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Missing A Few Pieces — Migraine Headaches

October 21st, 2008
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I suffer from migraine headaches. Plagued for many years, I do not know why I get them and the doctors have a wide variety of opinions. Today’s migraine was a doozy.

If you have every had a migraine you know. If you are not sure if you have had one, here is a brief rendition of a bad one…

I dropped my daughter off at nursery school. I had a few hours to get through my list of errands. First stop was Sears to take care of some billing matter. I was in the store for quite some time and they had floruesant lighting. This is a known culprit for causing a migraine headache. There is something about the flickering pattern of the lights that goes unnoticed by most people. The zigzag patterns and flashes of electric light started echoing in my eyes. No one else can see them except me and other migraine sufferers. When the zigzags start it makes it difficult to see clearly. I was happy to get out of there, but not happy that I had a migraine coming on.

The next stop was Kmart. I only had one item that I needed to buy, but I would have liked to comb through the store and do some shopping. The flickers of electric light intensified in my eye sockets. This reminded me to get what I came for and get out of there as soon as possible.

I was hungry, so I thought that might be aggravating the migraine (another reported cause of migraines – low blood sugar). I stopped to get something to eat. I still had some grocery shopping on my agenda, so I ate lunch quickly. I watched the clock and tried my best to out run the inevitable.

Migraine Triggers synopsis from http://www.NYM.org

A wide range of events and conditions can alter conditions in the brain that bring on nerve excitation and trigger migraines. They include, but are not limited to the following:

- Emotional stress (although the headaches often erupt after the stress has eased).
- Intense physical exertion.
- Abrupt weather changes.
- Bright or flickering lights.
- High altitude.
- Travel motion.
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- Low blood sugar has been known to trigger headaches and fasting can often precipitate migraines.
- Chemicals found in certain foods may trigger headaches in some people. More than 100 foods have the capacity to trigger migraine headache.

See http://www.nym.org/healthinfo/docs/097/doc97nonmedic.html#triggerfoods for a list of foods that may trigger migraine headaches.

At the supermarket, my migraine headache was in full swing. My patience was wearing thin, my list of items was not near complete and the numbness started in my left hand. By the time I got to the check out counter I was nauseous. The numbness had moved from my left hand, across my face and was tingling my right hand. The woman at the counter asked if I was ok as I flexed my right hand trying to regain feeling. I was afraid and unable to talk at that point I just shock my head, no. Once I get to that stage of the migraine my speech is impaired. I am unable to speak in complete sentences, so I did not even try to answer her. I made it to the car in a complete panic.

The supermarket was only a few minutes drive from my house. I pulled in the driveway, dropped my pocketbook at the door and left the groceries in the car. I yelled to my husband to pick up my daughter and get the groceries. I took a few aspirins and went straight to bed. A cold compress and sleep is the only remedy that works for my migraines.

Three hours later, my husband woke me up for dinner – God bless his soul. He knows my migraine routine all too well and took care of the kids while I was on sabbatical.

It took about an hour after waking up to fully recover. The migraine was gone, but I did not have much of an appetite. Your brain also feels like it has voids. Empty spaces that need to come together before you feel normal again. It is an unsettling feeling not being in control of your mind. The aftermath is like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle, but you are missing a few pieces.

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Stress and Migraine Headache

October 9th, 2008
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What is a migraine headache?

· A very severe pain felt on one or sometimes both sides of the head. · As well as this pain there may be nausea and vomiting. · Can occur at any time · Pain is mostly around the temples or behind the eyes · Sensitive to sound and light · Can last a few hours or days

Migraine is three times more common in women than in men. Unfortunately, migraines are quite a common condition. People who suffer should avoid factors like alcohol, lack of sleep, nicotine and chocolate and foods that are know to cause attacks. It is very difficult to pin point just which food causes a migraine, and if you suffer from them often it would be useful to keep a food dairy so that you would know for sure. For instance, if you ate cheese and had a migraine within a short time after: you could cut out the cheese and see what happens. The whole point is to identify the cause straight away. A lot of people think that hotdogs and some other meat products cause migraine headaches. Is could be true for the simple reason that processed meat products are high in sodium nitrate which one of the main migraine food triggers. Although each migraine sufferer may react to a different food or group of foods, there are a few which seem to pop up as frequent offenders: dairy, wheat, eggs, soy, corn, citrus, chocolate, coffee, beef, yeast, red wine, and processed foods with additives and preservatives

Some people can tell when they are about to have a migraine because they see flashing lights or zigzag lines or they temporarily lose their vision. Doctors used to believe migraines were linked to the opening and narrowing of blood vessels in the head.

Migraine are a likely cause for people to suffer depression and other somatic symptoms like fatigue, joint pain and insomnia. The results of test have showed that chronic headache, severe disability and high somatic symptoms were strongly linked to major depression, and this link was strongest for those who had also been diagnosed with migraine. The single most common cause of migraines in individuals is stress. As this is the case, life can be difficult for the migraine suffer because stress is defined as anything that can be a physical danger, or something that is perceived to be a danger to our physical or emotional health. If you are living, breathing, or working at this moment, you have stress. It is something you cannot avoid. Stress can be any demand that is placed on us either physically or emotionally and our response to that demand.

Finding ways to cope with the stress in your life will help you explore ways to cope with those stressors. Make a list of events in your life that are causing you stress. Have you moved recently, gone to a new job, or had a promotion? All of these may cause stress even if they are good events. After you have made your list, write down how you can relieve some of the stress on the list. You can choose how you respond to stress, you can respond negatively or positively.

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress could involve drug or alcohol abuse, over-eating, self-imposed isolation, and procrastination in performing a task.

Healthier ways of coping with the stress is to exercise, have some time for yourself, balance the work you are doing with a little play time, and use a schedule to manage your time better. Learn to recognize which relaxation techniques work best for you. Maybe you can cope with stress by going for a walk, reading a book for pleasure, or listening to soothing music. Meeting with friends is another way of positively coping with stress. Enjoy a good phone conversation, or write a letter or e-mail to a loved one or friend.

Listening to music can help you cope with stress. Listening to music before you go to bed can relax you and help you to fall asleep. Stay away from rousing rock, or intense fiery music, instead, listen to soothing classical, or the sounds of the ocean. Other soothing sounds can help you relax and release stress before you go to bed.

Taking a warm bath may also aid you in relieving stress. Soaking in a hot bubble bath with scented salts added or candles burning around you and lighting is dimmed is a wonderful way to erase the stress and cares of the day. If you are feeling overwhelmed, a soak in the tub may ease you enough to successfully cope with the stress of the day. A rest in a dark room is also a great way to stop things getting on top of you.

Try some natural treatments for your migraine, they are harmless and as opposed to drugs; do not have any side effects. – Use a sinus mask (they are great in a cool dark room) and they can be applied hot or cold.Go to http://www.crystalrocksaltlamp.com/site/1351713/product/SOL4 to view details. Have a drink of water or natural juice, especially tomato juice. There’s something in natural sugar that helps the body absorb it. Eat a wholesome balanced diet of natural foods including fruit.

Once you have identified your stressors and found ways of coping with them, the next step is to change your behaviour patterns and responses. Recognize the ways you are reacting to the stress in your life. Realize there is some things you can change such as your thoughts and emotional responses to stress, and some stressors are out of your control. Begin changing your behaviour to use healthy coping skills. Practice these new skills even if you don’t feel intense pressure on any given day.

Easy and Effective Migraine Massage Video

October 9th, 2008
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This video shows how to do a massage when you suffer from migraine headache type of symptom. It seems quite easy, however it is quite effective.

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