Category Archives: Migraine Headaches

How to help your headaches- Headache Awareness Month 2019

brain, headache, health, migraineTraffic, rude neighbors or co-workers, and financial stress are some the of common things in life that can cause stress. In turn, this stress can give you a headache. Besides literally being a pain, chronic headaches can reduce quality of life and lead to other health issues over time. In honor of June, which is Headache Awareness Month, let’s learn more about headaches and how you can manage them naturally.

All about headaches

When it comes to headaches, not all of them are created equal. This is because some can be worse than others, they can affect different sides of the head, and some last longer than others. The two major types of headaches are tension headaches and migraines.

First of all, the most common type of headache is the tension headache. Tension headaches may stem from mental stress, or tension, as well as too little sleep, too much alcohol, or a mental health condition like anxiety or depression. And according to experts, tension headaches usually occur as a result of tight muscles in the shoulder, neck, scalp, and jaw.

The second major type of headache is the migraine. And unlike tension headaches, migraines involve a whole different level of pain. This is because migraines cause more than just a head ache. In fact, other symptoms of a migraine can include:

  • moderate to severe throbbing often on one side of the head
  • sensitivity to light and sound
  • nausea
  • vision changes such as flashing lights or temporary loss of vision

Headache management 

Typical treatment of a headache may involve an over the counter pain reliever. However, if you deal with headaches often, you may want to find more natural ways to deal with your condition to avoid taking so much medicine. Some natural ways of dealing with headaches include:

Acupuncture: This age-old technique of inserting thin needles in certain areas of the skin has been shown to help reduce headaches if the active points are targeted. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you visit an acupuncturist who has experience and training in treating headaches to ensure you receive the most effective treatment.

Massage: Through manipulation of soft tissues of the body, research shows that massage can help relieve tension-type headaches.

Spinal manipulation: Healthcare providers like chiropractors can provide spinal manipulation treatment. This type of treatment involves applying a controlled force to a joint in the spine. By doing this, research shows that this type of treatment may help reduce the pain and intensity of migraine headaches. However, it’s important to note that such manipulation may cause side effects. Such side effects may include temporary headaches, tiredness, or discomfort in the area that was worked on. Therefore, be sure to talk with your doctor before opting for this headache treatment.

Breathing exercises: Although there have been limited studies done, one study does show that breathing exercises, such as those involved with yoga, can help lessen headache intensity and frequency. Therefore, it may do your body and mind good to add yoga to your weekly routine. Other breathing-related exercises that may help include meditation, relaxation breathing, or tai chi.

Losing weight or diet changes: Experts suggest that you can manage headaches by losing weight or taking a magnesium supplement daily. Also, adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet could help with headache treatment. Such foods include spinach, quinoa, nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts, as well as black beans, avocado, and tofu, to name a few.

Certain dietary supplements: According to the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society, the supplement butterbur is effective in reducing the severity and frequency of migraine attacks. It’s important to note though that the effects of long-term use of this supplement are not known. Also, it’s thought that extended use could harm the liver. Therefore, be sure to have other options in your headache treatment routine and ask your doctor before starting this supplement.

Instead of this supplement then, it may be worth it to try a more natural and safe supplement such as Migravent by Vita Sciences. Migravent contains natural ingredients like specialized PA free butterbur, CoQ10, magnesium, and riboflavin for advanced neurological support. PA free butterbur means that you receive the migraine health benefits of butterbur without the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that are unhealthy for your liver.

Take home message

Headaches can literally be a pain in the neck. Therefore, it’s always good to have an array of remedies up your sleeve. This way you can deal with them effectively when you need to. For ways you can help support research on headache treatment as well as for resources and events to advocate for those who suffer from such health issues, be sure to visit the American Headache Society website today.

-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD

References:

American Headache Society (accessed June 4, 2019) “How to Participate in Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.”

Goldman, R. (last updated July 26, 2017) “Ten foods high in magnesium.” Medical News Today.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (last modified May 16, 2019) “Headaches: In Depth.”

 

 


  • Could weight loss help lower risk of migraine?

    anxiety, stress, depression, health, mental health, headache, migraineWith summer on the horizon, weight loss efforts are in full bloom. However, weight loss can provide more than just body confidence. The Centers for Disease Control report that just losing 5-percent of your body weight, which is equal to about 10 pounds for a 200 lb. person, can lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Not to mention that a recent study shows that losing weight can also lower risk of migraines.

    What is a migraine?

    A migraine is a recurring type of headache that causes a throbbing or pulsing pain along with other uncomfortable symptoms. Other symptoms of a migraine may include:

    • nausea
    • weakness
    • sensitivity to light and sound

    Migraines can be triggered by a variety of different things such as:

    • stress
    • anxiety
    • hormonal changes in women
    • loud noises
    • bright or flashing lights
    • lack of sleep
    • tobacco
    • skipped meals
    • certain medicines
    • caffeine
    • too much activity (overexertion)

    Women and those with a family history of migraines are at greater risk of developing migraines. Treatment usually includes certain pain relievers, resting with your eyes closed in a quiet, dark room, as well as placing an eye pack on your forehead and drinking plenty of fluids.

    Migraines and weight loss

    A recent study analyzed data from 10 different studies regarding migraine occurrence. Study results show that those who lost weight had a reduction in the days per month they had migraines. Also, pain severity and duration of the headache was reduced with weight loss. The results seemed to be the same in adults and kids. Also, results were similar for anyone who lost weight, no matter how the weight was lost (i.e. surgery, diet and exercise).

    It is thought that those who are overweight or obese may be more at risk for migraine headaches due to inflammation. Researchers suggest that certain proteins released by fat tissue, obesity-related health problems such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes, as well as psychological risk factors, stroke, and respiratory conditions may also increase risk of headaches in those who are overweight or obese.

    If you have migraines, but have not found success with any medications over-the-counter, then you may want to visit your doctor for suggestions. Another option is to try a natural supplement like Migravent by Vita Sciences. Migravent contains ingredients like CoQ10, magnesium, and riboflavin, among others to help promote migraine relief and provide neurological support.

    Tips on losing weight 

    There are many ways to approach weight loss. It will vary according to the individual. Your current health status will determine your nutrient needs and exercise tolerance. Also, your food allergies or intolerances and daily schedule will help determine the eating plan that will work best for you. The key is to start changing unhealthy habits one at a time. Over time, you will create the healthy lifestyle that helps you meet your health goals and that is easy for you to stick with for the long term.

    Here are some tips to help you start planning your weight loss program.

    • Write down short-term and long-term goals: Although the term goals may make some people sigh in frustration, they are important for keeping you on track with your weight loss regimen. Start by writing out your ultimate goal for the year, then break it down into smaller goals such as monthly goals. For example, your yearly goal may be to lose 50 pounds. Since this can seem overwhelming to approach, break this goal down into smaller monthly goals. These goals should be S.M.A.R.T., or specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. A goal of this kind will help you track your progress since it’s measurable. Therefore, instead of just saying “I want to eat more vegetables,” instead you could make one of your monthly goals “I will eat at least one cup of vegetables at each meal over the next four weeks.”
    • Make time for planning and prepping meals: Your busy schedule may have you pressed for time. However, in order to have the best chance of weight loss success, you need to make time for meal planning and prepping. Just an hour a week can give you plenty of time to write a shopping list and meal calendar. These tools can help you know what foods you need to stay on track with your diet. A registered dietitian may be helpful to get you started on such as meal plan. Once you have the foods you need in stock, then just take another hour or so a week to wash, chop, dice, and portion out fruit and vegetables for meals and snacks. This can provide convenient meal and snack options that can make it easier for you to stay on track throughout the week.
    • Be active whenever possible: Every step counts, so move whenever possible. Take the stairs when you can, or walk your dog or take a walk after meals. You can also take a walk at lunch at work or home to help get some steps in and aid digestion.
    • Visit your doctor regularly: You should visit your doctor at least once a year to check your numbers. These numbers include blood pressure, weight, and labs like cholesterol and blood glucose. However, if you have a chronic condition or are at risk for such conditions like heart disease or diabetes, then you should visit twice a year or more to keep track of your numbers and risk factors.
    • Be accountable: Besides going to the doctor, it’s important to stay accountable in other ways as well to stay on track with your weight loss. This means weekly weigh-ins, having a weight loss buddy, and/or having a health coach to support you and provide motivation along the way.

    -written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD of LighttrackNutrition.com

    References:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (last reviewed February 13, 2018) “Losing Weight.” https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html

    Mayo Clinic Medline Plus (Last updated on February 7, 2019) “Migraine.” https://medlineplus.gov/migraine.html

    MindTools (accessed March 27, 2019) “SMART Goals: How to Make Your Goals Achievable.” https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm

    Preidt, R. (March 25, 2019) “Fewer Excess Pounds May Mean Fewer Migraines.” https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2019-03-23/fewer-excess-pounds-may-mean-fewer-migraines

     


  • Can you treat a migraine without pain medicine?

    migraine, headache, medicine, painIf you have ever had a migraine headache, you know the pain is so intense that a trip to the hospital may be in store.  In this case, the ER staff may use an opioid  pain medicine as a first resort. However, a recent study has shown that this commonly used drug, also known for its addictive qualities, may not be the best choice for migraine relief.

    What is a migraine?

    A migraine headache involves a throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head, usually along with other symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light are some of the most common symptoms of such headaches. Pain can occur for hours, or even days, and warning symptoms such as  constipation, mood changes, neck stiffness, increased thirst, or frequent yawning may precede a migraine.  In rare cases, right before a migraine you may get aura symptoms such as flashes of light or blind spots.  In the 24 hours after, you may have symptoms such as confusion, moodiness, dizziness, and weakness.

    Aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine may be used for treatment of most migraines. More severe cases may require medications such as Triptan or Ergot, which help constrict blood vessels and block pain pathways.  However, opioids are used if a person cannot tolerate such medicines.

    Migraine Relief Research

    A recent study in the journal Neurology looked at 127 patients who had at least trips to the New York emergency department for migraine headaches.  Half of the patients received the opioid hydromorphone and the other half received an IV of the dopamine-releasing drug prochlorperazine.

    After 48 hours of treatment, sixty-percent of people from the prochlorperazine group versus thirty-percent of the hydromorphone group felt relief.  In addition, the prochlorperazine group was 30-percent less likely to ask for more pain medicine after treatment than the opioid group (6-percent versus 36-percent).  This study suggests that anti-dopaminergic drugs may provide more relief to migraine headache sufferers than opioids. However, you should be sure to talk with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment for you.

    Natural Ways to Relieve Migraine Pain

    • Learn to cope (LTC) : This treatment gradually exposes patients to headache triggers to help them become desensitized to such triggers.
    • Practice consistent overall wellness: Be sure to get a good night’s sleep of at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night and eat healthy, balanced meals every day. Also, be sure to find healthy ways to manage stress such as doing yoga, engaging in relaxation breathing, or taking a walk daily.
    • Stay active: Regular exercise can help not only manage stress, but can also prevent migraines.  Exercise reduces such headaches by reducing tension in the body. Furthermore, staying active can help reduce body weight.  Since obesity is thought to be a risk factor for migraine headaches, weight loss could reduce such risk.
    • Other medicinal treatments: Cardiovascular or anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, and Botox may be prescribed to help prevent migraine headaches. However, for the more natural route, reach for Migravent by Vita Sciences.  Migravent contains natural ingredients such as PA-free butterbur, CoQ10, magnesium,  and riboflavin. This formula has been found to help prevent migraines and support reduced frequency of such headaches and related symptoms.

    Disclaimer: Please be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new medication.

    -written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

    Sources:

    Mayo Clinic (April 26, 2017) “Migraine”

    Medline Plus (October 18, 2017) “Skip Opioid Treatment for Migraine in the ER”


  • With or Without Migraine Aura, It’s Still Migraine

    Migraine aura: A question that many migraine patients have about chronic headaches is whether or not experiencing an aura (flashing lights) is important for diagnosing migraine disorder. There are many different types of migraines, and they can vary for each individual…and for each migraine headache episode.

    With or Without Migraine Aura, It’s Still Migraine

    Migraine types

    According to the International Headache Society (HIS) Classification System, migraines are primary headaches. Other primary headaches include tension-type headaches and cluster headaches.

    Classifications for migraine headaches include migraines with aura, migraines without aura, migraines without headaches, childhood migraines, and so forth.

    To define which type of migraine you have, it’s important to take into account all the various symptoms you experience, such as nausea, headaches, neck soreness, eye sensitivity, stomachaches, vomiting, diarrhea, mood swings, visual disturbances, speech slurring, vertigo, and extreme crushing fatigue.

    Anatomy of a migraine attack

    There are four main phases that occur when you have a migraine attack. They include:

    • Prodrome- unusual cravings, loss of appetite, excitability, fatigue, thirst; these happen about one day earlier.
    • Aura- migraine aura phase (see below)
    • Migraine headache
    • Postdrome- migraine hangover, recuperation following migraine attack

    Migraine aura

    Approximately one-third of all migraine patients experience the aura phase of a migraine attack. This is a set of symptoms that develops gradually minutes before a migraine strikes and can last as long as one hour. Sometimes, migraine aura occurs without headache, and ends with a feeling of hangover.

    To diagnose migraine with aura, you would have to have experienced at least one of the following symptoms minutes before a migraine attack, at least twice that you can remember. Symptoms are temporary, and cannot be attributed to any other underlying health problems.

    Visual disturbances:

    • Flashing bright lights
    • Oscillating arc image
    • Zig-zagging line
    • Light specks that flicker
    • Temporary loss of peripheral vision
    • Dark void in vision
    • Double or blurred vision

    Sensory disturbances:

    • Hallucinatory scents
    • Vertigo
    • Distorted spatial awareness
    • Faces appear grossly large or small
    • Loss of sense of time passing
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Numbness
    • Partial paralysis

    Speech disturbances

    • Dysarthria speech distortion
    • Apraxia- paralyzed speech
    • Slurring
    • Numbness in tongue

    Migraines with aura

    Migraines without aura follow the prodrome phase, as opposed to an aura phase.  A migraine without aura can be just as debilitating as a migraine with aura, and can last for hours or days.

    If you experience migraines without the aura, don’t hesitate to ask your physician to refer you to a migraine headache specialist.

    Treatments

    Migraine abortive medications, preventatives, and pain treatments are often prescribed, in addition to migraine trigger avoidance.

    Some helpful natural supplements for migraines are butterbur, magnesium, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10.

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  • pediatric migraine headaches, Vita Sciences

    Pediatric Migraine Tips for Parents

    Pediatric migraine symptoms are frightening and debilitating, Worse, many doctors don’t know how to treat pediatric migraine in small children or teens.

    Pediatric migraines are different

    When children get migraines, their symptoms are often much different than the ones experienced by their parents or other adult migraine sufferers.

    With children, migraine attacks usually occur in the stomach. Most of the time, kids with migraines report feeling suddenly sick to their stomach, fatigued, and feeling the urge to vomit right away. Most- nearly 80 percent- have a very hard time focusing on school work because of a migraine attack, and their grades and attendance suffer as a result.

    How common are pediatric migraines?

    Migraines seem to increase with age, although it’s hard to be certain, as children under the age of five have difficulty explaining symptoms to their parents that may indicate migraine.

    Only about 3 percent of preschool kids get migraines, but that number escalates to 11 percent by the time they reach grade school. Among high school students, nearly a quarter experience frequent migraine headaches, fatigue, dizziness, stomach pain, and extreme sensitivity to bright lights.

    Just as with adults, most teen migraine sufferers are females.

    Do migraine drugs help children?

    Currently, there is no clear evidence that migraine preventive medications for adults can help children, as well. Though the FDA approves the use of antiseizure drugs (Topamax), antidepressants (Elavil), and calcium channel blockers (Covera) to help prevent migraine attacks in adults, many studies show that for pediatric migraines, prescription medications aren’t always the best option.

    Recently, scientists studied the effects of migraine prophylaxis medications on children with “episodic migraines,” migraine attacks that occur fewer than 15 times per month.

    For the study, researchers focused on anticonvulsant medications, antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, antihistamines, NSAIDs, and drugs for high blood pressure- all of which are often prescribed for adult migraine prevention.

    In most cases, the placebo was most effective at reducing the rate of migraine attacks in children, while the migraine preventive treatments had virtually no effect.

    Study co-author Dr. Jeffrey Jackson concluded that despite the amount of research we have collected over the years on the best ways to prevent migraines, we really know very little on how to help children who suffer debilitating migraine headaches.

    “It’s very discouraging. I was rather shocked to see, quite frankly, how few studies were done among children with headaches, and that the handful of studies we have suggest that the benefits of these drugs, if any, aren’t really big.” -Jackson

    When asked to comment on side effects associated the migraine prophylaxis meds, Dr. Jackson agrees that parents shouldn’t rush to administer the pill right away.

    “These medicines are kind of nasty. Some cause dry mouth, or fatigue, or problems with concentrating. They’re not really medicines you would want your vibrant teen to be on if they’re not working.”

    So, what does help?

    Experts agree that natural prevention is your best defense against migraines, for children as well as for adults.

    As a parent, you can best help your child by helping her to become familiar with common migraine triggers in food. Caffeine can sometimes make headaches worse, or it can provide relief; it’s different for each individual. Overripe fruits, chocolate, and deli meats are typical menu items that can guarantee a migraine attack. To find out which foods should be cut out, try putting your child on an elimination (restrictive) diet.

    Irregular eating and sleeping patterns are common culprits. Does your child sleep the same hours each day, or does she go to bed late on weekends? Does she ever skip meals? The migraine brain hates change, so instilling a rigid sleep and eating schedule is a good way to prevent migraine attacks from occurring.

    Stress is a big contributor to migraines, as well. While stressful situations don’t actually cause migraine headaches, they do make them more likely to occur.

    If your child gets migraines with aura, then teach her how to recognize the symptoms and use them to her benefit. Flashing, twinkling or shifting light patterns, dizziness, and speech slurring are all cues that a migraine is approaching. At school, your child should ask to see the nurse and explain that she is having a migraine aura, and needs a few minutes to lie down with the lights turned off.

    Many parents have also found that natural supplements help with pediatric migraines. Herbs such as butterbur are safe for children and adults alike, and cause no harmful side effects. Other helpful nutrients for migraines in children include magnesium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and coenzyme Q10.

    Nevertheless, please consult in a doctor before trying out any new migraine treatment for your child, including natural vitamins, minerals, and herbs.

    Migravent

    Try Migravent!

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    Please tell us…

    What medications have you found to be most helpful for preventing migraines in your child/children? Do you and your child both suffer from migraine attacks?

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  • Vertigo and Dizziness with Migraines

    Experiencing vertigo and dizziness with migraines? Migraines affect millions of Americans with crushing headaches and other devastating ailments that make it difficult to work or function normally.

    Migraine headache and vertigo dizziness

    Vertigo and Dizziness with Migraines Headaches

    Migrainous vertigo, a vestibular disorder causing dizziness, nausea, and balance problems strikes a large percentage of migraine patients.

    Migraine associated vertigo (MAV)

    Though it’s not always accepted as an indicator of migraine illness, dizziness and vertigo are common vascular side effects that occur often in people with a history of migraine attacks. Many doctors use a patient’s headache frequency as the measuring stick of chronic migraines, not taking into account other comorbid conditions that occur even without the prevalence of strong head pain.

    Vertigo associated with migraines can point to a deeper underlying problem that requires medical attention, or at least signify the need for a change in migraine treatment.

    Vestibular migraine

    Nearly 35% of migraine sufferers experience vestibular disturbances such as dizziness, vertigo, and other balance issues. Scientists have seen high correlations between migraine disorder and a variety of illnesses that cause wooziness, unsteadiness, light-headed sensations, and confusion.

    Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and Ménière’s disease are examples of vestibular dysfunctions that occur often in people with chronic or episodic migraines.

    Vertigo symptoms

    Symptoms of vestibular disorders that may occur with migraine include:

    • Dizziness
    • Vertigo- a sensation that the room is spinning, similar to intoxication, even while lying, sitting, or standing still
    • Sensitivity to movement of the head
    • Motion sickness
    • Extreme sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises
    • Vision problems
    • Difficulty keeping balance, disequilibrium
    • Tinnitus or Ménière’s disease- ear ringing, headaches, ear fullness
    • Neck pain and muscle spasms
    • Confusion
    • Loss of spatial awareness
    • Anxiety

    Testing and treatment

    If you experience vertigo or dizziness before, during, or after a migraine attack, then speak to a physician immediately. He may want to order diagnostic tests to rule out stroke, concussion, or brain tumor.

    For help, your doctor may recommend a visit to a neurologist, osteopath, or vestibular rehabilitation therapists.

    Lifestyle modifications can help improve your tolerance for pain and help with migraine management. These include light exercise, meditation, reducing migraine triggers in diet, and supplementing with vitamins, minerals, and herbs that benefit migraine-specific neurological functioning.

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    Please tell us…

    If you suffer from migraine, do you also experience severe dizziness, even without headaches?

    What helps to relieve dizziness and nausea?


  • Is it Migraine or Tension Headache? Comparison Chart

    Do you always know if you’re experiencing migraine or tension headache symptoms? Both can occur from extreme stress and fatigue. To prevent rebound headache and find the best treatment possible, it’s important to know exactly what’s causing your headache to begin with. Here is a handy chart to help you learn different symptoms and treatments for migraine and tension headaches.

    Is it Migraine or Tension Headache? Comparison Chart

    Migraine or Tension Headache: Quick reference

    • Migraines are a neurological disorder causing a vast array of symptoms, including debilitating head pain that last for hours, sometimes days. In addition, sufferers experience tiredness, nausea, stomach pain, dizziness, and the need to vomit.
    • Tension headaches are primarily caused by stress and fatigue. Headaches from tense muscles are much easier to treat than migraines, as they respond to medication much better.

    Head pain type

    Tension headache: Dull pressure, the sensation of a band strapped tightly across the head or neck. Pain is mild or moderate.

    Migraine: Throbbing, intense pounding on one side of the head, often at the temple or eye areas. Pain is moderate to extreme, making it difficult to concentrate or think about anything else.

    Location of head pain

    Tension headache: Scalp, forehead, neck, temples.

    Migraine: Temples, eyes.

    Pain duration

    Tension headache: Pain increases and subsides over the course of the day, or for several days.

    Migraine: Headache comes on strong, stays intense for hours. For people with chronic migraines, headaches return repeatedly- more than 15 times per month.

    Comorbid symptoms

    Tension headache: Insomnia, neck stiffness, stress.

    Migraine: Sensitivity to lights (photophobia), scents, and noise; nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, vertigo, distorted speech, partial paralysis, feebleness, loss of consciousness, visual distortions.

    Headache triggers

    Tension headache triggers: Stress, tiredness, bad posture, eye strain, hunger.

    Migraine headache triggers: Food ingredients, scents, noise, bright lights, weather, allergies, air pressure, stress, tension headaches, hunger, irregular sleep patterns, dehydration, cigarette smoke, hormonal fluctuations.

    Warning signs

    Tension headache: None.

    Migraine (with aura): Prodrome phase that occurs hours before, causing symptoms such as euphoria, olfactory hallucinations, unusual cravings, and edginess. Minutes before, some migraineurs experience aura- strange visual disturbances and stroke-like symptoms.

    Migraine Aura and Prodrome- What’s the Difference?

    Prevalence

    Most headache sufferers- from tension type and migraine combined- are female.

    Treatment

    Tension headache: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually sufficient to get rid of a tension headache, although it may take a few days.

    Migraine: There are many different types of migraines, so only your doctor can prescribe the best possible course of treatment for symptoms of migraine attacks.

    There is no cure for migraine illness, but by using daily migraine preventative treatments, many are able to thwart off the majority of migraine headaches and symptoms of nausea, dizziness, and fatigue.

    Popular natural herbs and vitamins for migraine help include PA-free butterbur root, magnesium, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10. Find them here.

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  • Just How Many Types of Migraine Are There?

    Which types of migraine do you suffer? There are different types of migraine headaches, each requiring special treatment and migraine trigger avoidance strategies.

    Just How Many Types of Migraine Are There?

    Types of Migraine

    Migraines are generally defined by the specific symptoms, plus the assumed migraine triggers or cause. Migraine attack symptoms vary for each individual, and can be inconsistent.

    Migraines with Aura

    Basically, migraines are divided into two groups: those that follow a “migraine aura” and those that don’t.

    The migraine aura is a warning signal that happens mere seconds before a migraine strikes.  Symptoms can be frightening and debilitating: sudden vertigo, partial paralysis, distorted sense of spatial awareness, speech slurring, strange flashes of lights or colors, and sometimes brief loss of consciousness.

    Sometimes a migraine aura gives you time to prepare and quickly take an abortive medication, but not always.

    Ocular Migraine

    An ocular migraine refers to a migraine with aura, and defines the specific phenomenon that occurs during this migraine phase. Other names includeophthalmic migraine or retinal migraine.

    There are different types of ocular migraine, depending on which type of visual distortion you experience before a migraine attack occurs.

    Symptoms of ocular migraine include blurred vision, bright specks of light, zigzagging lines, oscillating arcs, temporary partial blindness in one eye, floating lines, and dark void that increases.

    Acephalgic Migraine

    Also called “silent migraines,” an acephalgic migraine includes all the symptoms of a migraine attack, minus the headache.  Somebody suffering from acephalgic migraines may experience frequent dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, visual distortions, vertigo, and extreme fatigue- all symptoms that occur often with migraines with aura.

    Migraine Auras without Headache: Silent Migraines

    Seasonal Migraines

    Sometimes, your migraine headaches occur only with changes in climate. Migraines are characteristically hypersensitive to changes of any kind (e.g. hormones, blood sugar, and sleep schedules), so fluctuations in the weather that occur with the change of seasons can trigger strong headaches for many people who are predisposed to migraines.

    Other reasons for season migraines can include allergens in the air, arid weather, or even seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that afflicts some people in the winter.

    Cyclic Migraine Syndrome

    Also called unspecified migraine, cyclic migraines don’t follow any pattern that can be traced easily. You may go through a phase of chronic migraine headaches- more than 15 per month- and then experience a weeks-long respite, only to have the vicious cycle repeat all over again.

    Abdominal Migraine

    Abdominal migraines are usually the earliest sign of pediatric migraine, as they’re mostly common in children who have inherited migraines from their family. Still, abdominal migraines can occur with adults.

    Symptoms of abdominal migraine include intense stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

    Natural Options for Helping Migraines

    Prescription migraine pills can help to reduce migraine attack frequency, but can also cause harmful side effects, such as memory loss, dizziness, change in appetite, and even headaches. Please ask your doctor about some natural ingredients that, when taken daily, can provide positive results without side effects, and can be taken safely with most migraine headache medications.


  • Natural Migraine Relief- At Last

    Natural Migraine Relief- At Last

    Migraine headache specialists recommend combining natural migraine relief tactics with conventional medicine for best results. Many popular natural herbs, vitamins, and minerals have beneficial properties that have been used for centuries to combat everyday ailments. These have also been proven to help with chronic migraine attacks.

    Natural migraine relief supplements

    In a study published in 2003 by the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association, researchers noted exceptional benefits when migraine sufferers used a variety of natural ingredients as part of their daily migraine management regimen.

    Listed are some of the best supplements recommended by migraine clinics worldwide.

    Vitamin E

    Vitamin E helps to maintain normal blood flow and is helpful for your immune system. For migraines, researchers found that vitamin E supplements are particularly helpful for women suffering from menstrual migraines. Out of 72 female migraine sufferers, the participants who took vitamin E noticed positive results in relation to migraine sensitivity to bright lights, noises, and nausea.

    Vitamin B6

    Vitamin B6 is a nutrient that requires constant replenishment. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the immune system and the assimilation of serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters. Vitamin B6 deficiency is linked with depression, anxiety, and increased risk for neurological illnesses, such as migraine. Researchers have noted abnormally low serotonin levels in migraine patients, possibly as a result of low vitamin B6 levels.

    In a 2009 study on migraines with aura, patients who took a combination of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid saw a 50% difference in the brain’s response to migraine triggers, noting an allover improvement in health and comfort.

    Butterbur

    Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) is an ancient herb that has been used for centuries to help with common debilitating symptoms. Today, butterbur supplements are advised for people who experience frequent migraines and allergy symptoms. Beneficial properties include muscle spasm reduction and a proper biological response to inflammation, both of which are helpful for migraines.

    Only PA-free butterbur supplements are safe for human consumption.

    Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

    Riboflavin is a popular ingredient in migraine vitamins, as it is helpful for producing red blood cells and maintain good mitochondrial health. Doctors have seen vitamin B2 deficiency in people who complain of frequent migraine headaches. In a 2004 study, patients who took riboflavin reported substantial benefits, compared with those who took a placebo pill. Factors considered included number of headaches per month and the amount of painkillers needed to provide relief.

    Coenzyme Q10

    Coenzyme Q10 helps your body produce healthy cells, and also boosts energy. Doctors often recommend CoQ10 for people suffering from cardiovascular problems and migraine attacks. In several placebo-based studies, scientists noticed positive results in migraine sufferers who took Coenzyme Q10.

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones. Many of us don’t utilize vitamin D well as we age, resulting in osteoporosis. Vitamin D is also helpful for immune system integrity and your body’s inflammation response. In 2008, the American Headache Society published a report shedding light on a 42% vitamin D deficiency in people with migraines. In 1991, a separate study found that vitamin D is helpful for daily pain symptoms that don’t respond to common painkillers.

    Magnesium

    Magnesium is an essential mineral for many biological responses throughout your body; it supports your immune system, enzyme production, and nervous system health. For migraineurs, magnesium helps to maintain a normal neurological response to common migraine triggers. Doctors have also noticed unusually low magnesium levels in people who experience frequent migraine headaches with aura. Scientists are currently investigating the healthful properties of magnesium in supporting good heart health and blood pressure.

    Takeaway

    For advanced migraine care, try a supplement containing all of the most effective natural ingredients in one pill.

    Speak to your healthcare provider before beginning any natural migraine relief regimen. The information stated here is not meant to take the place of a doctor’s advice.

     

    References:

    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminb6.asp

    http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/abstract/63/12/2240

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR601201

    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp#h3

    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/coenzyme-q10/NS_patient-coenzymeq10

     

     


  • What Works for Migraines? New Study

    In a recent study, patients tell researchers what works for migraines, comparing prescription migraine drugs with natural, alternative vitamins and lifestyle changes. The results may surprise you.

    What works for Migraines

    Migraines are a neurological illness that inflicts sufferers with frequent crippling headaches, nausea, stomach cramps, vertigo, and all-over body pain. Doctors have been working on a “cure” for years, but it seems that some of the most effective treatments that help don’t require a prescription at all.

    What works for migraines?

    Disclaimer: Please don’t ever consider stopping your current migraine medication or starting a new one without your doctor’s consent. This does not constitute medical advice, but rather a general awareness of what researchers have discovered when interviewing patients of chronic migraine attacks.

    Eighty percent choose natural therapy.

    Results are based on a survey by Cure Together that is available online.

    Of the top ten best-rated treatments for migraine headaches, only two are migraine prescription medications; that’s an 80% success rate for natural preventative medicine and migraine trigger avoidance.

    Top 10 list

    1. Sitting in a dark, quiet room.
    2. Taking a nap.
    3. Avoiding red wine.
    4. Waiting it out.
    5. Eliminating MSG.
    6. Avoiding smoke or quitting smoking.
    7. Wearing sunglasses, even indoors.
    8. Intravenous dihydroergotamine Injection (DHE)
    9. Imitrex (sumatriptan) injection
    10. Pressing an ice pack or cool towel on head or neck.

    Popularity vs. effectiveness

    Interestingly enough, some of the most effective treatments for migraine headaches are also the least practiced. According to the infographic on Cure Together, the most oft-prescribed migraine drugs are rated by patients as the least helpful in relieving migraines. Conversely, natural migraine strategies that work, such as lifestyle changes and nutrients such as butterbur, riboflavin, CoQ10, and magnesium seem to be the least prescribed and the bottom of the go-to list for migraine prevention.

    Is it any wonder, then, that so many people continue to suffer from excruciating migraine attacks?

    Natural vitamins, herbs, and other nutrients

    Out of all the treatments rated in this survey, the one that got the best response- lying down in a quiet room- garnered 893 points. Using that number as a guideline, you can see that vitamin supplements for migraines get a huge thumbs-up for simple effectiveness without side effects.

    • Magnesium- 556
    • Vitamin B2- 380
    • Coenzyme Q10- 296
    • Vitamin B12- 247
    • Vitamin D3- 130
    • Butterbur-  115
    • Vitamin B6- 106

    Hint: Migravent has all of the top-rated ingredients!

    Migravent for Migraines

    Please share!

    What treatment do you believe works for migraines better than anything else?

    Did you like this article? Please tweet, blog, or share this on Facebook with anybody who suffers from migraines or is otherwise involved with migraine awareness. Feel free to leave your comments below.

     Image by Stuart Miles