Posts Tagged ‘chronic migraine’
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
It’s the chicken and the egg syndrome all over again; does eating chocolate cause a migraine attack, or do migraines make you crave caffeine? While having any chronic illness can lead to depression, is there any truth to the notion that feeling despair exacerbates pain, including excruciating migraine headaches? According to some scientists, we may never understand the exact cause of persistent migraines.
Migraine trigger avoidance- don’t try this at home
Scientists have identified hundreds of migraine triggers that may increase your chances of having a migraine attack. Naturally, health experts have jumped on the boat in advising migraine patients to avoid all migraine triggers, from food preservatives such as MSG and alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer, to strong scents and even exercise.
But according to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researcher Timothy T. Houle, Ph.D, most people with migraines who eliminate foods such as dairy products, gluten, and ripe fruits from their diets are doing so unnecessarily, as only individual scientific examination can truly determine if your migraine attacks are being caused by stress, hormonal fluctuations, or a penchant for aged cheese.
11 Headache Triggers you Never Thought Of
“Correctly identifying triggers allows patients to avoid or manage them in an attempt to prevent future headaches,” he says. “However, daily fluctuations of variables – such as weather, diet, hormone levels, sleep, physical activity and stress – appear to be enough to prevent the perfect conditions necessary for determining triggers.”
Only science will tell
“The goal of this research is to better understand what conditions must be true for an individual headache sufferer to conclude that something causes their headaches.”
Because the migraine trigger modality is often inconsistent, patients may suffer from migraine anxiety, the fear of leaving the house lest a migraine occur, or end up following a wild goose chase that either doesn’t work, or results in even worse migraine attacks caused by medication misuse.
For the Wake Forest study, scientists examined nine women who suffered from migraines with aura and migraine without aura.
Participants recorded stress levels in a daily diary and also submitted to urine tests for hormone levels.
Scientists also took into account weather conditions, a common migraine trigger, dating back three years.
Researchers noted that due to their inability to simulate “migraine triggers” consistently and accurately for each patient in a manner that satisfies scientific standards, they were not successful in proving that any one factor increases one’s risk of experiencing a migraine attack.
All the more so, they concluded, it’s impossible for a patient of migraines to reliably determine her migraine triggers by trial and error alone, without the benefit of scientific applications.
Do you agree with the idea that migraine triggers are almost possible to track?
Besides prescription medication, what other strategies do you use to prevent migraines?
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please leave your comments below.
Share with your friends!
If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.
Like this? Read more:
Are Migraines Always Hereditary?
What Causes Migraines? The Long and Short Answers
Is Migraine Disorder a Real Illness?
Causes of migraines nearly impossible to determine
Migraine Triggers Tricky to Pinpoint
Image(s) courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Thursday, January 17th, 2013
People who suffer from chronic migraines often get asked, “Is there anything I can do to help?” by close thoughtful friends, relatives, and colleagues. Next time, hand them a list! An excellent column pointed out 36 things people can do to help out the chronically ill, many of which are particularly helpful for migraine sufferers.
Whether you suffer from fibromyalgia, migraines, arthritis, or chronic back pain, we think you’ll agree that this “wish list” for migraineurs a handy tool for enabling the people closest to you- your spouse, children, church members- to provide support without spending a lot of money.
Here are some great tips that stand out- for the entire list, go to But You Don’t Look Sick.
- Buy a migraine care package, complete with unscented skin lotion, hot/cold packs, eye shades, and ear plugs.
- Go to the book store and pick up a blank journal, to be used as a migraine diary.
- Offer to do house chores that are difficult to do during a migraine attack, such as wash dishes, run a load of laundry, water the plants, or take out the garbage.
- How about a quick back rub or foot massage?
- Offer to babysit the kids, even for just one hour, or until our migraine medications have kicked in.
- Offer to take the dog for a walk; he’s lonely too!
- Bring over some home-cooked meals that can be easily frozen and heated up later. Make sure they’re migraine-friendly, and don’t contain known triggers, like cheese, tomato sauce, or dried meats.
- Send a friendly email; or better yet, drop by just to say hello.
- Keep inviting us to things, even though we’ve canceled out on you in the past.
- Give me a hug! <3
Enter the Migravent Sweepstakes on Facebook!
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Is there anything you’d like to add to this list? Please enter your comments below!
Share with your friends!
If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.
Like this? Read more:
5 Simple Ways to Spread Migraine Awareness
5 Migraine Misconceptions you shouldn’t believe
35 Things you should never tell a Chronic Migraine Sufferer
“Contest & Sweepstakes”
As seen on Hypersweep.com!
Contest for Moms
36 Easy things that you can do to make the life of your chronically ill friend a bit better
Image(s) courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
An amazing connection exists between fibromyalgia and migraine illness- the majority of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from migraine headaches. Moreover, some natural ingredients (like magnesium) are equally beneficial for migraine and fibromyalgia patients.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease that causes muscular pain, joint aches, and tactile sensitivity. Fibromyalgia patients experience sharp pain while doing things that don’t normally cause pain to others, and without any visible sign of injury or inflammation. Scientists haven’t found an exact cause for fibromyalgia, nor have they discovered a cure, but there are some therapies and natural ingredients that benefit fibromyalgia patients.
10 Golden Food Rules for Chronic Pain Sufferers
Migraines are a comorbid condition of fibromyalgia
People who suffer from chronic migraine symptoms- debilitating head pain, nausea, stomach cramps, migraine aura, and migraine triggers- have a strong chance of also receiving a diagnosis of chronic fibromyalgia. Likewise, a high percentage of fibromyalgia sufferers are likely to get diagnosed migraine attacks. That doesn’t mean that one illness causes the other, only that they often appear side by side in a patient’s medical history.
Migraines and fibromyalgia both respond well to similar medications
Several prescription chronic pain remedies are available as double-duty fibromyalgia-migraine treatments. Drugs such as Cymbalta, Savella, and Lyrica, “officially” prescribed for fibromyalgia symptoms, are also helpful for easing migraines, depression, and anxiety. While these fibromyalgia drugs are not approved by the FDA specifically for migraines, it is a commonly accepted practice for headache experts and neurologists to prescribe them for patients who exhibit symptoms of both fibromyalgia and migraine headaches.
Magnesium deficiency is prevalent among migraineurs and fibro sufferers
Magnesium increases stamina, builds and strengthens joint cartilage, regulates and balances healthy metabolic function, and alleviates tension . For migraineurs or fibro patients seeking natural nutrients for pain, magnesium supplements are the best choice. That is because scientists have noted a high incidence of magnesium deficiency in patients of migraine and fibromyalgia.
Some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are:
- Low levels of Adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), a chemical your body needs for quick bursts of energy, and for all exercises requiring physical exertion. Fibromyalgia and migraine patients alike often experience severe pain after a workout, or even after minimal physical exercise.
- Hyper-stimulation of the nervous system is a common sign of magnesium deficiency, in addition to fibromyalgia and chronic migraines. Migraine patients and fibromyalgia sufferers experience a strong overreaction to outside stimuli such as noise, scents, sounds, weather changes, and air pressure, resulting in excruciating throbbing pain.
- Magnesium deficiency causes an increase in substance P, a chemical that your body makes to help perceive pain signals. The more substance P you have in your system, the more frequently- and intensely- you will experience pain. Sufferers of migraine illness and fibromyalgia have significantly higher levels of substance P than non-chronic pain sufferers.
- People who have digestive problems are likely to suffer from malnourishment, including deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Migraine sufferers often experience nausea, stomach cramping, and the urge to vomit. Fibromyalgia symptoms may include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), gluten intolerance, and other gastrointestinal issues. Therefore, it’s not surprising that magnesium deficiency would play a strong role in their pain symptoms.
Talk to your headache specialist
If you suffer from migraine illness, and you suspect that you might also have some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, then you should speak to your physician. A diagnosis of fibromyalgia might lead to finding a successful cure for your chronic pain, either in the form of a prescribed fibromyalgia drug or natural magnesium supplements.
Read more about preventing migraines:
Best Twitter Pages to Follow for Migraine Sufferers- Top 40
Top 25 Fragrance-Free, Migraine-Free Cleansers and Cosmetics
Sharp pain, Pills, Almonds and Tired
Thursday, June 16th, 2011
Learn how to use Pranayama to relieve relieve stress, anxiety, fatigue, and headache pain.
Heal your Headaches from Within
Pranayama comes from the Sanskrit words “prana” (life force) and “yama” (control). Pranayama involves a series of controlled yoga breathing techniques that promote good health. There are many different Pranayama poses, and each one has its own unique benefits, such as stress release, increased energy, or improved respiratory health. For the chronic migraine sufferer, Pranayama yoga is effective for natural migraine management.
There are four essential stages of healthy breathing techniques in each Pranayama exercise:
- Puraka: Slowly inhale in one fluid motion. Focus on fresh, healing air entering your lungs.
- Abhyantara Kumbhaka: Hold breath for several counts.
- Rechaka: Slowly breathe out, imagining all the tension and pain symptoms leaving your body with every exhalation.
- Bahya Kumbhaka: Pause briefly before continuing to the next inhalation
Basic Pranayama moves
Below is a list of four essential breathing techniques aimed at relieving migraine headache pain:
Kapalabhati: Frontal Brain Cleaning Breath
The Kapalbhati breathing technique, often referred to as “the shining skull,” balances the cerebral spinal fluid, thus stimulating the brain, increasing stamina, and promoting healthy neurological responses to pain signals.
To begin, sit comfortably, in either the lotus position or another cross-legged pose, with your back straight.
- Take a few slow breaths, counting to four at each inhalation and exhalation.
- Inhale deeply, feeling your stomach expand outwards like a balloon filling up with air.
- To exhale, force the air out of your stomach by clenching your abdominal muscles. This technique might take some practice, but it is well worth the effort.
- Continue “pumping” air in and out of your lungs, focusing more on actively pushing stale air out of your body, than drawing fresh air into your body, which happens passively.
- Repeat as many times as is comfortable, up to 20 times.
Sitkari: Hissing Breath
Sitkari is a popular breathing exercise that gets its name from the hissing sound produced when breathing in through the teeth. Sitkari has a cooling effect on the blood as it supplies the lungs with fresh air with each “cooling breath.”
- To begin, gently allow your upper jaw to meet your lower jaw, teeth touching.
- Open your mouth without separating the jaws.
- Slowly breathe in through your mouth, allowing the cooling hair to rush through your teeth and into your lungs.
- Close your mouth and exhale through the nostrils.
- Repeat as many times as is comfortable.
Anuloma Viloma: Alternate Nostril Breath
Anuloma Viloma is an excellent healing yoga technique; it involves breathing in through one nostril and breathing out the other, and then reversing the motion. It is important not to neglect switching sides. Inhaling through the right nostril produces a warming, invigorating effect, while breathing in through the left has a cooler, more sedating impact on the nerves.
To begin, take your right hand and press your middle and index fingers towards your palm, leaving only the thumb protruding on one side, with the ring and pinky fingers protruding on the other.
- Using your right thumb, close your right nostril while breathing in to the count of four.
- Close both nostrils and hold to the count of sixteen.
- Release just the right thumb, continuing to keep the left nostril closed with the ring and pinky fingers.
- Exhale to the count of eight.
- Repeat several times.
- Using your left hand, close your left nostril and breathe in, repeating the previous steps.
Ujjayi: Victory Breath
The Ujjayi Breath, when done properly, produces a rumbling sound from the back of the throat, and is useful for relieving stress and nighttime wakefulness, while also helping to sustain healthy cognitive functioning. The “victory” is in the meeting between the healing breath and your physiological response.
To begin, sit comfortably on the floor.
- Slowly inhale, filling first your stomach, and then your ribcage with clean, fresh air.
- Unlike in the Kapalabhati (shining skull) technique, do not allow your stomach to expand outwards. Rather, focus on lifting your torso upwards.
- Exhale, this time emptying first the lungs, and then the stomach, squeezing the tension out of your lower abdominal and back muscles.
Read more about preventing migraines through stress reduction:
Stop Your Next Panic Attack in 4 Simple Steps
Relieve Your Headaches With Yoga: Try These Moves!
11 Headache Triggers you Never Thought Of
Yoga Breathing Techniques
Hatha Yoga Pranayama
Breathing Exercise (Pranayama)