Posts Tagged ‘headache remedies’
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
If you get migraines at work, you might qualify for disability benefits and legal protection if you ever get fired you from your job. As migraine headache falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you should receive compensation for time missed from work. Symptoms of migraines include neck pain, intense, throbbing headaches, vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light, smells, and noises, and temporary partial blindness. Side effects from drug treatments may include memory loss, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you have the right to take up to twelve weeks off from work each year without pay, and without fear of losing your job. Any group health insurance you have through work remains active, according to FMLA conditions. This is good news for people who get frequent migraine headaches, because it allows you to stay home and experiment with new abortive migraine medications and pain relievers without having to call in sick if headache symptoms- nausea, cramps, sharp pain- become overbearing.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act covers migraines, but that alone does not guarantee that your job isn’t at stake. If you are a chronic migraine sufferer, and if you require days to recover from a migraine attack or to try unfamiliar headache remedies, then your employer will have to find somebody to replace you for every day you call in sick, either temporarily…or permanently. Regardless of the fact that your migraines are ADA-approved, and even if you disclosed your migraine history with your employers beforehand, the risk of possibly losing your job to migraine headaches constantly lingers overhead.
“It is difficult when you’re dealing with employees who do not visibly appear to have any impairment whatsoever, but are dealing with issues of stress or fatigue.” -Businessweek
ADA redefines “disability”
In May of 2011, the Americans with Disabilities Act expanded on their definition of “disability,” responding to continuing discrimination of disabled persons in the workplace and the courtrooms. Where the burden of proof previously rested on the employee to prove that her migraines became a disability, it now rests on the shoulders of the employers to show that migraines headaches don’t in fact diminish one’s ability to work.
In its early years, the ADA defined disability as any physical or mental condition that significantly impairs one’s ability to lead a normal life. So what’s the catch? The employee had to prove in court that he was not able to do his job because of his disability. More often than not, the judge would throw out the case. There was simply not enough evidence to support the litigant’s claim.
Today, the ADA specifies certain illnesses that usually qualify as a disability, making it harder for employers or judges to ignore an employee’s request for disability benefits. They are:
- Cerebral palsy
- Major depression
How do the new ADA amendments help migraine sufferers?
Before, if you filed for disability benefits, you had to convince the judge that you were unable to perform your job duties. For people with “invisible diseases,” such as migraines, that burden of evidence can be next to impossible. Now, it’s the employers’ responsibility to made special accommodations in the workplace for people with disabilities- make it easier for them to do their job. For migraine patients, it could mean providing a scent-free environment, granting special permission to wear “migraine sunglasses,” or enabling them time to recuperate from crippling migraine attacks.
Read more about migraine law:
Image credits, from top:
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
If you suffer migraine symptoms, then you’re likely to experience an epileptic seizure someday. Studies linking migraines with epilepsy symptoms explain Topamax, an anti-seizure drug, is also effective for treating migraine headaches.
Migraine attacks and epileptic attacks are connected
The Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Department of Neurology released a report stating that epilepsy and migraine share a comorbid relationship. That means that the two illnesses share common factors, including medical treatment and patient medical history. Epilepsy doesn’t cause migraine headaches, but if you are a migraine sufferer, then your chances of experiencing an epileptic attack are higher than non-migraineurs. Often, migraine attacks such as migraine aura are mistaken for epileptic seizures. Such was the case when Serene Branson, CBS reporter, suffered an on-air complex migraine attack that greatly simulated an epileptic attack.
In the New England Journal of Medicine, a study on migraines and cerebral blood flow states that migraine patients may eventually experience epileptic attacks, and that symptoms of epilepsy are often worsened by the presence of migraine illness.
Approximately 14% of people diagnosed with epilepsy also suffer migraine attacks, according to a PubMed report on migraine-related seizures. Among migraine sufferers, 6% are also epileptic.
“A better understanding of the pathophysiologic features of spreading hypoperfusion would be of obvious clinical importance, since migraine can sometimes lead to ischemic stroke and since stroke can sometimes be aggravated by or associated with the development of migraine.”
The epilepsy-migraine genetic link
According to a study conducted by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a mutant form of “chromosome 19” appears in migraine sufferers who experience ataxia (sudden episodes of muscular incoordination). This chromosome correlates with mouse chromosome 8, which appeared in “tottering” laboratory mice that experienced similar epileptic-like seizures.
Anti-epileptic drugs as migraine treatment
Since chronic migraines share a strong link with epilepsy, it is not surprising that headache specialists and neurologists often prescribe anti-epileptic drugs for their migraine patients. One anti-seizure drug, Topamax (topiramate) is a popular migraine remedy for headache sufferers not diagnosed with epilepsy. Topamax works by essentially freezing brain cell stimulation, providing relief for migraine patients and epileptics alike. The side effects of continued usage of Topamax can be disturbing, symptoms such as short-term memory loss, “brain fog,” and difficulty concentrating or organizing thoughts. (See Improve your Memory while taking Topamax for Migraines.)
What are the Signs of Migraine Attack? 30 Migraine Symptoms
Wear a Medical Emergency ID- Save your Breath and your Sanity
Migraine Prevention Medication, Medicine: TOPAMAX (topiramate)
Epilepsy and migraine. [Epilepsy Behav. 2003] – PubMed – NCBI
Migraine-related seizures in an epileptic population- PubMed- NCBI
Oak Ridge National Laboratory – ORNL finds common genetic cause for epilepsy, migraine
Ataxia- Mayo Clinic
Bilateral Spreading Cerebral Hypoperfusion during Spontaneous Migraine Headache- NEJM
Medical Conditions Associated with Migraines- Epilepsy – Stroke – Anxiety – Depression – RealAge
Your Brain on Rainbows
Friday, October 14th, 2011
This Halloween, treat yourself to sweet migraine headache management- the following candy treats are natural nutrients for headaches that promote digestive health, well-being, and improve your body’s response to inflammation.
#1- Cinnamon Red Hots
Cinnamon soothes tension and helps your body maintain a healthy inflammatory response, according to many experts. If chewing on a cinnamon stick isn’t your thing, then try sucking on red-hot cinnamon candies for natural pain benefits.
#2- Hershey’s Chocolate with Almonds
Chocolate and almonds are both high in magnesium, a dietary supplement that is proven to improve neurological health. If chocolate is not a headache trigger, then go for the double-magnesium power of chocolate and almonds!
#3- Andes Chocolate Mints
For sinus headaches, peppermint is touted for its ability to help maintain respiratory regularity. Peppermint also relieves occasional acid indigestion and sour stomach.
#4- Ginger candy
For ultimate migraine pain management, spicy ginger has it all. Ginger has been used through the centuries for soothing muscular pain after exercise, in addition to alleviating bloating, enhancing respiratory health, and maintaining the body’s natural defenses.
#5- Lemon drops
For bad breath and getting a bad taste out of your mouth, try old-fashioned lemon drops. Lemon increases your production of saliva, which aids in relieving dry mouth and promoting dental health.
#6- Halva sesame seed candy
For PMS symptoms, indulge in honey-sweetened sesame candy. Sesame seeds contain vitamin E, which provides antioxidant protection and regulates estrogen levels. Fluctuating hormones are a common migraine trigger. (Read Why do Women get more Migraines than Men do?) Also, sesame seeds are rich in magnesium, calcium, and copper, the latter of which is helpful for maintaining proper joint functioning.
#7- Chewing gum
For stress relief, health experts recommend chewing sugarless gum. If you suffer from migraines caused by TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder, then you probably chew on pencils as a way of releasing muscular tension and jaw pain. Well, consider this a tasty natural alternative!
Sinus Headache Remedies from the Kitchen- Eat This, Not That
Is it Migraine or TMJ Headache? Temporomandibular Disorder
Five Candies That Can Act As Medicine
How to Cure a Headache with Cinnamon
9 Foods That Can Help Soothe a Headache
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
If you suffer from sinus infection symptoms (migraine-like sinus headache, sore throat, fever), then you’ll appreciate these natural ingredients for sore throat and migraines that you can find in your kitchen. It’s easy!
Tis the season for sinus infections
As if migraine headaches weren’t bad enough, prepare yourself for sinus infection season, complete with nagging symptoms like head congestion, ear infection, runny nose, constant cough, and yes- sinus headaches. Sinus headache symptoms include intense pressure and pain behind your cheekbones, nose, and forehead, in addition to the usual sinus infection symptoms, like runny nose, facial swelling, and ear infection.
Migraine or Sinus Headache? Make Sure your Headache Doctor Knows the Difference
Natural ingredients for headaches
Over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants may relieve sinus headache temporarily, but they can also be habit-forming, in addition to causing dizziness. As for taking antibiotics, only your doctor can recommend the proper course of action, although research suggests that frequent antibiotic usage can be harmful to your health.
Your best bet for whole-body pain management is using natural nutrients for sinus infections, such as the ones suggested by naturopathy experts:
Chili pepper therapy
Spicy chili peppers benefits respiratory functioning, according to research led by the University of Cincinnati. In the study, a nasal spray derived from hot chili peppers, Capsicum annum, was beneficial for symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis, including stuffy head, sinus headaches, and runny nose. You don’t have to use a pepper spray, though. Just indulge in spicy foods that don’t cause migraine headaches, such as mango salsa, grilled peppers, or spicy burritos (sans the migraine-triggering cheese). Alternatively, horseradish would also be effective.
Chicken soup for your headache
It’s important to stay hydrated when you have a sinus infection, and nothing is better for clearing up stuffed nasal cavities than a hot bowl of steamy chicken broth. It’s not just because of the rising steam, which also helps- scientists believe that chicken soup contains unique ingredients that make it the best for soothing minor throat pain.
Take a tea break
In addition to chicken soup, drink plenty of liquids, such as herbal teas. Some of the best teas for respiratory health and managing migraines are ginger tea, chamomile tea, and peppermint tea. Add soothing honey for taste, and lemon juice for extra vitamin C. Also, increase your consumption of water and fruit juices.
Don’t eat this!
Health experts believe that certain foods may worsen sinus infection symptoms, including sinus headaches. Some foods should be avoided because they might be allergens. They are:
- Fried foods
- White sugar
- White flour
- Caffeinated beverages
- Artificial sweeteners
- Dairy products
Also read this:
How to make your own Emergency Migraine Attack Survival Pack
Plan a Headache-Free Summer Vacation: Five Travel Tips
Heat in chili peppers can ease sinus problems, research shows
Sinusitis – Treatment for Acute Sinusitis
What Foods To Avoid Eating For Sinus Headaches- LIVESTRONG.COM
Sinus Headaches: Symptoms and Treatment
Free Digital Photos: Sinus Pain, Woman with allergy, Red chili, Chicken , Girl keeping warm
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Manage your migraines by changing your lifestyle. Here are 20 tips on eating healthy, reducing stress, and finding the right migraine management tactic. Change your life, one step at a time!
- Mind your blood sugar. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a common migraine trigger. Avoid eating sugary foods, as that will cause your blood sugar to rise temporarily, before dipping back to abnormally low levels again. Opt instead for foods that have natural sugar and dietary fiber.
- Keep things fresh. Cook your meals using fresh fruits and vegetables over canned or freeze-dried. Frozen veggies, however, are okay- they have the same healthy nutrients as the broccoli and carrots on the fresh produce aisle.
- Avoid phony baloneys. Cut artificial sweeteners and food colorings out of your diet, or at least reduce your consumption of artificially flavored treats, such as diet soda, candy, and Cheetos. Often, foods containing synthetic ingredients cause allergic reactions or headaches.
- Don’t go trigger-happy. Avoid the temptation to indulge in foods that you know for a fact trigger migraine headaches; think about the aftereffects, instead. Invest in a good migraine cookbook.
- Take notes. Unsure about potential headache triggers? Invest in a migraine journal- studies show that keeping track of your eating habits, feelings, and environment in a headache diary is instrumental in diagnosing migraine triggers.
- Take your meds. Stay on top of your migraine medications, and renew your prescriptions on time- all the better to avoid an unnecessary trip to ER.
- Think fast. Feel a headache coming on, but you’re not sure? Don’t wait for a full-blown migraine attack to ruin your day. If you get a migraine aura, respond accordingly.
- Think ahead. Whether you’re going on a 3-day vacation or just a long drive to the city, be prepared for the possibility of a migraine; carry a migraineur’s first-aid kit, map out nearest pharmacies and ERs, and make your backup plan before going out the door.
- Eat frequently. Let’s face it- migraines are not flexible. Any fluctuations in your eating habits will likely result in crippling head pain. Eat small healthy meals throughout the day, and don’t let more than three hours lapse between snacks.
- Sleep tight. Changes in your sleeping habits are also common migraine attack triggers. Migraine sufferers who take naps in the middle of the day or sleep in on their day off usually wake up with a head pounding “weekend headache.” Adhere to a strict sleep schedule by waking up at the same time each morning, and going to sleep at the same time at night. Don’t take a catnap, and don’t change your sleeping hours when on vacation.
- Lose a couple. Try to keep your weight down to a healthy level through diet and exercise. Studies show a correlation between obesity and migraine.
- Keep fit. Exercise improves the mood, regulates your cardiovascular system, keeps blood flowing smoothly, prevents chronic illness, and fights depression. Some excellent activities for migraine sufferers and other patients of chronic pain are yoga, tai chi, spinning, and light aerobics.
- Gain a new perspective. Keeping your hopes up, thinking positive, and not taking life too seriously are all traits that are common among people who eventually overcome their chronic illness symptoms.
- Take a break. Schedule some time just for yourself, and use it doing something you love that puts you in a good mood. Take a ceramics painting class, treat yourself to a relaxing massage or aromatherapy session, or just lose yourself in a used books store. It’s a great way to alleviate stress, rejuvenate, and collect your thoughts.
- Say ohm. Learn how to calm your mind through meditative exercises, such as Hatha yoga and progressive relaxation. Meditation takes practice at first, but eventually you will learn how to slow your breathing, transport yourself mentally, and find your inner peace.
- Try going dairy-free, just once. Sometimes, people suffer from allergic reactions to lactose for years without even knowing it. Lactose intolerant individuals often suffer migraine-like head pain that disappears once they cut dairy products from their diet. Try it for a week, and see what happens.
- Manage stress. Stress is the leading trigger of migraine headaches, in addition to innumerable other chronic illnesses. Avoid stressful situations whenever you can, practice healthy stress-relieving tactics, and learn how to cope with the stress in your life that just won’t go away.
- Stay connected. Millions of Americans suffer from migraine illness, so there’s no reason to suffer alone. Find out about any neighborhood migraine clinics or meetings. Check the internet for migraine forums, migraineur blogs, and “migraine awareness” advocacy sites like the American Headache Society.
- Educate yourself. Scientists make breakthroughs in migraine cures and headache remedies every year. Stay informed about your current migraine treatments, including side effects and dosage information.
- Open your mind to nature. Conventional migraine medications aren’t 100% effective, or without risks. Many like Topamax cause side effects such as brain fog and memory loss. Some popular natural ingredients for for migraines include herbs such as butterbur extracts and vitamins and minerals, such as riboflavin and magnesium.
Top 6 Online Tests- Personality Quizzes from Trusted Sites
Migraine Sufferer to World: It’s not just a Headache, People!
Simple Lifestyle Changes May Ease Chronic Headache
Migraine headaches – Non-Drug Treatments and Lifestyle Changes
Migraine: Lifestyle and home remedies – MayoClinic.com
Top 10 Lifestyle Modifications to combat migraine
Migraine and Obesity: What You Should Know!
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
The epilepsy drug Topamax is popular for treating migraines, but headache relief comes at a price- memory loss. To improve your memory, try these online memory games.
Concentrate on this…
Migraine pain is synonymous with words like “torture,” “misery,” “debilitating,” and “agonizing.” It’s no wonder that many migraine headache sufferers will do almost anything to get headache relief, even if it means opting for a headache remedy that causes unfavorable side effects. Topamax, an epilepsy drug, is an anti-seizure medication that is also used to treat migraines, obesity, and alcoholism. Unfortunately, Topamax also causes the following side effects:
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weakened cognitive reasoning skills
- Decreased vocabulary
- Difficulty organizing thoughts
- Brain fog
Natural ingredients for migraines
Alternative,home-based management for migraines are gaining popularity because they improve neurological health and your body’s response to inflammation, without causing more side effects than conventional migraine treatments, and usually with dramatically fewer side effects.
Some popular nutrients for migraines are magnesium, butterbur extracts, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10.
Memory games that reverse memory loss
If Topamax is your preferred migraine treatment, then it is imperative that you strengthen your thinking skills. Just as your abs, biceps, or hamstring muscles become weakened with inactivity, so do your brain segments. Choose from a variety of online brain games that focus on specific learning cognitive skills.
Here are some of the best brain exercises for improving memory:
Count the F’s Brain Teaser
Are you smarter than a chimp?
Inside and Outside
See It, Hear It
Brain Exercises for the Weekend
Flex Your Memory
Patterns and numbers:
Tower of Hanoi
Tipping the Scales
The Empty Triangle
Visual puzzles, brainteasers, and optical illuions:
Is the inner shape a real circle?
Pick the missing piece
Are those 2 rows perfectly parallel?
Color tile optical illusion
Language and logic:
In which direction is the bus pictured below traveling?
Words in the brain
The Fork in the Road
The Really, Really, Really Big Number
Free Memory Games – Brain Games for Adults – RealAge
Test Your Brain With Brain Teasers and Games- SharpBrains
Epilepsy Drug Linked to Memory Problems
Thursday, May 5th, 2011
Almost everybody gets a headache at one point or another, but not all headache symptoms are alike. Recognizing and diagnosing chronic headaches can be complicated, as causes, headache pain symptoms and headache treatments differ.
According to the National Headache Foundation, over 45 million US citizens suffer from chronic headaches, 28 million of which are diagnosed as migraine headaches. There are so many different classifications of headaches that it can get confusing for the headache sufferer, making it difficult to identify possible headache triggers or to find headache relief. Some headache sufferers feel pain only on one side of the head, some experience additional side effects such as nausea, and some find that only certain foods trigger headaches.
There are over 150 types of headaches. Here is a listing of the top 7 basic headache types:
- 1) Tension headaches: Tension headaches are among the most common type of headaches, the type typically referred to as chronic daily headaches. Pain is described as mild to moderate, and can continue over a long period of time. Tension headaches are caused by tightening of the muscles. Relieve Your Headaches With Yoga: Try These Moves!
- 2) Migraine headaches: It’s widely accepted that migraines are caused by contracted blood vessels, although the exact cause of migraine headaches is unknown. Migraines are heredity, and there is a correlation between migraine symptoms and brain chemistry. Migraine pain is described as severe, pounding pain. Migraine patients have heightened sensitivity to strong lights, sounds and scents. Nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps are common side effects of migraines. Women who get Migraines are also Likely to get This
- 3) Cluster headaches: Cluster headaches are rare, but their symptoms are severe and often debilitating. Cluster headache patients experience sharp, throbbing, burning pain behind one eye. Symptoms tend to appear punctually, according to an innate time frame, and can occur three times a day; cluster headaches occur during phases, or time “clusters,” which can last for weeks or sometimes months. When under an attack, cluster headache sufferers are unable to concentrate on anything else, and may feel restlessness and anxiety. Is it a Cluster Headache or a Migraine?
- 4) Sinus headaches: Sinus headaches are characterized by deep pain in the upper-head area, such as cheeks, forehead, and bridge of nose between the eyes. Sinus headaches are accompanied by sinus conditions, including runny nose, allergies, upper-head congestion, fever, swelling and sensation of fullness or pressure in the ears. Is Gluten Sensitivity Giving You a Headache?
- 5) Acute headaches: Acute headaches are brief and not usually related to any neurological disorder. Children may suffer acute headaches as a result of an ear infection or doctor’s visit. Acute headaches are most common in children and teenagers. Migraine Pop Quiz: How Well do you Understand your Headaches?
- 6) Hormone headaches: Fluctuating hormone levels may cause hormone headaches in women. Factors which cause hormone headaches are pregnancy, PMS, menstruation, menopause and birth control pills.Symptoms of a Menstrual Migraine
- 7) Chronic progressive headaches: Chronic progressive headaches are uncommon; they are classified as headaches which increase in frequency and severity over time, and are generally associated with brain disorders. 4 Headaches that Require Emergency Intervention
WebMD, Mayo Clinic, MedicineNet