Posts Tagged ‘symptoms of migraine’
Friday, February 24th, 2012
“I’m worried this might be the early stages of a migraine. I get this light disruption thing.” Those were the words of Russell Brand a few weeks ago, echoing the concerns of millions of other migraine headache sufferers around the world. Only instead of retreating to a quiet shade-drawn bedroom to stave off the coming migraine attack, he continued his 90-minute comedy act under a bright Hollywood spotlight, migraine, nausea, and all.
Migraines are equal-opportunity destroyers
Disclaimer: Russel Brand was not contacted regarding this blog post. This is a review of news headlines, as referenced below.
When “Get him to the Greek” star Russell Brand had an on-stage migraine attack recently, his audience got a taste of what it’s like to be struck suddenly with crippling migraines.
First came the light sensitivity; he apologized to his audience for the delay as he halted his routine for a moment, explaining that the bright lights of the stage were probably triggering his migraines.
Next, he revealed that he had terrible pain, and needed painkillers. “I feel nauseous now,” he said. “I feel sick. Sorry about this.”
A stagehand brought him some migraine painkillers, and Russell continued his show, still apologetic.
“I think I’m such a professional showman this is beyond ridiculous stopping to take medication.”
For most migraineurs, getting on-the-spot medical attention for a migraines is like squeezing sugar from a lemon; it’s a long, nasty process with fruitless results.
Why the apologies?
We’ve all been there, yet it’s still hard to watch. When people suffer from chronic pain, they shouldn’t have to apologize for it. Yet that’s exactly what Russell Brand did for his audience when he felt the first symptoms of a migraine attack striking while he was performing onstage, fresh after signing divorce papers for his estranged ex-wife, Katy Perry.
Such is the dilemma for all people who get frequent migraines, celebrities included; once you feel the telltale signs of an approaching migraine, your only thought is to escape by whatever means possible. Locate your nearest exit, retreat, and apologize profusely along the way. (Except when you can’t.)
By the way…
Coincidentally, rapper Diddy was recently hospitalized for a migraine attack that occurred after a post-Grammy party at the Playboy Mansion.
Imagine anybody else calling 911 and explaining that he was hung over from a giant Hollywood bash, and was suffering from a killer migraine, and could somebody please take him to the hospital; or strolling into ER, wanting attention for a migraine headache that was triggered by too much partying.
For most migraineurs, getting on-the-spot medical attention for a migraine is like squeezing sugar from a lemon; it’s a long, nasty process with fruitless results.
Migraines are disabling
Fortunately, Russell Brand only had to endure 90 minutes of work time before being allowed to go home and wait out the migraine storm. And most likely, his job prospects are still good. Not to begrudge him his well-deserved fame, but for millions of blue-collar migraine patients, that is not the reality.
Most migraine patients have only three options regarding migraines and work:
- suffer the migraine attack in silence until 5:00,
- miss work, or
- miss work while trying for months or years to qualify for disability insurance, which is always a gamble.
Please share your thoughts…
- Do you think media attention on migraines will bring us closer to getting a cure?
- Have you been denied disability, even though your migraines keep you from working?
- What migraine treatments do you currently use, and how satisfied are you with their results?
- As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions!
Spread the love…
Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care about!
Read more about migraines at work:
Migraine Headaches Are Not an ADA Disability, Says US Court
Migraines at Work- Can my Employers Fire me from my Job?
Social Security Disability for Migraine- 5 Tips for Filing
Russell Brand Forced To Stop Show After Migraine Attack
Russell Brand Suffers Migraine Attack Onstage
Diddy Hospitalized For Extreme Migraine Headache: REPORT
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
Does weight gain exacerbate migraines, or is it possible that migraine headache symptoms like depression cause so many migraine sufferers to pack on the extra pounds? You be the judge…
Scientists find correlation between migraines and weight gain
It’s confirmed- Current scientific research proves that migraine sufferers who are also obese experience more migraine attacks than migraine patients who are not overweight. Information collected from a National Health and Nutrition Examination survey suggests that men and women between the ages of 20 and 55 who have “muffin tops” (abdominal fat) suffer more severe symptoms of migraine disorder than other migraine patients within the same age group who were deemed physically fit. Scientists are quick to point out that among the 55 and over crowd, weight gain and migraines share no correlation.
This echoes a previous study confirming that overweight migraine patients who opt for bariatric surgery experience reduced symptoms of migraines, in addition to weight loss.
Who’s to say that migraines don’t cause weight gain?
Here is a hypothesis that begs further investigation- isn’t it possible that people who experience chronic headaches and migraine attacks are also more likely to gain weight?
- Depression is one of the most devastating comorbidities of migraine illness; the amount of agony inflicted by a migraine attack is indescribable, and after years of torment, many migraine sufferers find their whimpers, sighs, and groans falling on deaf ears. When asked how migraines affect their overall quality of life, many migraine patients say they feel depressed, hopeless, angry, anxious, lost, and a profound sense of despair. Untreated, chronic depression may lead to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and food addiction.
- Migraine sufferers have stomach problems- lots of them. Non-migraineurs don’t realize that migraine symptoms exceed throbbing head pain and sharp pain in the eyes. Gastrointestinal disorder is another common side effect of migraine illness, causing symptoms like nausea, stomach cramping, uncontrolled vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. When your digestive system is unstable, so is your weight.
- When it comes to dieting, avoiding migraine triggers is key- calories don’t even enter into the equation. This means that a migraine sufferer’s diet is based on which foods will and won’t trigger migraines. For many, that means avoiding high caloric foods like chocolate, cheese, and bread. For others, it could mean avoiding vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, eggplant, red plums, and onions.
Read more about migraine headache symptoms:
Are Doctors Overprescribing Painkillers for Migraines? Fox News Report
Migraine Headaches and Dizziness- Stop the Ride, I want to get off!
Why do Migraines cause Nausea and Vomiting?
Preventing Migraines Without Weight Gain
Migraine sufferers may need to trim their waists- Booster Shots- Los Angeles Times
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
Migraine headaches and brain aneurysms share common symptoms; for that reason, chronic migraine sufferers fear their migraines may cause a cerebral aneurysm. Here, we learn to tell the difference between migraines and aneurysms. Find out if your headache symptoms are cause for alarm, and if you need to call emergency.
How long will my Migraine Headache Last? A Migraine Symptom Chart
What is a migraine headache?
Migraine headaches affect millions of people throughout the world. Overwhelmingly, migraine sufferers are women. Headache specialists differ on the exact cause of migraines, but everybody agrees that migraine illness is a neurological disorder.
Migraine symptoms vary by patient, but the most common symptoms of a migraine attack are:
- Severe, throbbing head pain, usually on one side of the head
- Sharp pain behind one eye that spreads to the temples
- Stomach cramps
- Extreme sensitivity to light, noise, and scents
- Visual disturbances, “auras,” such as zigzagging light sequences, expanding, crescent-shaped hallucinations, and temporary partial-blindness in one eye
- Speech distortions
- Distorted perception of spatial awareness and time
To ER or not to ER? 8 Migraine Signals that call for Emergency Care
What is a brain aneurysm?
Medline Plus defines an aneurysm as a “weak area in the wall of a blood vessel that causes the blood vessel to bulge or balloon out.” Cerebral aneurysms are swollen blood vessels that occur in the brain, usually near the veins at the base of the brain, often producing severe migraine-like headaches. An unruptured aneurysm is like a ticking time bomb, putting pressure on the brain, but causing no serious injury, save for headache pain and other disturbing symptoms.
What are the symptoms of a cerebral aneurysm headache?
Often, people who have a brain aneurysm don’t realize it until they start to experience headache symptoms. For a chronic migraine patient, determining brain aneurysm can be difficult, as many of the symptoms of migraine headaches are similar to those of brain aneurysm headaches.
An unruptured aneurysm causes pain symptoms such as:
- Severe headaches
- Blurry vision
- Speech distortions
- Neck pain
What causes brain aneurysms?
There are several risk factors associated with brain aneurisms. They are:
- Concussion, or other head injury
- Neck injury
- Hypertension, high blood pressure
- Inherited disposition to brain aneurysms
- Kidney disease
- Infection of the arterial wall
When a cerebral aneurysm ruptures- symptoms
When a brain aneurysm leaks or ruptures, people often describe it as “the worse headache of their lives.” Sharp pain, referred to as a thunderclap headache or “crash” migraine, often occurs following physical exertion. If you have a cerebral aneurysm, then anything from a strong sneeze, an intensive workout, or sexual relations can trigger migraine-like head pain that may signal a rupture or leak. If you suspect you have a ruptured brain aneurysm, then it is imperative that you call 911 immediately.
Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include:
- Sudden, excruciating headache that is unlike any previous headaches, migraine-related or not
- Neck pain
- Extreme sensitivity to light (similar to migraine symptoms)
- Loss of consciousness
Is there any connection between chronic migraine headaches and brain aneurysms?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, there is no proven connection between migraines and brain aneurysms. Although ruptured aneurysm headaches can mimic migraine headaches in their severity, for the typical migraine patient there is no cause for alarm. An MRI can detect if a brain aneurysm exists. So, unless you have been diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm, the odds of your migraine headaches being in any way linked with a brain aneurysm are highly unlikely. However, if you notice any sudden, unusual changes in the intensity or frequency of your migraines, then you should call emergency to schedule an MRI- just to be safe.
Read more about migraine prevention:
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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:
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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
Do you keep a migraine journal? If not, you should. The amount of seemingly unrelated headache triggers that cause migraine headache attacks sometimes seems endless. The only way to prevent migraines is to nab your culprit by thinking like a detective. Jotting down notes in a headache diary is the most efficient, scientific method for tracking down your headache triggers and terminating them for good.
11 Headache Triggers you Never Thought Of
Here are the 7 most important clues you should log into your migraine relief diary:
1) Time and date: No detective worth his salt would forget to take down the exact time and date of the attack.
2) Severity of head pain: On a scale of one to ten, how bad was your discomfort?
3) Duration of migraine symptoms: Did your headache last for 30 minutes, 2 hours or 2 days?
4) Possible associations: This is where you really need to put on your thinking cap. Possible links are weather, strong scents, oversleeping, not sleeping enough, bright lights and long hours in front of the TV. Migraines Caused by Eye Strain? Tinted Glasses can Help
5) Nausea: Did you experience feelings of nausea, stomach cramps or the need to vomit? These are important clues, because they could signal migraines with aura, which have been linked with strokes.
6) Medications: Which kind of pain medications did you use? What drugs did you take after? If you take serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressants, then you should avoid certain pain relievers, like Advil, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Read more: New Study Warns against Taking these Painkillers with Antidepressants
7) Diet: Food triggers are the most talked-about causes of migraines. A lot of ex-headache sufferers claim to have found migraine relief by sticking to a gluten-free diet. The most common foods which are notorious for producing migraine headaches are aged delicacies (wine, cheese, dried salami), nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers), caffeinated beverages, sugarless sodas, preservatives (MSG) and dairy products. 10 Golden Food Rules for Chronic Pain Sufferers
8) Exercise: Did you get any light exercise today? One of the most difficult challenges facing migraineurs is to get out of the darkened bedroom, get some sunshine and go out for a quick walk. Easier said than done, but even small doses of aerobic exercise contribute to your well being. Relieve Your Headaches With Yoga: Try These Moves!
9) Menstrual cycle: Menstrual migraines are nothing new, but sometimes it takes looking through your headache journal to put two and two together. Go back to your log entries from three months earlier. Do you see a connection? Other hormonal fluctuations which should be noted are pregnancy, menopause and perimenopause.
10) Stress level: Stress is the number one contributor to headaches, accounting for 80% of all chronic head pain. Anxiety, nervousness and depression cause the ”fight-or-flight” reaction, muscle soreness, high blood pressure and low community, all of which create head pain, stomach upset and nausea.
Migraine Sufferer to World: It’s not just a Headache, People!
Top 20 Websites for Migraine Headache Patients
Migraine Pop Quiz: How Well do you Understand your Headaches?
20 iPad Apps for Migraine Sufferers