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Migraine Headaches - Fighting A Fierce Foe

If you suffer from migraine headaches you know how debilitating they can be. Most people know if their headaches are everyday tension headaches or migraines. People who do get migraines tell me that they often leave them out of commission for days at a time. There are typical symptoms of migraines that can help identify them. If you experience at least three of the following, your headaches are probably migraines:

 You’ve had more than one attack.
 Only one side of the head is affected.
 You experience an “aura” of flashing lights, blind spots, or a feeling of irritability or depression immediately before the headache,
 You experience stomach distress possibly with nausea and vomiting along with the headache.
 Someone in your immediate family also suffers from migraines.

Natural approaches can help; unfortunately, once a migraine starts you may have to rely on drugs for pain relief. But there are ways of avoiding migraines once you learn some of their causes.

Migraine headaches usually come in intervals, with complete freedom from pain between attacks. They can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

For many people the headache is preceded by feelings of depression and irritability as well as an increased sensitivity to light and sounds.

A classic migraine is preceded by a characteristic “aura” during which the person feels lightheaded, has a reduced field of vision, and may see flashing lights. The headache usually starts on one side of the head and is accompanied by nausea, abdominal discomfort, and sometimes vomiting.

Some people have daily attacks, others one every several months. The intensity and duration of the attacks may vary from one attack to another.

Inherited instability of the vascular system is one of the causes of a migraine. Migraine patients are more prone to fainting when standing up suddenly than other people and they are more sensitive to the vasodilatory effects of physical and chemical agents, (See list of foods for more).

Certain foods contain chemicals known as amines that dilate the blood vessels in the head causing a rebound vasodilatation and may thus precipitate an attack.

The most common foods implicated in migraine attacks as a result of amines include:

Avocado, banana, cabbage, eggplant, pineapple, plum, potato, tomato, cheese, onions, caffeine, canned fish, walnuts, wine, beer, aged or cured meat, yeast extract, MSG-containing foods, nitrates.

In addition some people are sensitive to artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, saccharine and all other artificial sweeteners. If one affects you, most likely another will, so avoid them.

Many women find that certain stimulants such as alcohol that have no effect on them otherwise can trigger an attack if they’re consumed just before a menstrual period. Keep a notebook of what food affect you so you remember to tell your health care provider.

Food is not the only cause of migraines. Low blood sugar caused by fasting or missing a meal often brings on a headache, which for the average person quickly disappears, following a meal, but for people prone to migraines the low blood sugar may start off a chain reaction that a belated meal will not stop.

Medications used to prevent the onset of migraines have had limited success, and as do all medications, they can have harmful side effects if taken for long periods of time.

Discuss hormone treatment with your health care provider if you are post-menopausal and on estrogen therapy.

Herbal treatments have long been popular in Europe. A double-blind study performed at the London Migraine Clinic showed that feverfew was successful at relieving and preventing sudden onsets of migraines. Feverfew has some of the same anti-inflammatory effects as aspirin, without the side effects of aspirin. However, it must be taken for several weeks before the effects are felt.

Magnesium is also helpful, as low brain magnesium has been identified as an important factor in the mechanism of a migraine attack.

One last thing: sometimes people go for long periods of time thinking they’re suffering from migraine headaches when, in fact they have chronic sinusitis.

A product we recommend for migraine pain: Get More Info on MiGone Plus for Headache and Migraine Relief from Native Remedies a trusted source for many years.

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