Don’t let migraines steal your thunder

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Don’t let migraines steal your thunder

Post by Tee on Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:16 am

A good piece on general migraine - but does not go far enough for me

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By Chinedum Esimai
Published on: Thursday, October 13, 2011 Modified on: Thursday, October 13, 2011


If you’re experiencing severe headaches that are accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, blurred vision and light headedness or fainting, you could be suffering from a migraine headache. Migraines are most often caused by environmental factors, stress and changes in the sleep-wake cycle.

When you’re sitting in class, on your way to work or in a social situation, a splitting headache is the last thing you wish for. A severe, throbbing headache can put a stop to your day.

However, if your symptoms are more than a severe headache, you could be experiencing a migraine. Headaches can have many different causes, but a vast majority are caused by changes in the size of blood vessels in the brain.

The changes make the walls of blood vessels swell and become dilated. This can happen both in the scalp tissue and inside the skull.

Though researchers don’t know the exact cause, these blood vessels tend to be extremely sensitive to outside stressors and can lead to a migraine at any time.

One artery may become dilated and the pulsating sensation can be felt rushing through — this is what causes the painful throbbing common to migraines.

The word migraine literally means a one-sided headache. The pains associated with the migraine are typically felt in one region of the brain and can later spread to other parts.

It could run in your blood
Studies have shown that being prone to migraine headaches can often be hereditary. It has been found that people whose parents have suffered from the condition are at a significantly higher risk.

Migraines are also more common among women, but men can also be prone to these painful headaches

Problems typically arise in the late teens and are less likely to occur after a person has reached middle age.

What’s causing your migraines?
These headaches are typically triggered by prolonged emotional stress like anxiety or feelings of frustration, both of which cause an imbalance in blood flow to the brain.

This condition can also occur due to changes in the endocrine glands.

Studies show that serotonin — which is recognized as cerebrospinal fluid in the brain — may also play a part in triggering these headaches.

Skipping meals and consuming certain foods, like aged cheese, chocolate, MSG, salt and aspartame can be a common cause of migraines. Sensory stimuli — like flashing lights, loud noises and in some cases smells can trigger migraines as well.

You could be at greater risk for migraines if you’re missing sleep or getting too much sleep.

Other changes in the sleep-wake cycle, like jet lag, can also cause you to get a migraine.

Additionally, oral contraceptives and changes in weather can prompt these headaches.

Treating the migraine headache
A cure for this kind of headache has not been found, because researchers are still working to fully understand the causes and dynamics of the condition.

However, antiserotonin drugs and, more recently, drugs prescribed to patients with Alzheimer’s dementia have been proven effective in the treatment of migraines.

Until there are more concrete treatments, stress reduction and relaxation techniques, if you feel a migraine coming on, it might be beneficial to rest in a cool, dark room until it subsides.

http://thedailycougar.com/2011/10/13/don%E2%80%99t-let-migraines-steal-your-thunder/

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