Twenty-Eight million Americans’ experience pain from migraine headaches and a great many have no clue as to what to do about it. That means about one person in every four household's experiences throbbing head pain. usually one side of the head, sometimes accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and/or sound. Some people may experience an “aura" before the migraine hits, characterized by flashes of light, zigzag lines, blind spots and numbness or tingling in the arm and face.
Migraine pain can last from 4 to 72 hours, knocking a person out of commission. But much can be done to minimize attacks and ease the symptoms.
This article contains advice from Seymour Diamond, M. D. director and founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, who states that pain may be triggered by certain foods, stress, and a drop in barometric pressure or fluctuating hormones. But migraine triggers vary from person to person and what causes a migraine one month may not the next. That's why Dr. Diamond has patients keep a diary that notes when headaches occurred and what brought them on.
In about one third of pain sufferers, certain kinds of foods set off a migraine. Potential triggers include ripened cheeses such as cheddar, Stilton, Brie, Emmentaler and Camembert; pickled or dried meats; and some vegetables, including broad, Lima, Fava beans and Snow Peas.
Pain Sufferers should also consider avoiding citrus fruits, figs, raisins, avocados, red plums, papayas, and bananas, plus skip all cheeses, chocolate, bread made with sourdough, excess caffeine or red wine an foods containing mono-sodium glutamate.
If you can't change a situation that's causing stress, at least “put it in perspective, " states Dr. Diamond. To control stress, do deep breathing, learn yoga, or rat chi, or consider biofeedback.
Playing video games can trigger a migraine pain attack, as can spending long hours at the computer. Remember to always wear sunglasses when you are outdoors, and place an antiglare screen on your video monitor.
At the Diamond Headache Clinic, doctors counsel against oversleeping and meal skipping. “If you want to sleep in on a Saturday at least get up and eat something, " says Dr. Diamond, “Then go back to bed. "
The American Migraine Study II found that only 48% of people whose symptoms met the definition of a migraine had been diagnosed by a doctor.
So, work with your doctor on a therapy plan that's right for you. Some medications help keep migraine from occurring; others short-circuit the pain. Make sure you go through a process of elimination of all elements affecting your life-style and investigate your biological needs to filter out those things that work and those that don't when it comes to dealing with Migraine pain.
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Ray Attebery is the Managing Director for Daily Health Updates, a breaking health news national service for TV and Radio broadcast stations in the United States, and also President for The Centre for Pain Relief in New York City.
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