Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Clear your head of migraines


Headaches make life miserable, whereas a migraine disables your life totally. Migraines are severe, throbbing headaches that may or may not be accompanied by nausea, visual disturbances, and other symptoms, usually felt on one side of the head. Migraine pain can be excruciating, and normally it lasts for 4 to 72 hours. Rapid widening and narrowing of blood vessels in the brain and head, lead to migraine headaches.

  • Researches say migraines may occur due to imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin, which regulates pain messages.
  • Women are three times more likely to be afflicted with migraine pains than men. Higher incidences of migraine in women may result from fluctuations in the level of the hormone estrogen. Women get more migraines around their time of menstruation, when estrogen levels are low. During pregnancy and menopause, or when taking birth control pills migraines may strike women often.
  • Low blood sugar and migraines are often associated. Studies have shown that blood sugar levels are usually low during a migraine attack.
  • People low on magnesium may complain of higher incidences of migraine.
  • Infection with H. pylori, an organism that causes peptic ulcers may predispose people to migraines.
  • Migraines can run in families. They occur most often in people between ages twenty and thirty five, and tend to decline with age. They can occur once a week to two to three times a year.

Innumerable factors can trigger migraine in susceptible individuals. They are—

  • Allergies
  • Constipation
  • Stress
  • Liver malfunction
  • Oversleeping or not getting enough sleep
  • Hormonal changes
  • Sun glare
  • Flashing lights
  • Lack of exercise
  • Changes in barometric pressure
  • Dental problems

Migraine Management

  • Sumatriptan, is specifically designed to treat migraines. It mimics the action of serotonin by binding to serotonin receptors and causing blood vessels to constrict.
  • Beta-blockers—which are commonly used to treat high blood pressure and coronary artery disease—can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
  • Certain anti-depressants are good at helping prevent all types of headaches including migraines.
  • Supplements of vitamin B12 and magnesium may help in migraine management.
  • Investigate acupressure, acupuncture and massage for relief from migraine pains.
  • Eat six small meals through out the day, to keep your blood sugar at stable levels.
  • See your dentist for treatment of any tooth problems, as they can precipitate migraines.
  • Ginger has prostaglandins, having a ginger brewed tea, might stop a migraine attack.
  • Before starting on any medication for migraine, consult your doctor. Do not take regularly over the counter drugs for pain management owing to migraines. They may increase your risk of heart attack and cardio-vascular disease.
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Category: Body Talk
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