Migraines: What are they, and what can be done for them?

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Migraine pain affects nearly one million people in the United States every year.  Most of these people go to hospital emergency rooms seeking relief.  Despite the availability of remedies, drugs, and migraine clinics, severe migraine headaches remain an unresolved medical issue for millions of people.

Migraines: What are they, and what can be done for them?

For most people, trial and error, by using various medications and stress-reduction therapies, is the way they attempt to find relief. For others, however, the very drugs taken to resolve migraine pain can actually create a chronic migraine condition.  Those who suffer from a certain type of migraine may thus be at risk for life-threatening cardiovascular disease, according to some studies.

What are migraines?

Everyday headaches such as tension or stress headaches are less severe than migraines.  Migraines are far more intense and endure for longer periods of time. Migraines are characterized by moderate to severe pain which can be aggravated by physical activity.  It is usually described as a throbbing, thumping or pulsating discomfort. The pain sensation may be increased by activity, coughing, straining or lowering one’s head. As the migraine intensifies, patients will usually need to remain immobile – lying down in a darkened and quiet room.

Migraine symptoms

Dizziness, nausea, and vomiting are common symptoms of migraine episodes. Additionally, sensitivity to light, as well as experiencing neurological effects known as “aura” may precede the migraine – sometime by as much as one hour before the migraine takes effect. Visual symptoms such as flashing lights, bright spots, blind spots, and blurry vision may accompany these effects. Other migraine sufferers may go through a preliminary period in which feelings of elation or intense energy, a craving for sugary foods, intense thirst, sleepiness, grumpiness, or depression will signal that a migraine is on the way.

Migraine triggers

There are a variety of events or stimuli which can trigger a migraine. Stress, tension, anxiety, and lack of sleep, or not eating enough food are all triggers for migraines. There are also several specific food products such as chocolate, aged cheeses, wine, beer, caffeine, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) which can bring on migraines. Intense sensory stimuli such as bright lights, loud noise, cigarette smoke, and strong odors may also aggravate migraines in some individuals.

The signs and symptoms of migraine headaches are often incapacitating and individuals generally feel weakened, tired and quite often nauseated after the migraine headache has gone away.

Help for migraines

Migraines are commonly treated with painkillers, anti-inflammatories, or anti-nausea medications.  For the most part, these medicines provide symptomatic relief.  Other treatments include use of herbs, acupressure, hydrotherapy, and aromatherapy.

One herb that appears to be helpful with a lot of recent success in blind trials is butterbur extract. Used medicinally since the middle ages, butterbur extract can be taken daily without causing side effects. Clinical studies from Germany have positively confirmed that butterbur has long-term beneficial effects for migraine sufferers. It is thought to have both antispasmodic effects and anti-inflammatory properties.  Unfortunately, many people are unaware of this particular herbal extract, which has been shown to aid migraine patients tremendously.

Your turn!

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Like this? Read more:

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Magnesium- Still Magnificent for Migraines

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When it comes to migraine research on natural supplements, experts still agree that magnesium yields the most promising results. Fads and “miracle cures” come and go, but certain natural migraine tactics, including magnesium, have withstood the test of time. Here is what the leading experts in migraine headache prevention have to say about magnesium.

Magnesium- Still Magnificent for Migraines

In Therapeutic uses of magnesium, published by American Family Physician, magnesium is touted as an essential mineral for optimal metabolic function that nevertheless is declining in most food sources. As a result, magnesium depletion has been diagnosed in large numbers of patients suffering from chronic pain such as migraines.

“This has led to an increased awareness of proper magnesium intake and its potential therapeutic role in a number of medical conditions.  Studies have shown the effectiveness of magnesium in eclampsia and preeclampsia, arrhythmia, severe asthma, and migraine.” (Excerpt from American Family Physician)

In The Clinical Journal of Pain, an article entitled Foods and supplements in the management of migraine headaches further stresses the benefit of magnesium for people with migraines by naming magnesium as the single most preferred natural supplement, followed by butterbur, coenzyme Q10, and riboflavin.

“…given the myriad side effects of traditional prescription medications, there is an increasing demand for “natural” treatment like vitamins and supplements for common ailments such as headaches.” (Excerpt from The Clinical Journal of Pain)

According to Dr. Sarah DeRossett, American neurologist and headache specialist, “About 15 to 20 percent of the American population is deficient in magnesium, and patients who have migraines have lower blood levels of magnesium than patients who don’t have migraines.”

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty coordinating body movements

Your turn!

Have you had success using magnesium for migraines?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Migraines and Meniere’s- What’s the Correlation?

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If you have a chronic migraine condition, then you may be more likely to also suffer from Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder that is often comorbid with migraine headaches. Meniere’s disease causes dizziness, throbbing headaches, and ear ringing, symptoms that can easily be confused with a standard migraine attack.

Migraines and Meniere’s- What’s the Correlation?

What is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is an inner ear condition that occurs to people between the ages of 40 and 60. With Meniere’s, excess fluid in the inner ear causes constant ear ringing, vertigo, nausea, vomiting, ear pain, and throbbing headaches.

As many of these symptoms also occur with migraines, Meniere’s can be overlooked when patients already experience frequent migraine attacks with aura, which in addition to dizziness and nausea can also cause stroke-like symptoms such as temporary partial paralysis, visual distortions, loss of consciousness, and speech slurring.

There is a high correlation between migraines and Meniere’s. You may notice that ear ringing sounds from tinnitus may get louder when you’re having a migraine attack.

Meniere’s disease may be caused by a virus, autoimmune condition, allergies, or genetics

Migraine Headaches and Dizziness- Stop the Ride, I want to get off!

What are the symptoms of Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease symptoms are broken down into three basic categories:

1- Sporadic vertigo: spinning or rocking sensation, nausea, vomiting. Vertigo may last for several hours, but not usually longer than one day.

2- Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss.

3- Tinnitus: Constant low-pitch ear ringing.

What’s the link between migraines and Meniere’s?

Migraines and Meniere’s disease are both neurological conditions. Scientists aren’t certain why migraine patients are more likely than others to develop Meniere’s or tinnitus, but they suggest that the correlation may result from neurological reactions to certain triggers in your environment.

Others believe that migraines and Meniere’s both occur from distorted communication between the blood vessels of the head and the brain.

Many researchers also suggest that tinnitus in migraine sufferers is a symptom of allodynia, a neuropathic pain disorder that also occurs with fibromyalgia, and causes hypersensitivity to touch, headaches, and ear ringing.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Cindy McCain Launches 36 Million Migraine Campaign

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In describing her personal experience with migraines to the Today show, Cindy McCain compared it to having a vise or nail digging into her forehead. Her appearance on the show marks the beginning of her campaign to raise $36 million for migraine research.

Cindy McCain Launches 36 Million Migraine Campaign

Commenting on the urgent need to raise more money for migraines, which affect 12% of US citizens, she expresses, “It affects our economy. It affects our daily life. It affects our school children. Everything is involved in this.”

Migraines make it almost impossible to work or even care for your own needs, as persisting headache pain, nausea, and extreme fatigue offer virtually no respite from the suffering.

And migraine stigma carries its own brand of suffering, as close friends and family have no way to understand the amount of “indescribable pain” you’re experiencing, as she puts it.

“They want so much for you to feel well and they don’t understand it,” she said.

As spokesperson for the 36 Million Migraine Campaign, supported by the American Migraine Foundation (AMF), she hopes to raise one dollar for each of the 36 million people in the US who suffer from migraines.

But even that number won’t cut it, says the AMF. To effectively fund migraine research, the National Institutes of Health would require annual proceeds of $260 million, a windfall compared to the $16 million they currently receive in one year.

Ms. McCain has always been an avid advocate for migraine awareness. Since her early days of campaigning alongside her husband Senator John McCain in his bid for presidential election, she has been open about her constant struggles with excruciating migraine attacks that would often pop up at the worst moments, even taking her message to Capitol Hill.

In 2004 she suffered a stroke, a dreaded comorbid occurrence with migraine disorder. (Read Cindy McCain Gives Voice to Migraine Syndrome)

“If you saw me in pictures with sunglasses on, I wasn’t trying to be aloof,” she says. “I had a migraine.”

Her unwavering commitment to migraine research is commendable. Using her connections at Capitol Hill, she pledges to spend the next two years raising funds and awareness for the 36 Million Migraine Campaign, affirming, “Nothing is going to change unless we rattle the cages.”

Your turn!

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Like this? Read more:

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14 Helpful Summer Air Travel Tips for Migraine Sufferers

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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:

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What are Migraine Preventative Drugs?

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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.


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, 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?


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:

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14 Causes of Summer-Time Migraine Headaches

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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:

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Keeping a Migraine Diary: 8 Important Clues to Jot Down

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Tracking headache triggers in a migraine diary is one of the best things you can do for yourself in migraine prevention, but it requires dedication. Many people are hesitant to commit to a migraine journal, because they’re afraid it will be overwhelming, or not effective. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Using a migraine diary efficiently doesn’t need to be time-consuming, and it may provide some important clues in finding out what factors most influence how often you get migraine attacks.

Keeping a Migraine Diary: 8 Important Clues to Jot Down

Why keep a migraine diary?

Studies show that the best way to prevent migraine attacks is to practice trigger avoidance. By eliminating certain foods from your diet and practicing good “migraine hygiene,” you will effectively reduce the number of migraine headaches you get each month substantially.

What’s the catch? Well, you need to know what those migraine triggers are…and the best way to find out what’s causing your migraines is to play detective. By tracking down helpful clues in your migraine diary, you learn more about hidden factors that provoke migraine attacks- things in your daily life, like sleep habits, hormone levels, vitamin deficiencies, even the weather!

While many migraine advocacy sites offer free templates to help you start your own migraine diary, you don’t need to access the Net just to keep track of migraine attack triggers; a simple pencil and notepad is sufficient and more practical for on-the-fly notes and availability when you’re not getting a Wifi signal.

7 important items to list in your migraine diary

1- Date and time

This is basic- always list the date, day of the week, and time when you first start noticing the beginnings of a migraine headache, including symptoms such as tiredness, elation, changes in appetite, strange scents, and migraine auras.

Also, keep track of when your headache ended, and how long it took you to recuperate.

2- Rate the pain

On a scale of one through ten, was this the worst headaches you’ve ever experienced, or was it on the usual pain threshold? Did your headache start at one side of the face and spread out, or was it confined to one specific area of your head?

3- Food

There are hundreds of food items that may contribute to migraine headaches, so it’s important to always write down what you eat each day.  Migraine triggers in food vary for each individual, so don’t compare your red-light foods to others who suffer from chronic migraine attacks.

Here is a list of migraine food triggers.

4- Sleep

Did you sleep in? Weekend headache is a common trigger for migraines, as it disturbs your body’s need for regularity. Take notes if you fall asleep for a nap in the afternoon, or wake up later than usual while on vacation.

5- Weather changes

What was the weather like today? Was it very hot and humid? You may find that you’re more prone to migraines during certain seasonal changes. While you can’t avoid the weather, you can take measures to control symptoms that trigger migraine attacks. Keep the windows shut during pollen season, or run a humidifier in your office when the air is dry.

6- Physical activity

Believe it or not, some migraine attacks are started by even mild physical exertion. “Exercise migraines” can also happen from coughing, strong bowel movements, sudden jerks of the head, or sexual intercourse.

Read more about exertion migraines.

7- Unusual headaches

This may be the most crucial, yet most underappreciated detail to include in your migraine diary. Migraine attacks usually follow a pattern; migraines with aura are preceded by unusual visual disturbances, sudden fatigue, and increased sensitivity to bright lights, sounds, and scents.

If you experience any out-of-the-ordinary headache symptoms, then keep track of all the details and speak to your doctor.

8- Medications and natural treatments

Which migraine preventatives are you using, and how much? If you took over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, then keep track of how many milligrams you consumed each day.

This can also be an effective way to determine if your natural migraine treatments are working well!

If you’re currently taking butterbur extracts, magnesium pills, vitamin B2, or coenzyme Q10 tablets for migraines, then write down the amount you are using and the time of day you take your supplements.

Often, natural vitamins and minerals can help migraines significantly, but you need to know how much your body needs in order to control biochemical reactions that trigger migraines.

Want to make it easier? Opt for natural migraine pill formulas that combine all four ingredients in one dose. Experiment with different times of the day for supplementation, and vary the amount you take to get the best results.

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:

How to Make a Migraine Headache Diary

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10 Topamax Side Effects that are worse than Migraines

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Topamax (topiramate) is one of the most widely prescribed drugs for migraines, but it carries many precautions. Before considering Topamax for migraine headache prevention, learn more about the possible debilitating side effects by talking to other topiramate users and reading the manufacturer’s warnings.

10 Topamax Side Effects that are worse than Migraines

What is Topamax?

Topamax is an anti-epileptic drug that is prescribed for preventing epileptic seizures, as well as for migraine prophylaxis.

Many migraine doctors are quick to prescribe Topamax, often without warning their patients about possible painful side effects that can be worse than the migraine headaches themselves.

While side effects of Topamax can vary widely for each user, debilitating conditions such as mental impairment, partial blindness, and mobility disorders have shown up repeatedly in numerous scientific studies focusing on Topamax for migraines and epilepsy.

Topamax side effects

The following side effects are significantly correlated to both short-term and long-term Topamax prescription for chronic migraine headaches.

1) Blindness

Vision problems such as acute myopia and glaucoma are listed as a potential side effect of even short-term Topamax usage. Symptoms include nearsightedness, blurry vision, and sharp eye pain.

If you start having vision problems or severe pain in the eye area while using Topamax for migraines or epilepsy, see an eye doctor or ophthalmologist immediately. Don’t wait, because you may have only a small window of opportunity to have your vision restored back to normal.

2) Dementia

Cognitive impairment is one of the most common side effects associated with Topamax in migraine patients, causing mental confusion, memory loss and inability to concentrate, in addition to aphasia symptoms- speech and language problems, difficulty finding the right words to communicate.

3) Mental illness

Migraine patients who use Topamax are twice as likely to suffer emotional distress as non-Topamax users. Symptoms include suicidal thoughts, anxiety, paranoia, deep depression, and disturbing nightmares.

4) Fetal Toxicity

Babies conceived or born to mothers using Topamax for migraine headaches or epilepsy have an increased risk for cleft lip, cleft palate (oral clefts, craniofacial defects, and reduced fetal weights.

5) Hyperammonemia

Topamax may cause an increase of ammonia in the blood, a condition that may lead to brain injury or death.

6) Kidney stones

Migraine sufferers who use long-term Topamax treatments are at risk for excruciatingly painful kidney stones resulting from metabolic acidosis. As a precaution, drink about 100 ounces of water each day.

7) Mobility problems

Topamax may cause damage to the nervous system, resulting in difficulty controlling muscle movement, poor hand-eye coordination, and constant painful numbness and tingling.

8) Heart attack-like symptoms

Topamax usage is linked with an increase in visits to the ER for symptoms that mimic heart attack, such as chest pain and palpitations. Because migraines are already associated with increased risk for heart attack, Topamax users need to be extra careful in monitoring their cardiovascular health.

9) Seizures

Because topiramate is an anti-seizure drug, migraine patients who try to wean off Topamax may suffer seizures as part of withdrawal symptoms; even migraine headache sufferers who have never experienced an epileptic seizure before may begin to experience seizures during the onset of the weaning program.

10) Carcinogenesis

Mice that were given Topamax as part of a scientific trial were more likely to develop urinary bladder tumors than those given a placebo drug.

Natural migraine support

If you’re considering weaning off Topamax, or if you’re just looking for some time-tested and scientifically-proven nutrients that produce good results with migraines, then consider supplementing with natural butterbur root extracts, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, and coenzyme Q10.

All four- butterbur, CoQ10, vitamin B2, and magnesium- when used together continue to produce the most favorable results, even in patients who have suffered migraines for several years without respite.

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:

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Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Take it to Heart!

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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.

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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.

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