Migraines are a relatively common disorder, affecting about 10 percent of the population. An estimated 8.7 percent of females and 2.6 percent of males in the United States suffer from migraines.
They may occur anywhere from once a week to once or twice a year, and they often run in families.
One factor behind the higher incidence of migraine in women may be fluctuations in the level of the hormone estrogen; women typically get migraines around the time of menstruation, when estrogen levels are low.
A migraine is a vascular headache that involves the excessive dilation or contraction of the brain's blood vessels.
There are two types of migraine, common and classic. The common migraine occurs slowly, producing a throbbing pain that may last for two to seventy-two hours. The pain is severe and is often centered at the temple or behind one ear. Alternatively, it can begin at the back of the head and spread to one entire side of the head ( the word “migraine" comes from the Greek (hemikrania). which means “half a skull"). It is usually accompanied by:
* Blurred vision
* Tingling and numbness in the limbs that can last up to eighteen hours
A classic migraine is similar to a common migraine, but it is preceded by a set of symptoms referred to as a aura, which can consist of:
* Speech disorders
* Disturbances in the senses of vision and or smell
An aura can also consist of:
* Brilliant stars
* Simple geometric forms passing across the visual field
The most common symptom is an inability to see clearly. Visual disturbances may last only a few seconds or may persist for hours, then disappear.
Migraines occur most often in people between the ages of 20 and 35, and tend to decline with age. However, children too can suffer from migraines. In children, migraine pain tends to be more diffuse, rather than localized. Migraine can first show up in childhood not as headaches, but as:
* Periodic abdominal pains
* Severe motion sickness
Any number of things can trigger a migraine in a susceptible individual, including:
* Liver malfunction
* Too much or too little sleep
* Emotional changes
* Hormonal changes
* Sun glare
* Flashing lights
* Lack of exercise
* Changes in barometric pressure
Dental problems may also be a factor. Low blood sugar is frequently associated with migraine; studies have shown that blood sugar levels are low during a migraine attack, and the lower the blood sugar level, the more severe the headache.
Smoking can cause an attack because the nicotine and carbon monoxide cigarette smoke contains affects the blood vessels. The nicotine constricts them while the carbon monoxide tends to expand them.
Many different foods may precipitate an attack. Some of the most common offenders are:
* Citrus fruits
* Alcohol (especially red wine)
* Any food that is aged, cured, pickled, soured, yeasty, or fermented
If you suffer from migraines, it would be best to omit from your diet foods that contain the amino acid tyramine, including:
* Aged meats
* Canned fish
* Dairy products
* Hard cheeses
* Red plums
* Alcoholic beverages
* Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
* Nitrites (preservatives found in hot dogs and luncheon meats)
* Spicy foods
Women who suffer from migraines may benefit from the use of natural progesterone cream.
A study on the herb fever few found that participants who took the herb got an average of 24 percent fewer migraines than those who did not, and also that vomiting was reduced, with no side effects.
It's our gift to ourselves, how we take care of it. We can float through days, months, years, not paying any attention to our health. Yes, we are busy, things to do, children to raise, careers to contend with, but all these areas need us to be healthy. We need clean water & exercise, and nutrition to keep our bodies in good working vibrant condition.