Month: September, 2017
Quandary of Being a Woman and Having Hormones and Headaches
It is a little known (or little recognized) fact that women experience are more likely to experience headaches than men do.
Science believes that women may have more painful headaches than men, as well. Naturally, there are a number of factors that
come into play when considering an individual’s chances of developing headaches, and the frequency of such problems. Age,
genetics, and family history can all play a role, but for women, there are a couple of other factors to be considered.
Hormone levels and birth control pills (which tamper with current levels or introduce synthetic hormones to the body) are
both possible factors in the headache equation.
As stated, there are several factors that can play a role in someone’s chances of getting headaches. For example, age appears
to be a big factor. The older one gets, theoretically, the more prone one is to experiencing headaches. People with a family
history of being susceptible to the problem are also at increased risk, though whether or not there is a concrete genetic
link is still uncertain. However, women have come to note that changes in hormones can often be accompanied by headaches.
This can include things like certain periods of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and any other times or circumstances that
alter a woman’s usual hormone levels. This includes the use (or overuse) of birth control pills and patches, which introduce
The simple cause of this would be progesterone and estrogen, sometimes known as the core hormones of the female physiology.
The two of them may have an effect on other chemicals in the body, along with a variety of chemical receptors. Among the many
possible physiological compounds that can be affected by the two mentioned above are the ones that regulate and coordinate
headaches in the brain. This usually occurs due to some form of “correspondence” with other chemicals in the brain. For
example, high levels of estrogen and low levels of serotonin have been known to cause headaches in some patients, with the
intensity varying from the mild to the severe. As can be expected, there are times when the synthetic hormones of birth
control pills can also have similar effects.
Of course, just because hormone levels are a natural part of the body and can’t be discarded completely doesn’t mean the
average woman is defenseless against them. Modern medicine has ways of helping treat – or prevent, as the case may be – the
headaches. Most over-the-counter pain relievers are good ways of combating headaches that come during the start of
menstruation, which is typically accompanied by a sudden drop in estrogen levels. Proper diet and exercise, which are
basically considered to be good for pretty much anything, can also help reduce the intensity of hormone-related headaches
when they come. Proper and adequate sleep can also be critical in this.
What about those who use birth control pills? There are ways to fight off hormone-related headaches for women on the pill,
though the advice may be a tad bit different from those of women who aren’t. Taking a program that has more or less placebo
days can be useful in helping combat the potential increase in hormonal headaches. There are also pills and patches that do
not use estrogen or progesterone, and thus there is no increased risk of headaches.
I have a migraine headache
I’ve been around several people that use the word Migraine, when they talk about having a headeache. Do these people actually have migraines? What is a migraine, and are there ways to relieve them? These are some of the questions I will answer.
The word “migraine” comes from the Greek word “hemikranion” which translates to “pain affectin one side of the head”. A Migraine is a headache in a form, that is usually very strong and can almost be disabling, when intense. Unlike commong headache’s which everyone is prone to, migraines are a neurologic disease, and the most common type of vascular headache.
Although everyone individual affected by migraines will characterize the symptoms differently, the book says: severe pain on one or more sides of the head, an upset stomach, and at times disturbed vision. The difference between a headache and migraine is summed up in the word “Aura”, which refers to the migraine features that are non-headache like. Migraines have been present throughout history, and it is known that family history and genetic factors are important in the likelyhood of migraines.
Many doctors deal with migraines, and will have several recommended treatment for migraines. It is in my experience that over the counter pain killers, and other drugs have their part in reducing the pain migraines cause, but are never actually able to cure them. Along with these drugs come several unfriendly side-effects, which are not enjoyable to say the least. Of course these side effects and effectiveness of the drugs are different on an invidual basis. The treatment that I have seen to be the most effective is the use of Chinese medicine, in particular accupuncture. Accupuncture is a natural medicine in that you are not injecting any drugs or anything inside of your body. You are simply just working with what is already there. Talk to your physician, and others that have experienced migraines, to find out what steps might be right for you.
Smoking and Migraines
Is there a connection between smoking and migraines?
The correct answer is “maybe” to “probably”. There is currently no study data specifically addressing this issue. Studies of smoking and chronic headaches in general (not all chronic headaches are migraines) are available, but their application to migraines is limited.
A study of smoking and patients with chronic cluster headaches yielded some telling results. Smoking patients who decreased their smoking by less than a half of a pack daily reduced their headache frequency by an amazing 50%. This study just asked patients to cut down n their smoking, not to eliminate it. Imagine the results that might have been achieved if the smokers quit entirely!
In another study, 53% of migraine patients who eliminated smoking in conjunction with the elimination of personally identified food triggers experienced a complete cessation of migraines. By contrast, only 13% of non-smoking patients who eliminated their food triggers became migraine-free.
Many migraineurs (people who suffer from migraine headaches) are sensitive to strong smells, like perfume, food odors, and, yes, tobacco smoke. Others are specifically sensitive only to the scent of tobacco smoke. Still others are allergic to cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke.
All of these people report having smoking or secondhand smoke trigger a migraine. Sometimes the smoke is the only trigger, sometimes it is part of a combination of triggers. Experts and sufferers agree there must be a link between smoking and migraines, somewhere, waiting to be uncovered.
Many of the commonly known effects of smoking are particularly detrimental to those prone to headaches and head pain. These side effects include elevated blood pressure, inflammation or irritation of the sinus cavities and nasal passages, and higher risk of stroke. Health officials all agree on one thing, smoking is contraindicated for everyone in every situation and migraine sufferers are no exception.
Genetic Research into Migraines
Migraine headaches are a huge health problem. In a 2004 report, the World Health Organization (WHO) called migraines and headache disorders a global public health calamity. Migraines and other chronic headache conditions are disabling. In the same report, the WHO ranked migraine as one of the top twenty conditions in the world to cause years of healthy life lost due to disability. Migraines and all other headache disorders combined rank in the top ten causes of disability. As a result of the increasing global recognition of migraine as a health threat, genetic research into the condition has multiplied exponentially in the last ten to fifteen years.
Doctors have long known that a child with two migraineur parent will likely have migraines. A 2000 Danish study using primarily twins indicated that migraine without aura (common migraine) is approximately sixty-one percent genetic. The other thirty-nine percent was attributed to genetic factors, making migraines a partially genetic disease. Family history studies and the Danish study both suggest that migraines are a multi-genomic condition, meaning that several genes or combinations of genes are required for the condition to be inherited.
In a study published in June 2003, Dutch doctors revealed that a particular sub-type of migraine, familial hemiplegic migraine, follows a conventional Mendelian inheritance pattern (simple inheritance) in seventy-five percent of all cases. The same study indicated that common migraine is considerably more complex. Several potential genetic loci have been looked at.
The Genomics Research Centre at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, reports progress in locating genetic loci for migraines. Researchers have been studying multi-generational migraine sufferers within the same family for years. According to their website, the researchers have identified three different genetic regions on the chromosomes 1, 19, and X that harbor genes which increase migraine susceptibility. This type of research may eventually lead to a genetic treatment for migraines.
Sinusitis Causes Headaches
Anyone who’s ever suffered from sinusitis will confess to having had bouts of headaches. However, it may not always be caused by sinusitis.
An interesting case was written by a certain “DP” to Doctor Vincent Martin detailing the hardships “he” bore in connection with headaches seemingly caused by sinusitis. The patient has consulted with different specialists but still the condition persists.
There is evidence linking sinus infections to the headaches being felt by people who suffer from the disorder. Headache specialists agree that sinus infections can trigger headaches.
A number of mechanisms are responsible for triggering this effect. Chronic nasal or sinus disease are said to lead to headaches through these mechanisms theoretically. One of these would be through the obstruction of the nasal passage when the membranes of the nose swell or through abnormalities in the bone structure of the nose. There are instances when the drainage of our sinuses are also plugged making way for changes in the air pressure in the sinuses and this causes the pain we perceive as headaches. This is the other mechanism which contributes to the headache effect of sinus infections.
There are reports that people who suffer from this headache found an improvement after having been treated of their nasal and sinus disorders. These are the ones who have undergone treatments that included antihistamines, decongestants and nasal sprays containing steroids. These medications often improve nasal congestion and/or drainage of the sinuses.
However, I have to agree with Doctor Martin that the sinus infection per se is not the real cause for these headaches. There may be instances when it will be the cause but oftentimes they only serve as trigger for the headaches which might be caused by other disorders. Fact is, these headaches that are attributed to sinus infections may be migraine or other forms of vascular or “tension” headaches that also give pain in the forehead and around the eyes
Undergoing a comprehensive diagnosis with a competent physician will yield an accurate assessment of your condition. Great is the discomfort suffered by people afflicted with sinus infections and seeking medical help as soon as possible is very much advised.
Migraine Headaches – Effective Natural Treatment Methods!
Headaches are comprised of two major categories, primary and secondary. Headaches belonging to the primary group are not caused by underlying medical conditions while secondary headaches are the result of a medical condition such as trauma, infection or possibly even a brain tumor. Most headaches belong in the primary category.
The primary category headaches include migraine headaches and tension headaches. These two headache types are the most common of all headaches with tension-type headaches being the most common. Tension headaches constitute about 75% of all headaches while migraine headaches affect as many as 30 or 40 million Americans, or approximately 10% or more of the American population.
Migraine headaches can become chronic in nature, but are typically experienced at most once or twice a week, not daily. Females experience the pain of migraines about 3 times as often as males, or about 75% of the time. Migraine headaches can be severe and disabling. They can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and a sensitivity to light. About 20% of migraine patients will experience an aura. An aura is a disturbance in vision that consists of brightly colored blinking lights that move across a person’s field of vision.
There are many types of treatment methods that are available to migraine sufferers, both natural and unnatural. The most common method of treatment are pain relievers that are bought without a prescription, or over-the-counter. Non-prescription drugs can include aspirin, Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin (ibuprofen), or a combination of acetaminophen and aspirin. These are the most commonly purchased types of non-prescription pain relievers. Migraine headache patients experiencing more severe pain may need prescription medicine.
There are also many types of natural treatment methods that don’t involve the use of non-prescription or prescription medications. These methods of treatment can often relieve migraine headache symptoms and are increasingly gaining popularity in today’s society as people are becoming more educated on the potentially dangerous side effects of drugs. One of these natural treatment methods is putting an ice pack on the back of the neck at the base of the skull. When using an ice pack there should be a barrier between the ice pack and the skin such as a wetted cloth or t-shirt that has had the water squeezed out of it. Ice therapy can lessen the flow of blood to the head resulting in less pressure in the head. It can often help relieve the throbbing pain of a migraine headache by decreasing the flow of blood to the head. It is often beneficial for a person to put their feet in a container of warm water at the same time. This can have the effect of attracting the blood to the feet instead of to the head.
Migraine headaches can sometimes be caused by foods and can be prevented by eliminating these food triggers. Foods that can trigger migraine headaches include, but are not limited to, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, MSG (monosodium glutamate), nuts, cheese, beans, onions and others. Eliminating the trigger may eliminate the migraines.
Another natural treatment method for migraine headaches is simply to reduce stress by relaxing. Many migraines are caused by stress, so eliminating the stress can relieve the pain. Relieving stress can sometimes be achieved by getting plenty of sleep, lying down in a dark quiet room, or a combination of lying down in a dark quiet room with a small ice pack positioned on the neck at the base of the skull as explained above.
This article is a general overview with regard to natural migraine headache treatment methods and may not apply to everyone. As always it is a good idea to seek the help of a professional before treating yourself for a potentially serious health condition.
Migraine Headaches – Is Relief Without Drugs Possible?
Natural treatment methods for migraine headaches are usually harmless and also cheaper than traditional pain medications. Sure, it’s possible you could experience a negative reaction or even increase your headache pain because of a natural treatment, but the odds are far less than with pain-relieving medications.
People are different from each other. A natural treatment that might relieve one person’s migraine headaches may not relieve someone else’s. But on the same measure, just because one migraine headache treatment does not work for one person does not mean it won’t work for you. There are many effective alternatives to taking medication when it comes to relieving migraine headaches. One of these alternative methods may be just what you have been looking for.
Chiropractic adjustments, or chiropractic manipulations, are a very popular natural treatment method for headache relief. Patients with migraine headaches have been visiting chiropractors for over 100 years, and with very good results. Studies have shown that over 80% of headache patients find relief with chiropractic care. Plus, chiropractic treatment has been shown to be extremely safe. Spinal problems do cause headaches and by correcting these spinal problems many headache sufferers find welcome relief.
Biofeedback is another form of treatment that is safe and can be effective in eliminating pain. Biofeedback is a training program designed to help a person develop the ability to control their autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. Functions that are normally automatic can be controlled voluntarily. This technique makes it possible for a person to control their own heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, and of course, the relaxation of their tense muscles.
Stress can cause tension, which can lead to muscle tightness (muscle tension) and cause headaches. By relaxing these tense muscles, especially in the neck, it is possible to relieve the tension causing the migraine headaches. With biofeedback, once the technique is learned there is no longer any need for the biofeedback equipment. The patient with migraine headaches can now produce the desired effect at any. They can control certain bodily functions, such as muscle relaxation, which can help reduce and relieve their migraine headaches.
Most people are unaware that too much salt can cause headaches. And by simply lessening the salt intake headaches can sometimes be prevented.
Food allergies or sensitivities can also cause migraine headaches. Certain foods such as cheese, alcohol, monosodium glutamate (a food additive), nuts, beans, caffeine, chocolate and onions can cause migraines. Foods that cause headaches are called “triggers.” People who experience migraine headaches because of food sensitivities can eliminate their pain by simply eliminating the foods causing the pain.
However, it’s not always easy to discover which foods are the culprits. One way is to keep a food diary. Get a small notebook, with each page representing one day. On each daily page make three columns. The first column will contain the hours in the day. The second column will be a list of the foods eaten that day. And the third column will list the symptoms that you experience.
As an example, if you had eggs and toast for breakfast at 8 AM you would write “eggs and toast” in the food column that corresponds with 8 AM. Make a note of everything that is eaten on this list and at what time they were eaten.
When you eventually experience a migraine headache you write “migraine headache” or “headache” down in the symptoms column at the time it began. For example, if one of your headaches begins at 2 PM you will write “headache” in the symptoms column for 2 PM.
It may take a few weeks or even a few months, but after experiencing a few migraine headaches, with the help of the food diary, you will be able to tell which foods cause headaches. Over time, by figuring out which ingredients in these foods are causing your pain, you will be able to eliminate these ingredients and relieve some pain.
Another very common cause of tension headaches and migraine headaches is just plain stress. People who experience tension can get headaches from their increased tension.
Relieving tension can often relieve migraine headaches. Tension can be relieved in many ways such as with biofeedback training (as explained above), taking a warm bath or shower, lying down and resting in a quiet dark room, putting something cold on the back of the neck (at the base of the skull) or having someone massage your neck muscles and possibly your temporal region to help relieve your tension and muscle spasms. Regular exercise can also, over time, reduce tension.
These are just a few of the many natural treatment methods that are available to migraine headache patients. They are all considered safe and are effective for many people. If you have headaches it may be beneficial to try some of these treatments or search out others on your own. But as always it is a good idea to talk with your doctor before attempting to treat yourself for a health problem.
Immediate treatment for Tension Headaches
Tension Headaches were renamed from tension-type headaches, and were referred to as stress headaches, are one of the most common forms of headaches. These may occur at any age but the most victims of these are adults and adolescents. A tension headache may occur periodically or daily. When tension headache appears in less than fifthteen days in a month, it is called Episodic. When tension headache appears for a longer time like two or more times weekly for several months or longer, it is considered chronic. Unfortunately, chronic tension headaches sometimes persists for years.
When Tension Headaches attack, an acute illness on both sides of the head occurs. Tension Headache is a mild to moderate steady pain, tightness or pressure around the head and neck. In its most extensive form, the pain feels like a hooded cape that drapes down over the shoulders. The severity of the pain varies from one person to another, and from one headache to another in the same person. Many people report that the pain starts first thing in the morning or late in the day when work stress or conflict at home is anticipated. Possible cause of these headaches are environmental and or internal stress. This includes family problem, social relationships, and frustrations in everyday life like in school or work.
Tension Headaches really affects our everyday lifestyle. These must be treated immediately before worst comes to worst. For those who have Episodic Tension Headaches, there are an over-the-counter analgesics such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin. There are also many Pain Relievers on the Internet like Fioricet and Tramadol. When choosing the best pain reliever for you, you should also check the label and the possible side effects with other medicines your taking with. If you have questions or you are not sure what medications to take, ask your doctor or a pharmacist. If you are already experiencing Long term Tension Headaches or what so we called Chronic Tension Headaches, and pain relievers no longer help you, you should see a doctor for further advice.
Helpful Tips Offering Relief From Migraine Headaches
Migraine headaches affect millions of individuals around the world. They are extremely painful and hard to bear. Migraines can last anywhere from one hour to three or four days. Within that time, it may literally be impossible for migraine suffers to function properly. Although relief might not come right away, there are many options available that soothe or cure migraine headaches.
A migraine is classified as a serve headache that can often impair one’s judgment. When a migraine occurs, suffers regularly experience the following symptoms:
• difficulty seeing
It is not uncommon for migrane suffers to be unable to look at lights or the sun without suffering intense pain. Migrane headache may be brought on by a variety of things. Children and adults are susceptible to migraines, and they often happen unexpectedly. Migraines can be brought on by stress, certain foods, a poor eating habits, or hormones. Migraine headaches are also hereditary, therefore, there are many families may experience migraine headaches at the same time.
The best way to get relief from migraine headaches is by speaking to your physician. If you suspect that you are suffering from migraines, you most likely are, however, many treatment options must first be prescribed by a healthcare professional. There are physicians who specialize in migraines and other head related pains, however, your family physician can often diagnose and offer treatment options for receiving relief from migraine headaches.
Over the counter pain killers are the best available option for getting quick relief from migraine headaches without visiting a physician. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen are common over-the-counter drug medications that are available at most drug or department stores,and they can normally be purchased at a fairly low price. If you regularly suffer from migraine headaches, it may be a good idea to have some of this medication on hand. There are even over the counter medications designed specifically for relief from migraine headaches. It is important to remember that an excessive dosage of these over-the-counter drugs can cause liver or stomach damage. They relieve, but do not cure, your migraine headaches, nor do they preven them from returning. Over-the-counter medications offer temporary relief for your migraine headaches, often until you have been properly examined and treated by a physician.
One of the easiest ways to receive relief from migraine headaches is by sleeping. Although it will not eliminate your pain, rest and relaxation is an effective way to help minimize or reduce the excruciating pain of migraine headaches. If you are able to take a break, laying down or just resting inside a dark, quiet room may allow you to order your thoughts and to reduce your stress levels. Sleeping or resting may offer much needed pain relief from migraine headaches.
If you are unable to control the pain associated with your migraine headaches, it is extremely important that you contact your physician. Beta blockers, along with other medications, offer quick relief from migraine headaches, however, they are only available with a prescription. If you experience migraines, do not suffer any longer than you need to. Contact your physician or healthcare professional for effective ways to receive relief from your migraine headaches.
Migraines and Obesity
Are you more likely to have migraines if you are obese?
The simple answer, for adults, is no.
The more complicated answer is sort-of. Obesity does not cause migraines in adults—the jury is still out on how obesity affects pediatric migraine
That’s the good news. The bad news is that migraine and obesity can have a devastating affect on each other.
While obesity does not cause migraines, migraines, especially for people with migraines plus chronic daily headaches, can lead to obesity. People with migraines are likely to spend more time being sedentary, forced to inaction by the pain in their head. Additionally, many medications given to migraineurs cause weight gain directly, others cause it indirectly by increasing appetite.
Weight gain leads to depression in many people, which leads to more unhealthy behaviors (compulsiveness, hopelessness, increased inactivity, etc.) Inaction, weight gain, and increased appetite—a road that begins in migraine may well end in obesity.
Recent studies have divided migraineurs into different categories by their body mass index (BMI). The higher the body mass index, the more overweight the patient. The majority of the study participants were women, and median age was approximately 38 years.
Obese migraineurs, those with a BMI of 30 or higher, are far more likely to have extra problems with their migraines than people with a lower BMI are. Patients with higher body mass indexes reported more frequent headaches that lasted longer and were more severe than those experienced by lower BMI patients were.
There have been several studies on weight and headache prevalence, especially migraines, in children and teens. The initial results are a little frightening since almost all of them saw a correlation between a high BMI and incidence of migraines and other types of severe headaches (tension headaches, cluster headaches). All agreed, however, that more research is needed.