Is My Migraine From A Brain Tumor
Some worry that an increase in migraines or headaches can be down to a more serious illness such as brain tumors, though neurosurgeons say thats very unlikely. You should consider speaking to your doctor if your headaches or migraines change or if you have a new kind of headache or migraine. Things like seizures, numbness, speech issues or swelling, and other neurological issues are more likely to be signals of a brain problem than a migraine.
Magnesium May Reduce Migraine Frequency And Intensity
Magnesium can be taken as a natural supplement to prevent migraine attacks, says Nada Hindiyeh, MD, a headache specialist and researcher at Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, California.
In a meta-analysis published in 2016 in Pain Physician, oral magnesium was shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. There was also evidence that intravenous magnesium could help reduce the severity of an acute migraine attack within 15 to 45 minutes.
Many healthy foods provide magnesium, including bananas, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, dark chocolate, and leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard.
When To Call The Doctor
- You are experiencing “the worst headache of your life.”
- You have speech, vision, or movement problems or loss of balance, especially if you have not had these symptoms with a headache before.
- You have a fever with your headache.
- A headache starts suddenly or is explosive in nature.
Schedule an appointment or call your provider if:
- Your headache patterns or pain changes.
- Treatments that once worked are no longer help.
- You have side effects from your medicine.
- You are pregnant or could become pregnant. Some medicines should not be taken during pregnancy.
- You need to take pain medicines more than 3 days a week.
- You are taking birth control pills and have migraine headaches.
- Your headaches are more severe when lying down.
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Dont Go Looking For Trouble
No two migraines are exactly the same, and no two people will experience the exact same headache.
However, we do know that certain things are more likely to be migraine triggers. These include stress, light, caffeine, alcohol, lack of sleep, and even certain foods.
Tinsley, who also gets these terrible headaches, recommends keeping a food and migraine journal to find any common denominators. He recommends starting by eliminating the most common triggers, then using trial and error to determine your perfect storm for a migraine.
Sometimes its a combination of these things that trigger the migraines, he says. For example, your migraine triggers can be a mix of things you can and cant control: a stressful week, a drop in pressure due to a storm, a drink with dinner and chocolate cake for dessert.
Treat Yourself To A Massage
If you needed a reason to schedule a massage, here you go: Massage relieves stress and may help improve sleep quality, two known migraine triggers.
A 2006 study supported using massage therapy to treat migraines and participants reported lower levels of anxiety, heart rate, and cortisol level.
Cant afford or find time for a professional massage? Enlist a partner or friend for a mini massage to help relieve tension. Or, you can even work wonders by massaging tense muscles with a tennis or lacrosse ball placed between your back and a wall.
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Address Teeth Grinding Or Excessive Chewing
People have to eat to survive, and chewing is an important part of eating. However, studies suggest that excessive chewing might be linked to more headaches and even migraine. Researchers focused on gum-chewing for the study and found that tension headaches and migraine were more common in people who chewed gum frequently.
While you cant avoid eating, you may want to rethink chewing gum if you regularly experience migraine. You may also want to consider if you clench or grind your teeth while sleeping, as this could have a similar effect.
Practice Deep Breathing And Visualization Techniques
The simple act of inhaling and exhaling slowly calms the nervous system and stimulates a relaxation response throughout the body. If you pair deep breathing with a peaceful visualization, it will take the healing effects to the next level.
Visualizing a calming place such as the beach or a tree changing colors while doing deep breathing can help you relax and bring you to a place without pain from your migraines, Dr. Wind states. It can improve your emotional and mental wellbeing which influences the severity and frequency of your migraines.
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What Is Migraine Exactly
You may think of a migraine as a really bad headachebut the pain that accompanies it is far more severe. Migraine is actually a neurological disease. During an attack, groups of your brain cells become overactive, your blood vessels narrow, and blow flow to your brain shifts, which may contribute to the onset of symptoms, per Johns Hopkins Medicine. To be diagnosed, you have to experience the attacks repeatedly, which means having at least five excruciating headaches lasting 4 to 72 hours each per month, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Migraine has specific hallmarks to distinguish it from everyday headaches: The pain usually throbs, pounds, and/or pulses . This is usually accompanied by an upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting, which gets worse with physical activity. Migraine can also cause sensitivity to light, noise, and smells.
Migraine headaches can be brought on by triggers and these can vary wildlyanything from specific foods to stress to dehydration can spur an attack. However, not all migraine episodes have triggers, and if they do, you might not know what your individual triggers are. The headaches often feel dull and achy when they begin and gradually become more severe, eventually causing intense, throbbing pain. At their worst, migraine can make your whole head, face, jaw, and neck pulsate with pain.
Drink Caffeinated Tea Or Coffee
Sipping on beverages that contain caffeine, such as tea or coffee, may provide relief when you are experiencing a headache.
Caffeine improves mood, increases alertness and constricts blood vessels, all of which can have a positive effect on headache symptoms .
It also helps increase the effectiveness of common medications used to treat headaches, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen .
However, caffeine withdrawal has also been shown to cause headaches if a person regularly consumes large amounts of caffeine and suddenly stops.
Therefore, people who get frequent headaches should be mindful of their caffeine intake .
Certain herbs including feverfew and butterbur may reduce headache symptoms.
Feverfew is a flowering plant that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Some studies suggest that taking feverfew supplements in doses of 50150 mg per day may reduce headache frequency. However, other studies have failed to find a benefit .
Butterbur root comes from a perennial shrub native to Germany and, like feverfew, has anti-inflammatory effects.
Several studies have shown that taking butterbur extract in doses of 50150 mg reduces headache symptoms in both adults and children .
Feverfew is generally considered safe if taken in recommended amounts. However, butterbur should be treated with caution, as unpurified forms can cause liver damage, and the effects of its long-term use are unknown (
Foods containing them have been shown to trigger headaches in some people.
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Activate An Action Plan
When you notice any of your migraine warning signs, it’s time to take immediate preventive action. You may be able to avoid progression to a full-blown migraine by doing one or more of the following:
- Eat a snack. A hard-boiled egg, dark chocolate, or something salty may be good options.
- Drink some water or an electrolyte-infused beverage like Gatorade or Powerade.
- Close your office door , lock it if necessary, turn off the lights, and rest or catch a quick nap.
- Drink some caffeine if you’ve found that it helps your head pain.
- Do breathing and relaxation techniques to relieve stress.
- Place hot compresses or ice packs on your head or neck. You may find that one works better for you than the other.
- Use a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit or an Alpha-Stim device at the first sign of pain.
- Try some over-the-counter medication like Motrin or Advil , Excedrin, or Tylenol . It’s best if you only use this medication three times a week at the most, however, because otherwise you can end up with a medication overuse headache.
If none of these things helps stop or slow your developing symptoms, consider talking to your healthcare provider about prescription medications. There are medications you can take as soon as you notice a migraine symptom and preventative medications that you can take daily to head off the onset of symptoms.
How Should You Talk To Your Boss Or Co
Conversations with bosses or co-workers can be difficult, especially if they are under the false impression that youre trying to get special treatment.
Diamond says it may make sense to tell your boss or HR representative about your triggers, while making sure they realize youre still committed to being a team player and pulling your weight. That might also involve pushing back sometimes, and learning to advocate for yourself for the sake of your health.
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Keep Hormone Levels Balanced
Ladies, listen up: If your migraines are occurring during ovulation they may be related to hormonal fluctuations. Also, according to experts, your birth control may be to blame. As the birth control pills wear off in the morning, they can trigger a migraine, says Dr. Teitelbaum. Using reproductive hormones with more stable blood levels of estrogen and/or progesterone can then be helpful in decreasing migraine frequency.
This applies to women using hormones for birth control or to manage menopausal symptoms.
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When To Talk To Your Doctor
Alternative migraine treatment options such as those discussed here are generally considered to be safe. However, even innocuous substances and supplements can interact with prescriptions. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any treatments that you are considering incorporating into your routine. You should also talk to your healthcare provider anytime you experience changes in your migraine symptoms, such as experiencing more frequent headache days.
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What Is A Migraine Aura
The term migraine aura refers to a series of visual disturbances that tend to happen before a migraine fully develops. They are temporary and are often not associated with pain. However, they can be very distressing especially if they come on during a task that requires concentration, such as driving or working.
These migraine visual disturbances include:
- Seeing wavy or jagged lines
- Blind spots in vision
- Seeing flashing lights
What To Do If You Get A Migraine At Work
Even the best preventative measures dont work all the time. If you experience regular migraines, chances are youll find yourself riding one out at work. If that happens, Diamond recommends trying to take 20 minutes to a half hour in a quiet spot away from your desk to rest and take whatever acute migraine medicine you use, if any. Once the migraine clears, or at least subsides, you can return to work.
Some people who have migraines use caffeine to treat their symptoms, but Diamond stresses that this only works if you dont overuse it. If youre slamming four lattes a day, then you may have some headaches just because of your excessive use of caffeine, says Diamond. But if you generally dont use caffeine a lot, then it certainly can be used as a medication. Diamond recommends limiting your normal caffeine intake to less than 80-100mg per day, or about one cup of coffee.
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Which Home Remedy For Migraines Works Best
The aforementioned home remedies for migraines are quick-fix treatments that may provide short-term migraine pain relief. They sometimes help individuals address head pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms during a migraine attack. But home remedies for migraines wont cure all migraines, at all times.
Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute has a simple goal: to provide patients with long-term migraine pain relief. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Cabin offers Botox and minimally invasive migraine surgery to help chronic migraine patients who find that their current migraine medications are not working or cause intolerable side effects.
Botox temporarily prevents nerve cell signals from reaching the muscles. It is injected into the skin, relaxes the muscles and reduces excess muscle movement that sometimes causes migraine pain.
Migraine surgery treats migraine trigger points in the nose and around the face, neck and scalp. It permanently removes faulty nerve signals in the brain that result in migraines.
There is no need for chronic migraine patients to rely on ineffective home remedies for migraines or migraine medications. Instead, a chronic migraine patient can set up a consultation with Dr. Cabin to take the first step to find long-term relief for his or her migraine symptoms. To schedule a migraine treatment consultation with Dr. Cabin, please contact us today at 310.461.0303.
Foods To Eat During A Migraine Attack
Caffeine is a crystalline substance that could help with treating migraines. Some medical companies add powdered caffeine to over-the-counter headache treatments.
However, there is a fine line between the amount of caffeine that could reduce migraine headaches and too much caffeine, which could trigger withdrawal headache symptoms.
The American Migraine Foundation recommend that people who get migraines limit their daily intake of caffeine to 200 milligrams . However, it is worth noting that regularly consuming more than 100 mg of caffeine a day is a risk factor for headaches.
Eating bland foods from the lists of approved foods below can help minimize nausea during a migraine attack. Examples of these foods include white bread, saltine crackers, and pears.
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Tips To Identify Trigger Foods
Some doctors may recommend that people with migraines keep a food journal to track what they eat and any headache symptoms that they experience.
It is worth noting that some people may have an immediate reaction to a food, while others may not react until 24 hours after eating it.
The next step is to try removing one potential trigger food from the diet to see if migraines still occur. For example, a person may decide to avoid all products that contain red wine for a week, including red wine vinegar and the wine itself.
This approach can ensure that people do not remove foods from their diet unnecessarily.
Fruits That Trigger Migraines
Fruits that trigger migraines: Foods that Trigger migraines are a common trigger for migraine attacks. Migraine Trigger foods fall into one or more of the six categories. What foods trigger or exacerbate migraines? While there is no definite list of those specific fruits and vegetables that cause migraine, there are certain food categories that can trigger migraine symptoms.
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How Our Diets Affect Migraine
Many things can trigger a migraine attack, including what we eat and drink.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, foods that trigger migraine may only do so when combined with other triggers. But this combination and any trigger in general is highly individualized, making research difficult.
Theres no such thing as a universal migraine trigger. But there are some common triggers that can cause or contribute to migraine episodes in some people.
When You Get A Migraine
Try to treat your symptoms right away. This may help make the headache less severe. When migraine symptoms begin:
- Drink water to avoid dehydration, especially if you have vomited
- Rest in a quiet, dark room
- Place a cool cloth on your head
- Avoid smoking or drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages
Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin, are often helpful when your migraine is mild.
Your health care provider may have prescribed medicines to stop a migraine. These drugs come in different forms. They may come as a nasal spray, rectal suppository, or injection instead of pills. Other medicines can treat nausea and vomiting.
Follow your provider’s instructions about how to take all of your medicines. Rebound headaches are headaches that keep coming back. They can occur from overuse of pain medicine. If you take pain medicine more than 3 days a week on a regular basis, you can develop rebound headaches.
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Why Does Food Cause Headaches
The exact cause of migraines isnt known. But doctors agree that brief changes in your brain activity bring them on. These affect your blood vessels and nerve signals as well. The result: throbbing head pain that can last for days.
Many things can cause migraines, like medicine you take, changes in your hormones, and a lack of sleep. Your diet plays a part, too. In about 10% of people with these headaches, food is a trigger.
Home Remedies For Migraine Headache
If you get migraines, then you know they feel like hell on earth. They can bring throbbing pain, vomiting, and nauseaso much more than a headache. To make matters worse, they don’t have a known cause or cure.
While medication is one option for migraine prevention and relief, there are steps you can take at home that might help, too. Some people who get migraines rely solely on home remedies and lifestyle adjustments, while others use them as a complement to medication. For some, cutting back on medication use can also mean avoiding medication overuse headaches, which can be caused by regular, long-term use of pain relievers.
While there are many methods for easing symptoms, a major part of migraine treatment is identifying your triggers so you can avoid future attacks. That often means keeping a headache journal to zero in on what seems to cause your symptomsbut you might need help figuring that out. “If a person is experiencing chronic migraines, even after making dietary and lifestyle changes and attempting to address the root of the problem, then it’s time to seek advice from a healthcare professional,” says Josh Axe, D.C., D.N.M., C.N.S., co-founder of Ancient Nutrition. Your doctor can help you figure out whether potential nutrient deficiencies or allergens may be playing a role, and, in general, help you develop a treatment regimen that makes sense for you.
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