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Apr 13, 2008

Say No To Migraine Headaches!

Are you a migraneur (one who suffers from migraine pain)? If you are, then you are most definitely aware of the intense throbbing headache that it brings and the disabling symptoms that accompany it!

The word “migraine” originated from the Greek work “hemicrania” which literally means “half of the head”. This is because classic migraine headaches usually affect one side of the head only, with the pain centering on the eye or temple. It can be accompanied by several other symptoms such as numbness or weakness, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and a marked sensitivity to light, noise, odors and touch.

Migraine headaches tend to affect the females more than the males. In fact for every four migraine sufferers, three would be females! It was also observed that migraine tends to run in the family so if you have a close relative who suffers from this debilitating condition, there is a great chance that you would, too.

What does a migraine headache feel like?

Those who have already suffered from migraine headaches describe the pain as a constant, intense throbbing pain that can literally knock you off your feet. Migraine headaches can be so disabling that you need to lie still in a dark quiet room and avoid even the slightest of stimulation to any of your primary senses to prevent the pain from worsening. Migraine headaches can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting but in some cases, vomiting can actually help in relieving the pain.

Migraine headaches can hit you all of a sudden. However, if you are observant enough, you will notice a series of warning signs before the onset of the pain. These may include abrupt mood changes, food cravings, excessive yawning and speech or memory problems. You may also notice a change in your energy level and/or experience increased sensitivity.

A number of migraine sufferers may also experience visual disturbances, temporary vision problems and may feel a tingling sensation in their lips and hands. In some extreme cases; migraine headaches can even cause a person to hallucinate, go temporarily blind or be unable to speak!

When the headache finally ends, you may either feel more alive with your energy literally bursting at the seams or you may feel completely drained and washed out for about a day or so. Even your emotions may be affected – you may experience extreme mood changes from euphoria to depression in an instant!

Migraine headaches were observed to be triggered by a lot of different factors – from stress to a diet dominated by processed foods. You may not know it but you may be eating a lot of foods that can trigger the onset of migraine headaches. Among the most common culprits are the following:

• Dairy products such as buttermilk, chocolate milk, ripened cheeses, sour cream and yogurt
• Processed meat and fish such as bacon, bologna, corned beef, hotdogs, pickled herring, salami, sausages and smoked fish, among others
• Yeast breads and cakes
• Beverages that contain alcohol and caffeine
• Condiments such as MSG, soy sauce and vinegar
• Pickled foods

If you are prone to migraine headaches, you may also want to avoid certain fruits and vegetables such as avocado, banana, beans, citrus fruits and juices, nuts, onions, papaya, raisins and certain seeds (pumpkin, sesame and sunflower). They may just worsen the frequency and intensity of your migraine pains!

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Migraines

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