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Friday, March 22, 2013

This Man Has a MIGRAINE--Not Just An Ordinary Headache

Migraines are not just simple headaches. Migraines are intense, throbbing pain in the head that can last for hours or even days. They are usually accompanied by sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting and even diarrhea. Approximately 28 million people suffer from migraines. What causes them, and how can they be treated?

Types of Migraines
Not all migraines are the same. Some people may experience some of the symptoms and others may experience all of them. The pain can be located in just one area or can move from side-to-side. Some migraine sufferers may experience what is known as the aura that occurs just before a migraine. Auras usually include flashes of light, blind spots, a feeling of tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound. This can occur during the migraine as well. One factor that is common among all migraine sufferers is intense, excruciating pain.

What Causes Migraines
While not much is known as to why migraines affect some people and not others, researchers have found that they are caused by enlargement of blood vessels. These vessels are located at the temple. When they enlarge, they also release chemicals that cause inflammation and pain. Migraines can be triggered by:
  • Changes in the weather, particularly barometric pressure
  • Sensitivity to smells from perfume or paint
  • Anything that fits tight around the head, like a headband, can put a strain on the connective tissue in the scalp and trigger a headache.
  • Foods - anything that contains tyramine, like red wine and aged cheese, processed foods that contain nitrites (hot dogs), and MSG found in many oriental foods.
  • Strenuous exercise
Other things that can trigger a migraine include hunger (skipping meals), too much caffeine, smoking, not drinking enough liquids, and stress.

Over-the-counter treatments include naproxen, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and other analgesics like Excedrin. Other treatments are prescribed medications like antidepressants and beta blockers, acupuncture, and Botox. Of course, avoiding all the things that trigger migraines will also go a long way toward limiting their occurrence or preventing them altogether.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.