Friday, September 3, 2010

#Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches can be devastating and debilitating. Migraine headaches result from vascular system irregularities as well as neurological and inflammatory conditions. Unlike ordinary headaches, migraines, include symptoms of nausea, vomiting, auras (light spots like zigzag lines, flashing lights, blind spots, etc), sensitivity to light and sound, numbness, speech difficulty, and pain on one side of the head or in one eye. All of these symptoms are connected to the irritation of the cranial nerves.

So what can you do to prevent a migraine headache before it attacks?

1. Eat wholesome, organic foods with no preservatives, additives, or artificial flavors or colors.

2. Add a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, fish and poultry to your diet.

3. Favor fiber rich foods.

4. Eat regularly, more frequently, and in smaller quantities.

5. Avoid eating late at night.

6. Avoid spicy foods, heavy starch foods, and greasy foods.

7. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and dairy products, especially cheese.

8. Talk to your doctor about prophylactic treatments like beta blockers (propanolol), calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline), and some antiepileptic medications (topamax and depakote), which have been shown to be effective preventive medications, but can have side effects.

9. Newer studies indicate that alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, is effective in preventing the frequency of migraines. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points on the body followed by gentle manipulation of the needles. This instantly increases blood flow in the tissues through a mechanism know as the "axon reflex", which dilates the small vessels around the needle area. An increase in circulation where blood flow is poor is called removal of "stagnation" in Asian medicine and is generally considered a very good response for most chronic conditions and for migraine prevention.

(AAFP, Medscape)

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