headache remedies are a dime dozen. Most people do pop up a pill now and then for relief from migraine headache, for in the daily marathons round work and home, people are not left with much choice. Most of the headache remedies have bad side effects, and these have been noted for quite some time. However, of late, media has given a lot of publicity to the side effects of headache remedies and this has re-established the importance of the holistic approach to treating migraine headaches. The holistic solution to migraine is easy to remember if one opts to remember it as ABC of migraine relief.

• A is for acupuncture. Acupuncture is a tested and proven therapeutic system the practice of which has spanned millenniums. It is now being used extensively for migraine relief. An acupuncture needle pricks to open up clogged areas of blood vessels or nerves, which are believed to interfere with the free flow of energy. Lots of people suffering from migraine headaches have got relief by resorting to acupuncture. Acupuncture is most effective if you can submit yourself to it when you get warnings of an impending migraine headache. However, even after headache sets in, getting a shot can lessen the intensity and duration.

• B is for biofeedback. Biofeedback is an alternative system of medicine that measures a patient’s body details like blood pressure, pulse, or muscle tension, and conveys these to him. The awareness of body functions that is thus created is believed to help him to control these physical processes. Many of the problems that connect body and mind like stress, tension, panic, or nervousness can be controlled by biofeedback. The system works well for getting relief from migraine headaches, since it is often induced by stress. The patient is made aware of what created migraine in the first place, and will thus be able to control it.

• C is for the importance of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is believed to help control migraine headaches. Sometimes tension headaches are triggered by some body imbalances which vitamin C can neutralize. At other times vitamin C may increase the secretion of some hormones that can help in fighting migraine headaches. Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C or it can be taken as a nutritional supplement.

Though the ABC rule of migraine treatment is normally free of side effects, it is always best to consult a physician before starting it. Body constitution of each individual is unique and there could be things in a person that could work against any of these treatments, however effective they may be in migraine relief.

Holistic approach to treatment, and most alternative systems of medicine, emphasize on treating the body as a whole, whether it is to cure migraine headaches or other ailments. So it could be best to take the counsel of an osteopathic physician, since they place a lot of emphasis on maintaining normal body mechanics. In the complete body approach that they follow, it might be easier to find headache remedies and better migraine relief and migraine help.
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Causes of headaches, migraine relief, tension headaches , migraine treatment ,
migraine help

Alternative Systems of Medicines for Migraines

May 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Headaches

There are many alternative systems of medicine that can be used to treat almost every medical condition. Migraine headaches can be treated using alternative medicines. These systems span a wide spectrum and most have been found to be effective in migraine treatment and treatment of tension headaches.

The better known alternative medicines are biofeedback, massage, cervical manipulation, natural supplements, and acupuncture. Each of these analyzes the causes of headache and provides migraine relief in different, but effective ways.

The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture therapy consists if inserting a very fine needle into some body parts. The needle is very fine and the prick very fast that it involves practically no pain at all. The therapy has been effective for migraine headaches and headaches of all types. However, the efficacy of the treatment has not been established enough to recommend it as a foolproof migraine treatment.

In Biofeedback, a patient’s body mechanics and responses are monitored and controlled by the patient himself. This has also been found to work reasonably well in certain cases of migraine headaches though migraine relief is typically achieved here when used in combination with other therapies.

Massage therapy has all along been used not just as a headache remedy but as a remedy for relieving muscular tension, stress, exhaustion etc. Tension headaches and migraine headaches have responded well to treatment by biofeedback. More studies have to be conducted to fully establish the power of the system as a migraine treatment.

Next is taking commonly available vitamin supplements like riboflavin, which is a B-12 supplement, oral magnesium sulfate, or coenzyme Q 10. The extracts of the plant feverfew belonging to the sunflower family, or another plant butterbur, have the ability to ward off migraine pain, and as such these herbs are popular in migraine treatment. Feverfew is believed to limit the inflammation of blood vessels in the head. The effectiveness of the herbs in migraine headaches are yet to be fully clinically established. Still, the testimonials of those who have used it as headache remedies support the argument that they could be useful in migraine treatment. Likewise, taking vitamin supplements have also helped many people in getting migraine relief.

Herbs like butterbur or feverfew is not recommended as migraine treatment for women who are pregnant or could become pregnant. And everybody is strongly recommended to consult their personal physician before using vitamin supplements or herbal remedies for headaches and migraines.

With all the efficacy of alternative medicines for headaches and migraines, they could sometimes become counterproductive if they negatively react with another medication that you could be taking on a regular basis, or your previous medical history. Hence the need to check with your doctor before opting for a new type of migraine treatment.

A Guidebook of Information on Migraine

May 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Headaches

Simply put, migraine is a neurological problem. And symptoms of migraine are mainly a splitting headache, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes sound sensitivity, and lack of appetite. Women are found to be more prone to the problem of migraine than men.

The pain of a migraine headache is a throbbing, pounding type of pain. Migraine pain can either be restricted to just one side of the head or can be on both sides of the head. The intensity of a migraine headache can vary from mild to extremely severe. Its duration can also, likewise, be anything from 4 hours to 3 full days. Other symptoms of migraine that accompany the headache are nausea, vomiting, and aversion to light and sound.

A third of those who suffer from migraine headaches complain of what is known as migraine aura. A migraine aura is the appearance in a person’s line of vision, strange things like zigzag lines, bright lights, or distorted shapes of myriad size and colors. Tunnel vision, a slightly blurred vision, or appearance of dark spots, are also manifestations of migraine aura in relation to vision. Other sensory perceptions that signify a migraine aura are strange smells, hearing of a buzzing sound or strange voices, a feeling of numbness or tingling on face and limbs, and a feeling of being detached from one’s own body. Those who are experiencing migraine aura may also feel unsteady and anxious, and may become unable to comprehend what others are saying. Sweating, drooling, and hot flushes can also be symptoms of migraine aura.

Though there are many symptoms associated with migraine headaches, more cases of migraine attacks are devoid of any form of migraine aura. Besides these two types of migraines, there are other categories of migraines as well. One is known as FHM or familial hemiplegic migraines. This variety of migraines is the result of ion channel mutations. Typical migraine symptoms of those with this type of migraine are weakness of arms and legs of one side, and sight and speech difficulties. Yet another variety is abdominal migraine, which is more common among children. There is no migraine headache here and the pain is abdominal and can last from 1 hour to 72 hours.

In the next type known as acephalgic migraine, the migraine aura is likely to be there, but without a migraine headache. There is yet another one known as menstrual migraine where one type, the PMM or pure menstrual migraine takes place at the time of the monthly menstrual cycle, whereas the other one, MRM or menstrual related migraine can occur at any time, and is marked by pains of varying intensities. There are indeed a wide variety of migraines.