June 14th, 2013 • Posted by Erica Vinson • Permalink
Migraines are vascular headaches related to changes in the size of the arteries within and outside the brain. Often, the pain is on one side of the head accompanied by a throbbing pain. Usually you will experience some nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, sensitivity to light or sound, dizziness, or mood changes. Migraines can last up to three days and may occur multiple times in a month.
This is the most common type of headache among adults and teenagers. These headaches tend not to pulsate and are not as severe as migraines. Tension headaches are also known as chronic daily headaches or chronic non-progressive headaches. The pain is usually mild to moderate and can be felt around the head (not just on one side). These headaches can last for several days. A common cause to this type of headache is emotional/mental stress.
Symptoms can begin within 20 to 25 minutes after eating products that contain additives. Symptoms are: pressure in the chest; tightening and pressure in the face; burning sensation in the chest, neck, or shoulders; facial flushing; and/or dizziness. Pain is usually on both sides of the head.
Sinus headaches almost never recur. If your headache seems to be recurring it may actually be a migraine. Sinus headaches are associated with deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose. This pain usually gets worst with sudden head movement. There are also other sinus symptoms such as, nasal discharge, pressure in the ear, fever and facial swelling.
Rebound headaches are caused by the overuse of misuse of over the counter pain relievers or not following your doctor's advice regarding dosage. When the pain medications wears off you may experience a withdrawal reaction causing you to take more medication. This leads to another headache.
Hormonal changes in women during menstruation, menarche, pregnancy; and menopause can cause headaches. Hormone headaches can also be caused by taking hormones like birth control pills.
This may be the least common type of headache but it is the most severe. The pain can be so intense that the sufferer will not be able to sit still. It is described as a burning or piercing pain that is throbbing or constant. It is located behind one eye or in the eye area. This type of headache is actually more common in men. They are called clusters because they occur multiple times during a day and tend to last from two weeks to three months. These headaches often occur at the same time each day.
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June 7th, 2013 • Posted by Erica Vinson • Permalink
Interesting fact: Migraines are three times more common in women than men
These are some of the most common triggers of migraines with stress being the number one trigger.
- Bright light or reflective sunlight
- Smoking including secondhand smoke
- Change in sleeping habits
- Menstrual cycle or hormonal changes
- Changes in weather or climate
- Changes in altitude or time zones
- Fasting or skipping meals
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- Caffeine withdrawal
Here are some other possible migraine triggers to be aware of:
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- Depression, anxiety, or other strong emotions
- Physical exercise
- Red wine or port wine
- Artificial sweeteners
- MSG (in many packaged food products)
- Nitrates/nitrites (i.e., hot dogs, deli meats, bacon)
- Tyramine (an amino acid found in aged cheese, yeast, and pickled or marinated foods)
- Citrus fruits
- Birth control or hormone therapy
- Overuse of pain medication
- Odors from perfume, pain, dust, and flowers
May 30th, 2013 • Posted by Erica Vinson • Permalink
Interesting fact: more than 45 million Americans seek medical attention for severe or chronic headaches.
I guess this doesn't include the number of people who never seek medical help for them, so there's probably way more people. If you have not seen a doctor about your persistent headaches, you should. They will do a physical evaluation and have you describe your headache history. You want to give as much detail as possible. Don't worry if you haven't figured out all the triggers.
When you are experiencing a headache specific nerves of the blood vessels and head muscles are triggered and they send pain signals to the brain. Migraine headaches are related to pain in the mid-brain area where blood vessels are constricted and dilated along with other hormones that cause painful pulsations. They are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or noise. Migraines, because of there debilitation, are now considered to be a neurological disease with a hereditary link.
Interesting fact: there is a family history of migraines in about 90 percent of migraine sufferers. So if your parents don't suffer from migraines, ask them if their parents did because there is a good chance that one of them did.
Stress is one of the most common triggers of migraines -- that's why massage is one of the recommended therapies because of the stress relieving factor. When the body is under stress, it reacts with a "fight or flight response" which releases chemicals in the brain that can provoke migraines. Migraines can last up to three days (ouch).
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