Managing Migraine Headaches

Written by AnaLise on October 30, 2008 – 10:24 am -

There are over 30 million migraine sufferers in the United States and about 65% of these individuals are women.  Researchers have determined that migraines are genetic – so the majority of migraine sufferers inherit these debilitating headaches through heredity.

If your parents and/or grandparents had migraines there is nearly a 60% chance that you will have migraines. This does not mean that you are doomed to a life of migraines without help or relief.

Besides heredity, there are other causes of migraines, such as environment and serious head and neck injuries. Dr. Merle Diamond says, “A person with migraines has a more sensitive nervous system, which is extremely impacted by changes in hormones, lack of sleep, skipping meals, red wine, smoke, stress or other triggers.”   Dr. Diamond of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago also explains, “These triggers lead to changes in the brain, which turn on the brainstem, which dilates blood vessels and causes inflammation, which causes the pain.” 

Too many migraine sufferers try over-the-counter migraine medication only to find that they don’t usually help bring relief, they actually can make migraine headaches worse.  Some of the ingredients in over-the-counter medications are actually irritants when it comes to migraines.

This doesn’t mean that there is nothing to bring relief.  Unlike 20 years ago, these days there are many prescription medications that your doctor can prescribe specifically for migraine headaches.  There are other medication that can help an individual deal with stress and other issues that may be bringing on the headaches.

The most important thing a migraine sufferer can do is seek treatment through a doctor – especially one who specializes in this area.  Don’t be a hero and ignore your symptoms.  Not only could they get worse, they could also lead to a stroke.  In addition, migraines are connected to other cardiovascular issues.

Managing your migraines is not impossible.  It may take a little time to find the right treatment and/or meds, but once you and your doctor or chiropractor are able to determine a good plan to control your symptoms, the time you took to find a way to manage your migraines will be worth it.


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Natural Remedies for Migraines

Written by AnaLise on October 9, 2008 – 3:18 pm -

Headaches have been one of the most common complaints of many adults.  In fact, doctors and researchers have discovered through studies that children and teens have headaches, too.

We used to think that headaches only occurred in adults and that migraines were not something that happened to kids.  Now doctors have discovered that not only do kids get migraines; but kids from age 1 through teens to adulthood can experience them on a regular basis.  Doctors that used to dismiss these as not being real now realize that these are real and that they can be quite serious.

The issue of treating migraines in children is a delicate one.  On the one hand, you want to help them control their symptoms and give them relief.  On the other hand, their parents don’t necessarily want them to start taking strong drugs, especially at a young age.

There are some natural ways to deal with migraines.  For one thing, finding out if there are specific foods or other triggers to the headaches is a good place to start.  I am seriously allergic to red wine.  I found out because three separate times, several months apart, I drank about a half a glass of red wine and within two hours had to be rushed to the emergency hospital for the massive headache that resulted.  Why did it take three times?  One reason is that I had never had this happen before, and it was thought that I might have eaten something that triggered the headache.  The second reason is that there was not as much known about migraines and triggers then as there is known now.  The last reason is that since I rarely drank red wine and these incidents happened months apart, it took some time to make the connection.  I can drink white wine to my heart’s content (though I rarely do), but I never drink red wine.

Aside from the triggers, there are things that can help with migraines once you have one or once you feel one coming on.  Natural herbs, such as feverfew, butterbur, lavender, gingko biloba, rosemary and chamomile are all said to work against migraines.  Various things will work for different people.

If none of these things work well, there is ice, biofeedback, relaxation exercises, massage and, of course, medication.  Usually, though, the various herbs mentioned in this article can help either alone or in tandem. 


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