Posts Tagged ‘migraine headaches’

14 Helpful Summer Air Travel Tips for Migraine Sufferers

Thursday, June 27th, 2013


 


 

If the thought of air travel gives you a headache, then you’ll be glad to know that there are many ways to avoid suffering a migraine attack while traveling in the summertime. Regardless of your destination, by following these simple air travel tips you can avoid migraine headaches from jet lag, dehydration, and barometric pressure changes that often occur after a flight.

14 Helpful Summer Air Travel Tips for Migraine Sufferers

1- Check your medicine supply.

Weeks before you get on the plane make sure you have enough migraine preventative medications, painkillers, or natural migraine supplements to last during and after your trip. Don’t leave it for later; your head will already be filled with other last-minute travel details. This is one thing you do not want to forget.

Top 25 Natural Migraine Treatments: Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

2- Plan Ahead.

In addition to refilling your prescriptions and ordering more vitamin supplements, make sure your itinerary is up to date. Check for flight delays and weather warnings. Check your luggage, and make sure it’s the right size for airline guidelines.

3- Talk to your doctor.

This may be a good time to tell your migraine specialist about your air travel plans, so that he can suggest medications that help to prevent headaches while in flight, such as sumatriptan.

4- Treat motion sickness.

Do you normally get sick and woozy on long car trips or boat rides? If so, then drugs for motion sickness may help you adjust to air travel, and avoid triggering a migraine headache.

Ask your doctor if you can take acetazolamide the day before your flight and on your travel date, to prevent headache from altitude changes.

5- Check the weather.

This may seem obvious, but a lot of people aren’t prepared for the drastic change of climate they experience the moment they leave the airport. Check weather sites for temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and altitude conditions in the area you’re visiting, and take whatever precautions necessary to prevent getting a migraine attack.

Struck by Lightning…and Migraines?

6- Book non-stop.

Every time the plane goes up into the air, you experience drastic changes in oxygen levels that cause your blood vessels to fluctuate, increasing your chances for a migraine headache. Cut down on the number of ascents you make in one day by planning a non-stop flight whenever possible.

7- Sleep well.

If you’re in for the long haul, then you may not get very much rest on the plane, especially if you’re flying coach.  Get your trip off to a good start by sleeping well the night before.

8- Bring shades.

The overhead lights can trigger migraines, so bring along a pair of dark sunglasses to wear during the day and a sleep mask for nighttime.

9- Eat healthy foods.

Don’t plan on getting nourishing, migraine-friendly meals once you’re in the air. Have something satisfying to eat before your flight, and pack nutritious snacks in your carry-on bag that don’t contain migraine triggering ingredients.

10- Forgo alcohol and caffeine.

When choosing a drink from the beverage cart, try to avoid refreshments containing caffeine or alcohol, and they can both trigger migraine headaches.

11- Do drink water.

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of headache during air travel, and the most preventable. Drink more water than usual a few days before, during, and after your flight. Staying hydrated is the key to preventing headaches while traveling, especially during the summertime when we lose a lot of fluids through perspiration.

12- Use a nasal spray.

Prevent excruciating sinus headaches caused by changes in air pressure while flying; use a spray nasal decongestant while ascending and descending. If you’re susceptible to sinus-triggered migraines, then you may want to use pseudoephedrine, with your doctor’s approval.

13- Breathe fresh air as soon as possible.

Once you get off your plane, don’t spend any more time in the airport than is necessary. Your body is hungering for fresh oxygen, so get yourself a breather as early as you can.

14- Check for your medications.

This is worth repeating. You may have intended to pack your painkillers, prophylaxis pills, or natural migraine supplements, only to find out upon reaching your airport that you left your first-aid kit behind. Check your carry-on and luggage for your migraine meds, and visit your nearest walk-in pharmacy if your worst suspicions are confirmed.

Your turn!

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:

14 Causes of Summer-Time Migraine Headaches

10 Topamax Side Effects that are worse than Migraines

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/freedigitalphotos


What are Migraine Preventative Drugs?

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013


 


 

To prevent migraine attacks, it’s important to use a multi-pronged plan of attack including natural and conventional medicines. Migraine preventative drugs include a wide range of medications originally formulated to treat heart disease, depression, hypertension, or epilepsy.

What are Migraine Preventative Drugs?

With your doctor’s help, you can find the right migraine prophylaxis therapy to significantly reduce the number of migraine headaches and fits of nausea or dizziness you experience each month.

Migraine drugs

There are several types of medications available for treating migraines that are approved by the FDA. These include:

  • Migraine prophylaxis medications (preventative drugs)
  • Migraine abortive medicines
  • Migraine headache painkillers

While painkillers and abortive meds are meant to be taken only as needed, preventative drugs for migraines are taken every day.

Over time, many prescription migraine preventive medicines may cause harmful side effects, including severe memory loss, heart conditions, and disabilities. If you’re using migraine prophylaxis medications, then it’s important to keep your migraine specialist informed of any new, unusual symptoms you are experiencing.

Anticonvulsants

Anti-epileptic medications like topiramate (Topamax) are among the most popular preventative treatments for migraines, but are meant as a last resort option when all other attempts have failed, as they can cause debilitating side effects. You may need to take Topamax for several months before you start to notice any change in migraine frequency.

Anticonvulsants help to prevent migraines by altering neurotransmitter activity, suppressing nerve cell excitability in the area of the brain where epilepsy occurs.

Topamax may interfere with birth control, and also cause memory loss, fatigue, and disorientation.

Also read 10 Topamax Side Effects that are worse than Migraines

Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers, or beta-adrenergic blocking agents, relax the blood vessels in the brain, allowing for more fluent blood flow. They are typically prescribed for hypertension, but can also be effective in preventing migraines when high blood pressure is a factor.

Side effects may include memory loss, fatigue, and insomnia.

Also read Migraine Headaches and Hypertension: What’s the Link?

Antidepressants

Depression is often comorbid with migraines, and doctors have found that migraine patients who suffer from extreme depression, anxiety, and panic are able to prevent migraines after taking tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Also read 5 Effective Natural Supplements for Depression

Like other prescription migraine preventative medicines, long-term antidepressant use can also result in uncomfortable side effects.

Calcium channel blockers

Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) prevent calcium from entering your blood vessels and heart. CCBs are used to treat heart disease, in addition to preventing migraines.

Fewer side effects are associated with CCBs than with other migraine preventative drugs.

Natural treatments

Taking prescription medication is not enough. To further improve your chances, it’s important to employ natural non-drug tactics.

These include:

*Daily exercise

*Relaxation techniques

*Migraine trigger avoidance

*Restrictive dieting

*Sleep hygiene

*Migraine diary

*Supplementation with vitamins, herbs, and minerals that sustain healthy circulation, protect the nervous system, boost mitochondrial energy, and support healthy cognitive functioning.

Your turn!

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:

Top 25 Natural Migraine Treatments: Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Natural Migraine Remedies Surge with Prescription Drug Deaths

Image courtesy of nuchylee/freedigitalphotos

14 Causes of Summer-Time Migraine Headaches

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

What is it with migraines and the summer? The moment you think you can finally relax and enjoy some time off from school or work- Boom! Along comes a five-alarm migraine headache to spoil all your summer plans. By recognizing some common summertime migraine triggers, you can learn how to avoid frequent headaches, whether you’re lying on the beach or enjoying your Fourth of July celebrations.

14 Causes of Summer-Time Migraine Headaches

There are hundreds of migraine triggers, factors that increase your chances of having a migraine attack, and they can occur in all types of weather. Summer migraines may happen because of escalating temperatures, or they can have more to do with changes in your schedule.

Excitement about a planned camping trip, or even the lack of any plan at all for the summertime can also trigger excruciating migraine headaches.

Below are some common causes of migraine attacks in the summer:

  1. The sun.  Let’s face it- high heat is uncomfortable. But more than that, escalating heat from a heat wave causes fluctuations in your body temperature, increasing your chance for a migraine. Stay cool in an air-conditioned room when the temperatures soar above the 100s.
  2. If you’re sensitive to bright lights, then the glare from the sun can also trigger migraines. Wear sunglasses when outdoors, or wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  3. Hot and humid summer weather can spread allergens and also intensify scents that trigger migraines.
  4. Dehydration and heat stroke are common migraine triggers in the summer time. The hotter the weather, the quicker we lose sodium when we sweat.  To avoid dehydration headaches, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water- drink throughout the day. Also read 15 Tricks for Staying Hydrated and Avoiding Migraines.
  5. Weekend headaches happen from napping in the middle of the afternoon, going to sleep later than usual, and sleeping in. If you wake up disoriented with a crushing headache, then you need to stick to a strict bedtime routine, even while on vacation.
  6. Summer storms causing high barometric pressure increase your chances for suffering a migraine, especially if lightning strikes within 25 miles of your home. Scientists believe it has something to do with correlating changes in pressure in the brain.
  7. Traveling by plane this summer? Watch out for migraine headaches triggered by cabin air pressure, long waiting times and delays, and processed airline meals.
  8. If no summer vacation would be complete without thrill rides, then prepare yourself ahead of time by taking some trusted natural migraine preventative. High-velocity roller coasters are known triggers of migraines.
  9. Summertime fragrances can be a major source of migraines- lurking fumes from insect repellant, strongly-scented sunscreens and body sprays can trigger a migraine in one whiff.
  10. Being in a large crowd can be overwhelming, and headache-producing. If you’re planning a summer luau, keep the guest list small to avoid stress.
  11. Summer foods are some of the biggest migraine culprits. Hot dogs, ketchup, chips and beer may make for a great barbecue, but they can also make you spend the rest of the week nursing a throbbing headache.
  12. Too much electronic media causes too much excitement in your brain, causing headaches and irritability. To sleep well at night and prevent migraines, limit your television viewing or Facebook watching to one hour or so, and avoid checking your email within a few hours of bedtime.
  13. Stress from summer-related activities can induce headaches. If you’re planning a wedding, graduating from college, or worried about a summer job, then try to practice relaxation techniques.
  14. Less stress is also a migraine trigger; the letdown you sometimes feel after a stressful event has passed, the moment you finally get a chance to recuperate from back-to-back exams- that’s when migraines sometimes choose to strike.

Your turn!

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:

Plan a Headache-Free Summer Vacation: Five Travel Tips

What Causes Migraines? The Long and Short Answers

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Take it to Heart!

Monday, June 10th, 2013


 


 

In addition to helping with migraines, Coenzyme Q10 is also beneficial for heart health, according to a recent study focusing on heart failure in people with CoQ10 deficiency. This is good news for migraine patients, as heart attack and stroke are risk factors often associated with chronic migraines.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Take it to Heart!

CoQ10 boosts heart health

Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that may also help to maintain healthy heart muscles. Commenting on his study on CoQ10 for chronic heart failure, which began in 2003, Professor Svend Aage Mortensen from Copenhagen University Hospital says that patients of heart disease require CoQ10 supplements for two reasons:

  • In many patients who suffer from heart failure, coenzyme Q10 levels are dangerously low, and continue to fall in correlation with the severity of heart failure symptoms.
  • Cholesterol-blocking statins used to treat heart failure also interfere with CoQ10 absorption, increasing your risk for coenzyme Q10 depletion.

Top 25 Natural Migraine Treatments: Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Dr. Mortensen presented the results of his study at the European Heart Failure Congress 2013, proclaiming CoQ10 as the single most important treatment for cardiovascular health in over 10 years.

In the randomized double blind trial, patients who received coenzyme Q10 responded more favorably in relation to major adverse cardiac events, as opposed to patients who received the placebo, by a difference of 14%-25%.

“CoQ10 is the first medication to improve survival in chronic heart failure since ACE inhibitors and beta blockers more than a decade ago and should be added to standard heart failure therapy,” says Mortensen.

“…( conventional heart failure treatments) block rather than enhance cellular processes, and may have side effects.”

Conversely, coenzyme Q10 is a perfectly safe and natural nutrient, causes no harmful side effects, and restores cellular energy to the heart at a time when it’s most needed, following heart failure.

What is CoQ10?

Coenzyme Q10 is a natural nutrient that occurs in many meat and vegetable products. CoQ10 carries electrons within the mitochondria, helping to boost energy while also serving as a therapeutic antioxidant.

For heart health, doctors recommend CoQ10 tablets, as food sources don’t contain enough of the essential nutrient to provide optimum cardiovascular health benefits after heart failure.

CoQ10 is also recommended by migraine specialists as a helpful natural ingredient proven in countless studies to significantly promote neurological health in migraine patients, especially when used in conjunction with magnesium, riboflavin, and butterbur.

Your turn!

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:

Migraines and Epilepsy: 4 Commonly Asked Questions

Migraine Headaches and Hypertension: What’s the Link?

Sources:

First Drug to Significantly Improve Heart Failure Mortality in Over a Decade

Overview on coenzyme Q10 as adjunctive therapy in chronic heart failure. Rationale, design and end-points of “Q-symbio”–a multinational trial

Image courtesy of qualitystockphotos

Migraine Headaches Coupled with Muscle Pain: CRPS

Thursday, June 6th, 2013


 


 

Does it seem like migraines make your arms and legs hurt, in addition to causing excruciating headaches? It’s not your imagination- migraine sufferers are three times as likely to suffer from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), according to research studies on migraine headaches with chronic muscle pain in the arms, legs, hands or feet.

Migraine Headaches Coupled with Muscle Pain: CRPS

CRPS is still a relatively-new form of chronic pain that is just beginning to attract more awareness. Still, many scientific journals have commented on complex regional pain syndrome, including this one that was published by Cephalalgia which compared CRPS in patients with migraines and people without any form of chronic headaches.

Migraines and CRPS

There seem to be no similarities between migraines, which cause severe headaches, fatigue and nausea, and CRPS, which causes debilitating muscle pain in a single arm or leg; scientists have noted some significant correlations between the two:

  • Muscle pain from CRPS and migraines are both neurological conditions.
  • Both involve chronic pain to an isolated area.
  • If you have CRPS, you are 3.6 times more likely to suffer a migraine headache than the rest of the population.
  • Also, patients who suffer CRPS muscle pain are almost twice as likely to suffer some form of chronic headaches as people without sore arm or leg muscles from CRPS.
  • CRPS, like migraines, is more common in women than in men.
  • Also like migraines, CRPS can develop in grade-school aged children.
  • Nearly 60% of the CRPS patients examined in the study experienced migraines with aura, compared to migraine headache sufferers without CRPS.
  • About 61% of CRPS-migraine patients reported getting severe headaches prior to severe muscle pain from CRPS.

What is CRPS?

Complex regional pain syndrome is a type of chronic pain that usually occurs after an injury. With CRPS, nerve pain is out of proportion with the injury, causing extreme muscle pain in the arm or leg without any signs of bone damage.

CRPS is caused by damage to the nervous system, but can also occur as part of a  neurological disorder.

3 Undeniable Truths about Chronic Pain

CRPS symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Extreme muscle pain
  • Skin rashes and discolorations
  • Unusual sweating constrained to the affected area
  • Sore, stiff joints
  • Poor muscle control
  • Difficulty walking or moving the affected limb
  • Muscle tremors

Treatments for CRPS

Medications and therapies for CRPS and/or migraines include:

  • Pain relievers, including over-the-counter NSAIDs and prescription opioids
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Steroid medications
  • Medications to prevent bone loss
  • Botox
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Topical pain relievers
  • Exercise and stretching
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Biofeedback
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Natural vitamins, minerals, and herbs that support neurological functioning, including B vitamins, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, and butterbur

Your turn!

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:

Migraine Triggers in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

How long will my Migraine Headache Last? A Migraine Symptom Chart

If your Headache is a Migraine…Are you sure?

Sources:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Fact Sheet

Migraine may be a risk factor for the development of complex regional pain syndrome

Image courtesy of Praisaeng/freedigitalphotos

Are Migraines Really Triggered by Stress?

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013


 


 

According to a recent study, long-term stress triggers migraines and other debilitating ailments, especially if you fall into a certain age group… Here are some interesting results from the 45-year study on stress and chronic pain, and some tips to help you lower your risks for frequent migraine headaches.

Are Migraines Really Triggered by Stress?

Women, stress, and headaches

There’s a lot of hype about stress being the strongest of all migraine triggers, but very little research proving the influence that stress reduction and other natural therapies can have on migraine headaches.

Now, results from a Swedish study on 1,500 middle-aged women which began in 1968 have been published, proving the undeniable link between perceived stress and ailments such as headaches, backaches, joint stiffness, and stomach pain.

Here are some of the details of that study:

•About 1,500 women participated in the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg study on migraines in middle-aged women.

•Women were asked if they suffered from anxiety, fear, nervousness, irritability, anger, or sleeplessness resulting from family or work relationships and health problems.

•In 40% of participants, long-term stress triggered chronic pain symptoms of migraine headaches, aching muscles and joints, or gastrointestinal disorders.

•Twenty percent of women suffered from constant stress during a period of at least five years.

•Stress triggered most migraines in women between the ages of 40-60, the same age range for a large number of migraine patients.

    Also read: Ease Stress, Effortlessly! 5 Migraine Management Tips

    Which pain symptoms are most predominant?

    In the study, scientists focused on three main categories of chronic pain: migraine headaches, muscle and joint pain, and gastrointestinal complaints.

    •For muscle and joint pain, 40% of middle-aged women who suffer from high stress are affected.

    •For chronic migraine headaches, 28% of participants saw a spike in migraine frequency during long-term stressful periods.

    •For gastrointestinal pains, such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea, another 28% of women saw a correlation between stress and chronic pain.

      It’s interesting to note that all three of the ailments listed are common symptoms of migraine; in addition to intense headaches, many migraine patients also suffer from stomach pain, severe nausea, uncontrollable vomiting, neck aches, eye pain, and draining fatigue.

      Read: The Earliest Symptoms of Migraine are not Headaches

      So, if you are a middle-aged woman who experiences all of these symptoms with migraine, then stress may make you nearly 100% more likely to get a migraine attack in the near future.

      Reduce migraine triggers!

      Overwhelmingly, natural preventative measures, used in conjunction with doctor-approved migraine treatments, have the most impact on migraine prevention.

      These include:

      •Migraine trigger avoidance

      •Following a migraine-friendly diet

      •Keeping a migraine diary

      •Stress reduction techniques
      •Yoga or tai chi

      •Keeping a regular sleep schedule

      •Preventing dehydration headaches by drinking enough water

      •Taking essential vitamins, minerals, and herbs that impact migraine triggers resulting from vitamin deficiencies, neurological disorders, and vascular irregularities.

        The Fab Four

        For good health with migraines, experts advise taking these basic four ingredients:

        Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, butterbur, and coenzyme Q10

        Read more here- Top 25 Natural Migraine Treatments: Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

        Your turn!

        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:

        Beat Menstrual Migraines, Naturally!

        Migraines, Women, and Depression: 9 Myths and Truths

        5 Effective Natural Supplements for Depression

        Sources:

        Clear Link Between Perceived Stress and an Increased Incidence of Psychosomatic Symptoms

        Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos

        Ginger for Migraine Help: As Good as Imitrex?

        Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013


         


         

        There are many natural, alternative therapies that help migraine headaches dramatically- one underrated ingredient that has entered the spotlight recently is ginger root. In addition to supplementing with vitamin B2, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, and butterbur, health experts are also recommending this natural ingredient, proven to help people suffering from chronic migraines.

        Ginger for Migraine Help: As Good as Imitrex?

        Can ginger help migraines?

        According to a migraine study just released by Phytotherapy Research, using natural ingredients such as ginger to help symptoms of migraines is significantly effective for a large number of migraine patients. For the study, they examined the efficacy of ginger powder for migraine attacks, compared to the triptans such as Imitrex, which are commonly prescribed for preventing migraines.

        They found that gentle ginger extracts provided positive results that paralleled Imitrex, without causing any of the dangerous side effects associated with prescription migraine medications.

        The study

        In the double-blind, randomized clinical trial, 100 patients who regularly experience migraines were randomly provided with one of two medications: sumatriptan (Imitrex) or natural ginger powder.

        Scientists took into account migraine headache severity, duration of head pain, and time between onset of migraine attacks and medication usage for each patient, for a total of five consecutive migraine attacks thereafter.

        The results

        It made almost no difference if test subjects used prescription-strength sumatriptan or all-natural supplements such as ginger root.

        Two hours after taking medication, regardless of whether they received the Imitrex pills or the ginger, patients reported similar results.

        And when asked if they were satisfied with the help they received for migraines, and if they were willing to continue usage, patients similarly gave the same positive response for either treatment.

        What about side effects?

        Side effect results, however, vastly differ.

        The majority of prescription migraine medications such as Imitrex and Topiramate create debilitating side effects that include severe dizziness, memory loss, fatigue, heart palpitations, and sometimes, headaches.

        Migraine Medication Pros and Cons: the Basics

        Conversely, ginger extracts and other natural ingredients for migraine help by supporting good health- boosting neurological functioning, sustaining normal blood pressure, supporting red blood cell production for oxygen, and destroying free radicals that cause inflammation.

        Get more natural migraine help

        Countless similar studies have been conducted pointing to the benefits of natural herbs, vitamins, and minerals for people who suffer migraines.

        Overwhelmingly, scientists found that a combination of butterbur, riboflavin (vitamin B2), CoQ10, and magnesium provided the most significant results when compared to prescription migraine drugs.

        To begin supplementing with natural ingredients that help migraines, consult in your primary care doctor, neurologist, or migraine headache specialist.

        Your turn!

        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:

        Why use Natural Migraine Treatments?

        Top 25 Natural Migraine Treatments: Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

        Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for Chronic Pain


        Sources:

        Comparison Between the Efficacy of Ginger and Sumatriptan in the Ablative Treatment of the Common Migraine

        Image courtesy of blucolt/flickr

        Migraines and ADD/ADHD- Prepare for Sensory Overload!

        Monday, May 13th, 2013


         


         

        You’re not imagining it- if you get frequent migraines, then ADD/ADHD (yes, adults can have it) may also account for your long list of ailments, like nausea, crushing headaches, brain fog, attention problems, and hypersensitivity to lights, sounds, touch, scents- everything! Here are some findings that scientists have linking chronic migraines and ADD/ADHD.

        Migraines and ADD/ADHD- Prepare for Sensory Overload!

        Migraines and ADD/ADHD

        Millions of people suffer excruciating headaches from migraines, and likewise, millions of adults in the US struggle with attention problems and sensory overload caused by ADD/ADHD.

        Today, scientists believe that migraines and ADD/ADHD have more in common than we realized, and may provide important clues in devising appropriate treatments for people suffering from  fatigue, disorientation, and a low tolerance for noise, even when they’re not having a migraine attack.

        “…we think that this association between ADHD and migraine is mediated by a mutual comorbidity in mood disorders,” explains author Ole Bernt Fasmer, MD, PhD, regarding the study that was published in Psychiatry Weekly.

        What do they have in common?

        It can’t be a coincidence that some of the strongest migraine triggers involve the senses. In addition to changes in weather, food ingredients, and hormone fluctuations, many sensory-based environmental factors increase your risk for having a migraine attack, including:

        • Bright fluorescent lighting
        • Glare from harsh sunlight
        • Flickering lights
        • Stark white backgrounds
        • Black and white striped or zigzagged patterns
        • Strong perfumes
        • Cigarette smoke
        • Loud noises
        • Chatter, people talking all at once
        • Large crowds

        10 Surprising Facts about Migraines you probably didn’t know

        Interestingly enough, the same migraine triggers associated with hypersensitivity are the same ones that bother adults with attention problems ADD/ADHD.

        And it isn’t a coincidence. In a famous 2012 study conducted by researchers in Norway, Migraine, Asthma, Mood Disorder, and Comorbid Adult ADHD, scientists found that males with ADHD have a 23% risk for migraines, compared with 11% of the general population. Furthermore, females, who are three times more likely than males to suffer from migraines, have a 34% risk of having severe migraines and ADD/ADHD, compared to 25% in women who don’t have attention problems.

        What exactly is ADD/ADHD?

        Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD) is a condition that we use to describe people exhibiting a certain set of behaviors in relation to their ability to focus, filter out sensory stimuli, and form and execute goals, along with several other cognitive skills.

        Currently, about 9 million adults in the US have some form of ADD/ADHD.

        Treatments for migraines and ADD/ADHD

        As always, learn as much as you can about migraines and ADD/ADHD, and visit an experienced doctor for a correct diagnosis.

        To treat migraine headaches and attention problems from ADD/ADHD, your doctor may prescribe medications that address your specific symptoms.

        Additionally, many natural vitamins and herbs can help to boost cognitive functioning and sustain energy, enabling patients of migraines and ADD/ADHD to maintain mental focus and alertness throughout the day.

        These include essential B vitamins, including riboflavin and vitamin B12, which help to preserve the nervous system.

        Other beneficial nutrients include magnesium, CoQ10, and butterbur extracts.

        Your turn!

        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:

        Do Migraines Cause Brain Damage?

        10 Ridiculously Healthy Vitamins for Women Migraine Patients

        Brain Fog: Is it Migraine or Head Cold?

        Sources:

        Migraine, Asthma, Mood Disorder, and Comorbid Adult ADHD

        Attention Deficit Disorder Association

        Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

        5 Foods that Help with Migraines

        Thursday, May 9th, 2013


         


         

        Knowing which foods to eat is an instrumental part of migraine prevention. While most people know which foods to avoid- wine, pizza, and sourdough bread, for example- many migraine patients don’t know which foods they should include in their diet, foods containing magnesium and riboflavin that help with migraines.

        5 Foods that Help with Migraines

        Migraines are a chronic neurological condition that causes excruciating headaches, stomach-wrenching nausea, incessant fatigue, and hypersensitivity to stimuli in lights, sounds, scents, and touch.

        While scientists have not yet developed a cure for migraines, or even a medication formulated specifically for the migraine patient, there are many helpful natural treatments that can help, including following a migraine-friendly diet.

        Many healthy foods that help with migraines contain nutrients that target specific biological processes that occur during a migraine attack, including the aura phase, intense headaches and nausea, and fatigue that occurs during recuperation.

        As with any other migraine treatment, consult your headache specialist before switching to a new diet, and keep a migraine diary to help you learn which foods to avoid.

        The following foods, assuming they are on your “green light” list, may help with migraines.

        Spinach

        Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach provide magnesium, a nutrient that is instrumental in hundreds of important biochemical reactions throughout your body.

        Magnesium promotes healthy nerves and muscles, supports the cardiovascular system, regulates blood sugar levels, and helps to convert food into energy.

        Foods containing magnesium are especially beneficial for women that suffer from menstrual migraines. In many studies on migraines, scientists have noted high correlations between migraine frequency and magnesium deficiency.

        In addition to spinach, other good sources of magnesium include yams, cantaloupe, walnuts, and whole grains.

        Getting Enough Magnesium…Are you?

        To boost magnesium intake, consider taking natural magnesium supplements that are gentle on the stomach.

        Seafood

        Seafood is high in two essential nutrients that help migraines; omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, such as vitamin B12 (cobalamin).

        Omega-3’s have anti-inflammatory properties that help migraineurs, while B12 vitamins protect the nervous system, boost energy, and sustain production of red blood cells needed for oxygen.

        Vitamin B12 and omega-3 oils occur naturally in sardines, salmon, tuna, herring, halibut, and crab meat.

        Low Fat Dairy Products

        If dairy foods don’t trigger migraines, then you should try to include them in your diet; they may actually help a great deal. Low-fat yogurt, cheeses, and milk are rich sources of riboflavin, another B vitamin that helps people who suffer migraines by boosting cellular energy.

        Several scientific studies focusing on migraine frequency have confirmed the benefits of taking extra doses of riboflavin supplements.

        Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) in Natural Migraine Ingredients

        Nondairy food sources of riboflavin include meat, eggs, and nuts.

        Melon

        Dehydration is a common trigger of migraine headaches. During the summer time, snack on thick wedges of watermelon, which contain natural electrolytes to keep you hydrated and avoid headaches.

        Ginger

        Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help with migraine headaches. Plus, foods containing ginger may help to stave off nausea and stomach pain that occur during a migraine with aura.

        Add fresh ginger juice to carrot salad, or squeeze a few drops into a cup of tea for a tummy-soothing brew.

        Your turn!

        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:

        6 Essential Vitamins for Migraines in Food

        10 Ridiculously Healthy Vitamins for Women Migraine Patients

        Coenzyme Q10 Benefits and Dosage Information

        Sources:

        Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

        Magnesium- Health Professional Fact Sheet

        Image courtesy of [cipher]/flickr

        Can Smoking Cigarettes Really Trigger Migraines?

        Tuesday, May 7th, 2013


         


         

        There are hundreds of migraine triggers that lead to headaches, and smoking tobacco may be one of them. Some researchers believe that smoking a certain amount of cigarettes each day makes you more prone to migraine headaches, while others disagree that tobacco may actually benefit patients of migraine disorder. So, who’s right?

        Can Smoking Cigarettes Really Trigger Migraines?

        The smoking-migraine controversy

        According to an article that appeared in the Journal of Headache and Pain, migraine sufferers who smoke at least five cigarettes per day are more likely to experience headaches, compared to nonsmokers who get migraines.

        This was based on a study that examined 361 medical students, and found that among 58 who got migraines, 29% were smokers who noticed more headaches when they exceeded 5 cigarettes in one day.

        However, earlier studies suggest that migraineurs who smoke should continue to do so, that tobacco may help to relieve anxiety, a common trigger of migraines.

        To counter that argument, one may say that tobacco provides a false sense of relief from symptoms of nicotine addiction, and that the health hazards associated with smoking far outweigh any possible benefits.

        Smoking migraine triggers

        Besides smoking, other migraine triggers may include hormones, certain foods, unusual sleep patterns, or strong scents, including, yes, secondhand tobacco smoke.

        Inhaled tobacco, whether firsthand or environmental, can trigger migraines by elevating your blood pressure, constricting blood vessels, and irritating the sinuses. It may also cause sinus headaches, which in turn may provoke a migraine headache that can last for days.

        Migraine Headaches and Hypertension: What’s the Link?

        To reduce the frequency of migraines, it’s essential to avoid triggers at all costs.

        If you smoke, then cut down on cigarettes, or completely stop smoking, with the help of some migraine-friendly supplements, such as essential vitamins, minerals, and herbs that benefit migraine patients.

        Good ones to try are vitamin B2 (riboflavin) for neurological sustenance, butterbur for sinus functioning, CoQ10 for antioxidant properties, and magnesium, which supports many biochemical reactions in the body that are linked with migraines.

        Your turn!

        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:

        Migraine-ous Fragrances at Work: 20 Civil Tactics and Coping Strategies

        Migraine and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

        6 Migraine-Friendly Air Fresheners for the Home

        Sources:

        Smoking as a precipitating factor for migraine: a survey in medical students

        Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/freedigitalphotos