The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart - HTML preview

PLEASE NOTE: This is an HTML preview only and some elements such as links or page numbers may be incorrect.
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.
index-1_1.jpg

Another eBookWholesaler Publication

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches

PREVENTION, TREATMENT AND REMEDIES

By Alice Peart

Copyright 2006 All rights reserved

Proudly brought to you by

John Reese

Email

Recommended Resources

Web Site Hosting Service

Internet Marketing

Affiliate Program

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 2 of 87

Please Read This FIRST.

Terms of Use

This Electronic book is Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this

book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any

means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without

written permission from the copyright holder(s).

You do not have any right to distribute any part of this ebook in any way at all.

Members of eBookwholesaler are the sole distributors and must abide by all the

terms at http://www.ebookwholesaler.net/terms.php

Disclaimer

The advice contained in this material might not be suitable for everyone. The

author provides the information only as a broad overview by a lay person about

an important subject.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical

advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or

other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a

medical condition or anything which might affect your body or well-being in any

way.

The author obtained the information from sources believed to be reliable and

from her own personal experience, but he neither implies nor intends any

guarantee of accuracy.

Research is changing theories and practices in this area constantly and each

person needs to consult their own medical practitioner who knows their particular

details.

The author, publisher and distributors never give legal, accounting, medical or

any other type of professional advice. The reader must always seek those

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

2.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 3 of 87

services from competent professionals that can review their own particular

circumstances.

The author, publisher and distributors particularly disclaim any liability, loss, or risk taken by individuals who directly or indirectly act on the information

contained herein.

All readers must accept full responsibility for their use of this material.

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

3.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 4 of 87

Table of Contents

Please Read This FIRST. .......................................................................................... 2

Terms of Use ...................................................................................................................................... 2

Disclaimer ........................................................................................................................................... 2

Table of Contents...................................................................................................... 4

1. Migraine headaches - An Overview ..................................................................... 8

What Causes a Migraine? ................................................................................................................. 8

Time for a Migraine ........................................................................................................................ 9

Combating a Migraine ....................................................................................................................... 9

The Mechanism Behind A Migraine ............................................................................................. 9

Stress on the Muscles ................................................................................................................. 10

2. What are migraine headaches? ......................................................................... 12

What Happens During Migraine Headaches? ............................................................................... 12

Causes of a Migraine ....................................................................................................................... 12

3. Types of Migraine Headaches............................................................................ 14

Classification of a Migraine ........................................................................................................ 14

A Migraine with Aura ................................................................................................................... 14

Types of Migraines with Aura ..................................................................................................... 15

Migraines without an Aura .......................................................................................................... 15

4. What is A Migraine?............................................................................................ 16

Diagnosis of a Migraine................................................................................................................... 16

Causes .............................................................................................................................................. 16

Accompanying Symptoms.......................................................................................................... 17

Remedies .......................................................................................................................................... 17

5. Signs and Symptoms of Typical Migraine headaches..................................... 18

Warning Signs .................................................................................................................................. 19

6. Factors That Trigger Migraine Headaches........................................................ 21

7. What is the Real Cause of Migraine Headaches? ............................................ 25

How Does it Happen? ...................................................................................................................... 25

Other Factors ............................................................................................................................... 26

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

4.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 5 of 87

8. Risk Factors ........................................................................................................ 27

Major Risk Factors........................................................................................................................... 27

9. Who Gets Migraine Headaches? ....................................................................... 29

10. Migraine Headaches in Children...................................................................... 31

Causes .............................................................................................................................................. 31

Symptoms......................................................................................................................................... 32

Preventive Measures ................................................................................................................... 33

Treatments.................................................................................................................................... 33

11. Recent Research on Migraine Headaches ...................................................... 34

Recent Research Findings.............................................................................................................. 34

Implantable Neurotransmitter..................................................................................................... 34

12. How to Diagnosis Migraine Headaches .......................................................... 36

Scans and Tests...................................................................................................... 38

CT scans ........................................................................................................................................... 38

MRI scans ......................................................................................................................................... 38

Lumbar Puncture or Spinal Tap ..................................................................................................... 38

Sinus X-Ray ...................................................................................................................................... 38

Neurological and Ophthalmology Tests........................................................................................ 39

Skeletal Tests ................................................................................................................................... 39

Other Factors .......................................................................................................... 40

Orthodontic Care ............................................................................................................................. 40

Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain ................................................................................................... 40

13. Ten Tips to Avoid Migraine Headaches .......................................................... 42

14. Migraine Headaches and Sleep Apnea............................................................ 45

15. Natural Remedies to Prevent or Ease Migraine Headaches.......................... 46

16. Treating Migraine Headaches with Acupressure ........................................... 47

17. Treating Migraine Headaches with Massage Therapy ................................... 49

18. Treating Migraine Headaches with Detoxification.......................................... 50

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

5.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 6 of 87

19. Treating Migraine Headaches with Herbs ....................................................... 51

20. Treating Migraine Headaches with Acupuncture ........................................... 52

21. Treating Migraine Headaches with Biofeedback ............................................ 53

22. Treating Migraine Headaches with Exercise .................................................. 54

23. Treating Migraine Headaches with Vitamins and Supplements ................... 55

24. Treating Migraine Headaches with Traditional Chinese Medicine................ 57

25. Treating Migraine Headaches with Homeopathy ........................................... 58

26. Treating Migraine Headaches with Craniosacral Therapy............................. 60

27. Treating Migraine Headaches with Cognitive Therapy .................................. 61

28. Treating Migraine Headaches with Energy Healing ....................................... 62

29. Treating Migraine Headaches with Ayurveda................................................. 63

30. Treating Migraine Headaches with Environment and Lifestyle Changes .... 64

Environmental Changes.................................................................................................................. 64

Lifestyle Changes ............................................................................................................................ 64

31. Treating Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy .......................................... 65

32. Herbs for Aromatherapy to Treat Migraine Headaches ................................. 66

33. Herbs for Cleansing Teas to Treat Migraine Headaches ............................... 67

34. Relieving Your Stress Triggers........................................................................ 68

35. Avoiding Foods that Trigger Migraine Headaches ........................................ 69

36. Treating Migraine Headaches with Relaxation Techniques .......................... 70

37. Relieving Caffeine Headaches ......................................................................... 71

38. Can You Use Feverfew for Migraine Relief? ................................................... 72

39. Treatment Options for Migraine Headaches................................................... 73

40. The Impact of Migraine Headaches ................................................................. 77

41. How to Cope with Migraine Headaches .......................................................... 80

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

6.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 7 of 87

42. Myths and Misinformation about Migraine Headaches ................................. 82

43. Common Mistakes in Treating Migraine Headaches...................................... 83

44. When to Seek Professional Help ..................................................................... 85

45. How Do I Choose a Doctor for Headache Care? ............................................ 86

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

7.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 8 of 87

Part-I: Introduction

1. Migraine headaches - An Overview

Migraine headaches are severe headaches which can happen suddenly. They

have distinct symptoms, such as tingling in the leg (or arm) or blind spots or

flashes of light across your eyes.

You then become very sensitive to light, which is called Photophobia, and sound,

which is called Phonophobia. You also feel nauseated or actually vomit.

Migraine headaches may prevail for few hours or few days. The pain is intense.

Migraine headaches are a common ailment among more than 28 million

Americans. Another interesting statistic is more women suffer from migraines

than men do. 8% of men and 25% of women suffer from a migraine at some or

other time of their lives.

A migraine is a vascular headache as it is due to compression of arteries and

their effects on veins. You may feel pain either on one side of the head or all

over your head.

‘Migraine’ comes from the Greek word, hemikranion, which means pain affecting

one side of the head.

What Causes a Migraine?

There is no single cause for a migraine. Contributing factors could include:

intake of alcohol

certain specific food items

the menstrual cycle in women

weather changes

bright light, and

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

8.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 9 of 87

some genetic factors.

A migraine could lead to certain psychological problems, strokes and depression.

This is because of the narrowing of the blood vessels in the brain and head which

lowers the flow of blood to the brain and results in intense headaches and pain.

Time for a Migraine

Migraine headaches commonly occur between the ages of ten and forty-six.

Inherited genetic factors causing a migraine are due to skeletal imbalances.

Normally, your doctor conducts a detailed investigation into your family history

to analyze possible causes of your migraine.

Those suffering from sinus problems also suffer from severe headaches, albeit

different from a migraine. A thorough examination by a neurologist with an MRI

and a CT scan can clear all doubts of your headache being due to sinus, brain

tumor, or seizures.

Combating a Migraine

The main aim of any migraine treatment is to lessen and eliminate the pain. This

should also reduce the vomiting and nausea symptoms. Doctors recommend an

array of treatment methods and intake of various NSAIDs like Tylenol, Advil, or

Excedrin or other drugs like Topamax, Imitrex and some others.

However, none of these drugs can provide long-term relief from migraine

headaches.

A migraine is a neurological disease. There are many new medications available.

Although they may not offer a total relief, they can reduce the frequency of

occurrence of a migraine. Again, they can stop the pain sooner after your

migraine headache starts.

The Mechanism Behind A Migraine

Migraine headaches come from excessive pressure on the temporalis muscle and

trigeminal nerve. These are the primary centers for the cause of your migraine

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

9.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 10 of 87

headache. It results due to excessive and abnormal muscular activity leading to

a change in the blood flow and electrochemistry within your head. Normally, you

associate headaches or an attack of a migraine to a very stressful day.

Normal headaches find relief in simple medications. However, migraine sufferers

do not find any relief from such medications.

Various dental problems are often the cause for your migraine. Crooked teeth

and disjoined jaws lead to excessive clenching and grinding. Abnormal

functioning of these muscles triggers abnormal blood flow. Lack of sufficient

blood supply causes headaches which persist.

Such intense contraction of muscles leads to chronic headaches. The pain is more

intense due to overuse and overexertion of muscles. Eventually, it can lead to

joint damage. Then, your muscles try to increase activity to make up for the

damage, leading to more pain.

This vicious cycle continues and you suffer from a migraine.

Stress on the Muscles

Muscular stress causes migraines. Normally, you do not compress or grind your

teeth. However, in stressful situations, you clench your teeth together hard. Even a slight touch of the teeth needs excellent coordination between the temporalis

and masseter muscles. Coordinated contraction of these muscles helps you put

your teeth together comfortably.

However, continued contraction of these muscles leads to muscular dysfunction.

You may suffer from this dysfunction but may not notice until the resultant

problem crops up later in life.

This is because of the wear and tear of the joint with age and time. As the jaw

and muscles lose their ability to function, surrounding muscular tissue also go

into a dysfunctional mode. This triggers your migraine headache.

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

10.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 11 of 87

This constant tension of the jaw and associated nerves damage the health and

working of the associated nerves. Facial nerves bear the brunt of the problem

leading to cramps, nausea, and oversensitivity to light and sound. It could also

lead to spasms, lack of deep sleep, and other neurological problems. You may

feel as if your body is burning.

These symptoms are due to accelerated working of the sympathetic nervous

system of your body. They cannot maintain the balance in your body. Efficient

and coordinated functioning of all body parts suffer, which causes pain in all the muscles of the body.

Because of this, you feel tired, irritated, angry, and depressed. It takes a lot of time for the hyper-activated sympathetic nervous system to regain its balance

and resume normal functioning. Migraine headache treatments try to bring it into

balance sooner and thus relieve you of your migraine headache.

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

11.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 12 of 87

Part-II: Understanding migraine headaches

2. What are migraine headaches?

A migraine is a neurological disease and a type of vascular headache. A migraine

occurs due to changes in the vascular body system and also affects the muscular

tissues too. The main characteristics of migraine headaches are severe pain on

either one side or both sides of the head, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, vomiting and an upset stomach.

There are many different types of headaches. Each could cause severe pain and

discomfort. Therefore, only a careful and correct diagnosis of the symptoms can

classify your headache in the migraine category or not. Such clear classification

helps in prescribing proper treatment and better relief from the pain.

What Happens During Migraine Headaches?

If you have a bout of migraine, you can feel severe pain in either one or both

sides of your head and, additionally, around the temples or behind an ear or eye.

Normally, a migraine attack starts in the morning but it can occur at other times

of the day. The pain can last for a few hours to many days. You can become very

sensitive to light and sound. You also can suffer from nausea, vomiting and an

upset stomach - or all three at once.

Causes of a Migraine

You cannot allocate any single reason for the cause for your migraine headache.

Such attacks could be due to excessive noise or very bright lights, lack of

sufficient sleep or food, anxiety, stress, environmental changes, or intake of

alcohol, and nicotine, certain foods like chocolate or others foods containing

additives. Women also suffer migraine bouts due to hormonal changes during

their menstrual cycles.

There are two main forms of a migraine - classic and common migraine.

However, it is helpful to keep a headache diary and note down the time, where

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

12.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 13 of 87

you were when it began and what you were doing when your migraine started.

This could prove helpful to your doctor to analyze the type of your migraine so

your doctor can suggest suitable medications.

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

13.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 14 of 87

3. Types of Migraine Headaches

There are many different types of migraine headaches. All these headaches

have the same basic migraine features with some differences in their symptoms,

intensity, and occurrence.

A migraine is a slow starter but soon becomes a steady and nagging pain. The

intensity increases with time. You feel a throbbing and reverberating pain at the

temples, near your eyes and ears. All types of migraines cause nausea, vomiting,

and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Classification of a Migraine

There are two broad classifications of a migraine:

1. A migraine with aura, which is a classic migraine and

2. A migraine without aura, which is a common migraine

A Migraine with Aura

With these, you experience an aura or certain indicators that may point towards

the coming onslaught of the headache. Those indicators occur due to the

combination of different neurological symptoms before the particular migraine.

You could see flashing lights, have blind spots in an eye or both the eyes, view

wavy and jagged lines, experience certain hallucinations, disturbances in your

hearing, or even feel strange odors and a change your senses of taste and smell.

You may become numb to feelings of touch and go blank, without able to

recollect the correct words you are about to speak. These neurological events

can occur around an hour before the start of the migraine headaches and go

away once the migraine pain starts.

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

14.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 15 of 87

Types of Migraines with Aura

Hemiplegics migraine: This is a rare but severe type of migraine. It is normally hereditary. It starts with a temporary paralysis, or similar sensory disturbances

on one side of the body, and develops into severe headache within an hour.

However, your paralysis and other neurological disturbances vanish with the

arrival of your headache.

Ophthalmoplegic migraine: This severe, and rare, migraine causes pain

around the eyeball with paralysis of the surrounding muscles. The symptoms last

for a few days or months. However, immediate medical attention is necessary to

relive pressure on the nerves surrounding the eye.

Retinal migraine: This migraine is very rare and begins with a temporary and partial or complete loss of sight in an eye. Your eye aches and the pain spreads

to other parts of the head too.

Basilar Artery migraine: This rare form of a migraine may come in bouts. You experience confusion, dizziness, ringing in the ears, vomiting or speaking

problems. This migraine occurs due to hormonal imbalances and is common with

young women and girls.

Abdominal migraine: This migraine pain attacks your abdominal region. You

experience vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Pain and associated symptoms occur

for many hours.

Migraines without an Aura

This is a vascular headache and occurs due to the constriction of blood vessels in and around the skull. Migraine pain is due to inflammation of blood vessels.

There could be two or more such headaches every month, though it varies from

person to person. Some last for few days while some last for a few hours. Such

headaches can start at any time of the day or night but they do not wake you

from your sleep.

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

15.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 16 of 87

4. What is A Migraine?

A chronic migraine is a migraine that occurs for a fortnight or more every

month. It does not occur due to an overdose of medications or painkillers and

discontinuance of a medication won’t lessen it. It may be due to changes in parts

of your brain but there is no clear medical research to support this theory.

Diagnosis of a Migraine

Doctors conduct thorough physical and neurological examinations and review

your medical history and background. Some headaches could be due to certain

irregularities in your skull or brain. Imaging techniques like MRI and CT scans

can reveal these abnormalities. But, if there are no revelations in your scans and you still suffer from severe headaches, doctors may diagnose a migraine.

Causes

A migraine can start and end at any time. There can be a total cessation of the

headache altogether too. You cannot pinpoint any particular cause for your

migraine. Doctors advise you to maintain a regular chronological journal of your

lifestyle patterns, food intake, and other activities to show up possible causes.

A few possible causes are:

¾ Irregular and insufficient sleep patterns

¾ Strong perfumes, air fresheners or incense sticks

¾ Insufficient intake of healthy food

¾ Long and stressful driving

¾ Prolonged viewing of television or exposure to computers

¾ Excessive stress

¾ Alcoholic beverages

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

16.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 17 of 87

¾ Not enough water

If you are able to link any of these causes with your migraine, take remedial

steps to alter your lifestyle patterns and get relief from this terrible and

excruciating pain.

Accompanying Symptoms

A migraine causes severe head pain. Nausea and vomiting accompany it. It

becomes difficult, or even impossible, to bear the slightest sound or light. You

feel the pain passing through your entire body and almost destabilizing your

virtual existence. In short, a migraine seems like physical torture.

Remedies

Doctors prescribe certain anti-seizure medications, antidepressants or

cardiovascular drugs as medications for different people’s migraines. However,

none of those offer total relief for your migraine.

You can choosing from a wide choice of medications, natural remedies, pain

management techniques, therapies and other methods of relief. However,

migraine intensity differs from person to person and the effectiveness of the

remedies also differs.

There is no permanent and sure relief for a migraine. Nevertheless, you may be

able to control the onset, frequency and occurrence of some migraines.

¾ Reduce your stress levels at your workplace and home

¾ Develop a certain relaxing regimen, according to your tastes.

¾ Opt for soothing background music, meditation, relaxed bath, yoga, or

¾ Set aside a quiet place for you alone.

These techniques relax your nervous system and may keep a migraine at bay.

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

17.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 18 of 87

5. Signs and Symptoms of Typical Migraine headaches

A migraine is a vascular headache and a neurological disease. Migraine attacks

are not the same for all people. A typical migraine headache may last for four to

seventy-two hours. Some suffer migraine attacks many times a month while

some suffer only twice in a year.

Common signs and symptoms of typical migraine headaches are:

¾ Pulsating and throbbing pain in the head

¾ Pain on either one or both sides of the head

¾ Nausea and vomiting

¾ Sensitivity to light (Photophobia)

¾ Sensitivity to sound (Phonophobia)

¾ Increasing pain with physical exertion

¾ Headache intensifies with head movements and

¾ Splitting headache which discourages normal functioning

Migraine headaches can be either a migraine with aura or a migraine without

aura. A migraine without aura is the common migraine and those with aura are

the classic migraines.

If you suffer from classic migraines, you experience additional symptoms which

can occur maybe half an hour before the onset of migraine headaches.

A few such symptoms are:

¾ Sudden appearance of shiny and zigzag lines in your line of vision

¾ Flashes of light across your vision

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

18.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 19 of 87

¾ Tingling and prickly sensations in your hands and legs

¾ Spreading blindness in the area of vision

¾ Inability to express yourself with words

Some of these symptoms may or may not subside after the start of the migraine

headache. The pain progresses by moving from one side to encompass the whole

head or it could also alternate between the two sides.

In very rare cases, migraines occur with seizures. This is a complicated type of a migraine and normally the effects wear off fairly soon. Hemiplegic migraines

can cause temporary one-sided paralysis. The Basilar type of migraine affects basic physical motor skills and affects your body movements too.

You will seek a dark and cool room or feel like covering your eyes with a dark

cool cloth.

Warning Signs

Irrespective of the type of migraine, your body sends out certain specific warning signs about the impending onslaught of pain. Such warning signals appear from

a day before to a few hours before the actual migraine.

Such warning signs include:

¾ Excessive thirst

¾ Drowsiness and sleepiness

¾ Irritability and Depression

¾ Unusual craving for sweets

¾ Very energetic and elated

These preludes could prepare you for few hours or days of intense suffering.

Sometimes, warning signs are different and do not affect any of your five senses.

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

19.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 20 of 87

Instead, you develop a vague feeling and a premonition that not everything is

well; there is something irregular or untoward. You could slowly develop

problems in forming proper sentences.

Migraines commonly do not affect infants and young children. However, it can

surface in infants in exceptional cases. The intensity and occurrence of such

headaches become less as you grow.

The signs and symptoms of a typical migraine headache in children are:

¾ Sleepiness or listlessness

¾ Yawning

¾ Craving for hot-dogs, bananas, yogurt, chocolate and sugary snacks

¾ Nausea and vomiting

¾ Sensitivity to light and sound

¾ Severe headache on both sides of the head

Occurrence of visual auras in children is very rare. In certain cases, there may be the presence of symptoms without any headache at all. This is an abdominal

migraine. Diagnosis of such a migraine is difficult.

Migraines in children tend to be of short duration, but they could cause your child to miss some school days.

Copyright © 2006 Alice Peart

20.

The Complete Guide to Migraine Headaches by Alice Peart

Page 21 of 87

6. Factors That Trigger Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches may occur suddenly at any time. There may be something

which triggers a migraine attack.

Such triggers could be any dietary, environmental, behavioral, infectious,

hormonal or chemical factors. Presence of such factors may set off migraine

headaches.

However, migraine attacks may occur without any apparent reasons too.

Doctors often advise migraine patients to maintain a regular journal or diary. You could note down the specific time of occurrence of migraine headaches such as

frequency, duration, your food intake before an attack and other factors like

stress, emotional outbursts, or anxiousness, and similar other plausible reasons

or causes for your migraine attack.

A look through the diary could help you, or your doctor to zero in on common

factors normally occurring before every migraine attack. They could then be

described as your trigger factors.