Keeping A Migraine Trigger Diary

There are many triggers that can cause a migraine attack and the only way to find out what your personal triggers are, is to record every aspect of your day to day living in a diary. By recording what you did prior to a migraine attack in a diary, you will be able to identify and eliminate those potential migraine triggers.

When you start recording in your diary, remember you must make notes of everything and I mean everything you did before a migraine attack.

I have listed below some of the more common triggers, although it is worth noting that what may be a migraine trigger for one sufferer may not necessarily be a trigger for another.

1. Your diet can be a migraine trigger, so make sure you avoid those foods and drinks that can cause you problems, in other words watch what you eat and drink. There are many common food triggers such as those that contain additives and preservatives, natural food substances like tyramine (This can be found in aged foods and citrus fruits), alcohol (red wine and beer). The list of potential food migraine triggers is certainly not endless, but once you start recording the foods and drink that you consume, you will get a fair indication if any of them are responsible for your migraine triggers.

2. Not only can your diet be a trigger, but skipping meals or even fasting will have consequences for some sufferers.

3. Prescribed or non-prescribed medication may be the cause of a migraine trigger for some sufferers.

4. A less obvious trigger for migraines can be your working environment. If you work in a stuffy, smoky atmosphere or are exposed to bright or flickering lights this will more than likely be a potential trigger.

5. Exercise is for most people a healthy habit, however strenuous exercise especially if you are not used to it can be a trigger.

6. Lack of sleep or overtiredness.

7. Women sufferers should keep a record of their menstrual cycle.

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Once you have set about recording all the outside possible or potential triggers, then turn your attention to the symptoms and the attack itself and record the effects.

When and how the headaches started.

  • Did you have a vision problem?
  • Did you feel sick or vomit?
  • How long did the attack last for?
  • Where is the pain?

Keeping a migraine trigger diary will not cure your migraine, but at least it will make you aware of the possible triggers and give you enough information to help relieve your suffering from this debilitating condition.

By Health Care on November 4, 2011 | Headaches-Migraines | A comment?

Recurring Daily Headaches – What Causes Them?

Daily headaches invade every aspect of life. If you’ve tried eliminating all the common causes of recurring headaches without success, you may be ready to give up. Don’t. There are simple, hidden reasons that are rarely acknowledged. Learn what they are and the ache in your head might become just a memory.

Causes of Daily Headaches: The Well-Known and Little-Known

Obviously anxiety and stress can cause tension headaches. Some foods or food additives are often the culprits. But if you’ve tried removing dairy, wheat, gluten, MSG, nitrates, and caffeine and still can’t get relief, it’s time to look beyond the obvious to causes that are rarely noticed.

Dehydration: When you’re dehydrated, your blood vessels constrict to conserve body fluids. Often, a headache will disappear just by drinking enough water.
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Your Computer Monitor: The plastic of most computer monitors contains a flame-retardant chemical called “triphenyl phosphate”. It’s known to cause headaches. So make sure you have good air circulation in your computer room.

Calcium-Magnesium Ratio: Magnesium helps your muscles relax, which increases blood flow. If the ratio of magnesium to calcium is too low, your muscles contract. The result is often a headache. You can easily find out what this ratio is by getting a simple hair analysis. Or you can just try adding magnesium to your diet and see if it helps.

The Hidden Cause of Recurring Headaches

A major cause of daily headaches today is usually overlooked. In spite of research over the last twenty years, few people know about the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in our environment. Inside any building EMFs are generated by the electrical wiring and appliances. Over time, EMFs wear down your immune system, making it hard for your body to get rid of toxins. Chronic headaches and EMFs are very often linked!

High frequency EMFs from all wireless devices are even more likely to cause your headaches. If you’ve noticed a headache coming on after spending a long time at your computer (particularly if you’re in a room with Wi-Fi), exposure to EMFs is probably the cause.

How to Solve EMF Headaches

You don’t have to give up your cell phone or computer to be headache free. EMF protection devices can eliminate the dangers of EMF exposure and reduce or eliminate your headaches. A number of companies offer EMF protection devices, but they aren’t all the same. Look for a company with a long history and a generous guarantee that gives you an adequate period of time to try the product out to see if your daily headaches disappear.

The list of possible causes of recurring daily headaches in today’s world is a long one. But it’s easy to cross some of them off your list. Try some of these lesser-known causes and see what happens. How different your life can be without those nagging recurring daily headaches!

By Health Care on November 3, 2011 | Headaches-Migraines | A comment?

Identifying Your Migraine Triggers

A migraine can be triggered by many different factors which at first are not apparent to every sufferer of such a debilitating condition. Identifying those potential migraine triggers can be a very important step in helping to reduce and relieve possible attacks. These factors can be anything, from environmental, dietary, or physiologic issues, all which in turn can easily induce migraine activity within the brain.

Environmental triggers

The many types of environmental triggers include things like odours, bright lights, noise. Pains and aches that develop in the head and neck will trigger a migraine. The most widespread of which are neck injuries, pains from the jaw area, and sinus pain. It is also believed that the changes in weather can have affect on at least 40% of migraine sufferers. However the connection with regards to weather changes as a trigger for migraines is still not fully understood.

Food triggers

There are certainly numerous potential food triggers for migraine. Countless lists of foods that might bring about the triggering of a migraine can readily be located on the internet. Usually, these types of food belong to two main categories:

  1. Aging food by-products.
  2. Foods that contain certain chemicals.

Aging food by-products tend to be found in fermented products like red wine, aged cheeses, and yeast in fresh bread and yogurt. Foods with chemicals that may aggravate a migraine are coffee, chocolate, MSG (monosodium glutamate), and the nitrates used as preservatives in numerous prepackaged foods. Food triggers are certainly not the effect of an allergy, but are more than likely the direct reaction to chemicals in the food..

There is a popular myth that when an individual is sensitive to a specific type of food, they usually know it, simply because they have migraine symptoms inside an hour of eating that type of food in question. In reality, some effects can come right away or in some cases many days later. To add to this confusion the fact is that quite a few real food triggers probably won’t cause a migraine alone, but only in conjunction with other probable triggers, which collectively may trigger an attack of migraine headache or symptoms. For instance, some migraine sufferers can eat chocolate or red wine alone with no problem, but will suffer a migraine attack if chocolate and red wine are consumed at the same time. It is recommend that any initial migraine diet plan firstly avoids only the most common migraine triggers. If a migraine doesn’t subside within a few weeks, it may well be advisable to consider a more comprehensive migraine diet plan that eliminates all potential migraine triggers. This may take up to 10 weeks before there is any response from the diet plan.

Physiological triggers

  • Stress is perhaps considered one of the most common types of migraine triggers. Studies show that sufferers complain of an increase in their symptoms when stress, fatigue, or if lack of sleep is prevalent.
  • Other stress related triggers can be hunger, exercise and even pain. There is also the possibility that a migraine can be triggered from over-sleeping. Hormone changes are another trigger especially around the time of a period or after menopause
  • Eye strain is often overlooked as a migraine related trigger, however it is not uncommon especially if the sufferer has not had an eye examination. It could be that there is a need for glasses or their current prescription may need up-dating.
By admin on September 15, 2011 | Headaches-Migraines | A comment?

An Effective Migraine Diet Plan

Many sufferers of migraine attacks are probably unaware that their diet may be a contributing factor in triggering such attacks.

Migraine sufferers react in two different ways to the type of foods they eat.

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  1. The first is they can react to certain chemicals found in a number of foods.
  2. Secondly there is normal food intolerance.

The issue with such food reactions are that they can surface from 1½ to at least 12 hours after consumption. With this in mind it’s worth keeping a diary or note to record what has been eaten prior to a migraine attack and then the offending foods that trigger migraine attacks can be eliminated from any future diet plan, because those who suffer from migraines tend to react to different foods, an effective individual migraine diet plan therefore is essential.

Modern day lifestyles can have an impact on many people’s diets. There is certainly a tendency to buy pre-packaged foods from the supermarkets because it’s easier than preparing a fresh meal. What is forgotten though is that processed foods and pre-packaged foods contain additives and preservatives, not forgetting the natural substance tyramine which is found in many foods. All these preservatives and additives can and will trigger migraine attacks.

An effective migraine diet plan should be a must for those who suffer from migraines where the probable triggers are caused by a dietary issue. A well-balanced and healthy diet, will not only help reduce the possibility of a migraine attack, but will also give the extra benefit of overall health. A diet plan does not mean skipping meals or fasting, because in reality this is a potential migraine trigger with some people, so eating regularly is also well advised.

A diet plan should consist of mainly freshly prepared foods such as meat, poultry, fish and of course fresh fruit and vegetables.

Foods that most definitely should NOT be even considered as part of any migraine diet plan are those which contain tyramine, a natural substance found predominantly in foods and drinks such as mature cheese, processed or cured meats, caffeine (coffee, tea, cola), citrus fruit and bananas, alcohol (red wine & beer).

Another food additive to steer clear of is MSG (monosodium glutamate) mainly found in Chinese foods, pizza, chips and soups.

Exercise can also play a major part in a effective migraine diet plan, although there can be some mixed reaction depending on the individual. Exercise in some cases, especially excessive exercise can produce headaches, however in other cases lack of exercise has the same result. Yet again it’s worth keeping a note on what works and what doesn’t.

Finally the important things to remember about implementing an effective migraine diet plan are:

  • Know your triggers
  • Eat on regular basis
  • Don’t miss out on meals.
  • Take light exercise
By Health Care on August 28, 2011 | Headaches-Migraines | A comment?

7 Steps To Weeding Out Your Migraines

Have you seen the research by the Japanese water researcher, Dr Masaru Emoto where he examined the change in water after directing different human thoughts and emotions to it? He exposed water to music, spoken and typed words, pictures and videos and his findings are quite extraordinary. The water molecules of love, appreciation, gratitude were stunning! Whereas those water molecules exposed to ‘I hate you: I will kill you’ were quite the opposite.

Before you ask me, what’s the link with migraines? Let me remind you that our bodies are made of 80% water. There is some value to having a detached look at what kind of thoughts are we habitually thinking, speaking and feeling and how that’s working for you.

So, I challenge you to decide to really tackle your migraines head-on (pun intended) from this non-medical angle. Instead of looking outward for solutions, I challenge you to look inward.

At first, directing your attention inward may feel like wading into an unfamiliar swamp. And even though you may never have considered that there may be a link between your thoughts and emotions and your migraine, you may be surprised at what you find.

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Just like Dr Masuru Emoto’s research, conflicting and critical thoughts create powerful and heavy emotions weigh heavily on you and you head, and your body, until it can’t take it anymore and it lets off steam. A migraine is the way the body and mind communicates to you that it cannot cope and needs to let off steam. The pain is the steam. Weed out those thoughts and emotions from your mind first, create a healthy lifestyle and habits and you will see your migraines reduce considerably.

If you are new to this, here are seven, no, eight tips to get you started.

1. On a clean sheet of paper, write down everything that comes to your mind about yourself, your health, your life and how you feel about your migraines (Don’t think about what you are writing, allow yourself the luxury of no censorship as nobody but you is reading this)

2. Go into detail and write how everything makes you feel.

3. When you’ve finished, take a break. For example, you could go for a walk, go swimming, have a conversation with a good friend or do anything that makes you happy

4. Come back to your sheet of paper and have a look at what you’ve written. Note your reactions.

5. Ask yourself, if these thoughts, emotions, feelings are what you want to continue thinking and feeling?

6. If not, then cross them out and decide on what you prefer to think and feel.

What you’ve just done by crossing out the thought is you have become aware of the ‘weed’ and have cut it – it’s weak now in the garden of your mind but the roots are still there and will grow back if you are not vigilant and take steps to weed out these thoughts.

7. To begin ‘weeding out’ these thoughts, for each of these thoughts, ask yourself ‘is this true?’ and if it is, then you ask yourself ‘do I want this to be true from now on?’ and you are on your way to pulling up the roots!

And one final step:

8. Now that you have some spare in your ‘mental garden’ why not use it to put better, nicer more empowering thoughts in your mind.

You’ll know they are better by how they make you feel. If the thought makes you feel slightly better, you know you are on the right track. If the thought drags you down, then that’s an indication that it’s bringing you back into a swampy-migraine state and that a better thought exists. Create sweet-smelling thoughts, plant them in your mind, keep weeding out the weeds… and oh, don’t forget to drink water!

By Health Care on June 18, 2011 | Headaches-Migraines | A comment?

How to Treat a Headache at Home

Headaches can cause a lot of problems. You may have to stay home from work or school, and household chores will just have to wait. It’s hard to think, let alone do things. In fact, doing things may only make the pain worse.
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Most headaches can be resolved at home with a few simple remedies. The suspected cause will effect the remedy that is right for you, but there are many things you can do.

The first thing you need to do is head for a darkened room and no noise. This is even more important if the pain is caused by a migraine. It seems that light and sound only make the situation worse. It may mean that you have to miss some work or school, but those activities will not be a priority until the pain is manageable.

Migraine sufferers have turned to feverfew for centuries. It can be chewed fresh or made into a tea. Eating the fresh leaves can cause sores in your mouth, so a tea or a prepared supplement tablet may be your better bet. If you are allergic to aspirin, you may want to avoid this herb.

The scent of lavender is relaxing to most people, and headache sufferers are pretty tense. Dip a rag into lavender scented water and place it on your forehead. As it gets warm, turn it over so that the cooling from the water and the soothing scent from the herb can do their combined job. If the pain is in another location, such as the back of your head, put it over the area that hurts.

Raspberry leaves may be helpful if the problem causing the headache is from your period. Make a cup of the tea in the morning, and another at night. If you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant, check with your doctor before taking it. It shouldn’t cause any complications, but anything that tones the uterus could be problematic.

If you don’t like to take pills, willow bark could be your answer. It has the same active ingredient as aspirin, which means it is a natural painkiller. However, don’t take it if you are allergic to aspirin, as it could cause a reaction.

Headaches that don’t go away with these simple treatments may need to be checked out by your doctor. It’s a good idea to let the doctor know of any medical complaints you have, as well as any medications or supplements you use. This will help with the diagnosis and help you prevent side effects and drug/herb interactions.

By Health Care on December 10, 2010 | Headaches-Migraines | A comment?

Migraine Headache Treatments

Your headache or migraine might be due to food sensitivity
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Is migraine or headache due to food sensitivity? No.
Are some people with migraine or headache food sensitive? Yes.

How do you know if you are one of the ones diet might help? Of course I presume you have discussed your symptoms with your doctor to ensure medical investigations are carried out before diet investigation is begun.

It is not completely clear just who reacts to food. If it was you would have heard about it by now! However there are some factors that indicate a high likelihood.

Those most likely to respond to dietary investigation for food sensitivity have one or some of the following:

* an atopic [allergic] family history [the person or immediate relatives have or had symptoms such as hay fever, sinus problems, eczema, rashes, or asthma].
* as well as family members having some of another group of symptoms [migraine, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, mouth ulcers, car sickness, or limb pains],
* a family member who has adverse reaction to aspirin,
* those with an increased sensitivity to smell both in food and in the environment,
* those with an increased sensitivity to taste,
* those who have seen a definite adverse reaction to a food or additive in the past.
* they may have increased body odour or bad breath.

Unfortunately there is no test that shows who is food sensitive or what food chemicals they are sensitive to. That does not mean you cannot find out. It means you can do what I call “Diet Detective Work” to find out just what is causing the headaches or migraine.

This means that you go on a diet excluding all the suspect foods and chemicals for four weeks and then reintroduce them one by one to see if your symptoms get worse. Don’t panic! You can get help from a qualified dietitian [Accredited Practicing Dietitian - APD] who can balance what needs to be excluded with your preferred food and your particular lifestyle. Investigation has been developed at three levels of diet restriction: The Easy Elimination Diet, The Good Results Diet-Detective Diet and the go-for-maximum-results Elimination Diet. Dietitians emphasise what you what you can have more than what to exclude, so diet can be manageable, and if it decreases symptoms it is definitely worth while!

By Health Care on November 24, 2010 | Headaches-Migraines | A comment?

Chiropractic For Treating Headaches

An aspirin is something we often turn to during a headache, but an aspirin merely works to mask the pain. The pain does not go away; it is still there. While an aspirin may be an effective way for some to treat headaches, for other popping pills just doesn’t cut it… so they turn to chiropractic. But does chiropractic work for treating headaches?

What Does The Research Say?

In 2001, researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, North Carolina noticed the patients who had undergone chiropractic treatment felt relief significantly faster after undergoing spinal adjustment, the primary technique used in chiropractic. Also, a 1995 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics shows that people who had received chiropractic care but had stopped still showed tremendous benefits four weeks after stopping treatment. This is largely different from pill-based treatment, which requires the patient to take in a suggested dose on a regular basis to mask the pain.

Chiropractic and Headaches Resulting from Muscular Tension

Tension headaches are usually caused by muscle contractions in the head, neck, and shoulder muscles. They are one of the most common headaches experienced by most Americans and are often caused by emotional stress that lead to stiffness in the muscles and joints. Tension headaches, if not properly treated, can lead to a vicious circle of more muscular tension leading to more intense headaches. Chiropractic adjustment, along with other natural therapies such as trigger point therapy, massage therapy, and other relaxation techniques, can be employed to treat tension headaches because it restores the proper alignment of the spine at the same time releases the built-up tension in the muscles.

Chiropractic and Headaches Resulting from Vascular Problems

Headaches that arise due to abnormalities in the vascular system are more commonly known as migraines. Although many Americans experience at least one migraine over the course of their lives, nobody knows the exact reason why they exist. Medical studies have shown that migraines are triggered by a change in the hormones arising from exposure to food, smells, changes in the weather, and even emotional stress. Exactly why these factors cause a hormonal change is yet to be studied, though.

When these changes in the body’s hormone levels occur, the blood vessels located in the head dilate, causing other symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual auras, followed by a severe headache that cannot be treated effectively or even disguised by aspirin and other over-the-counter medications. Here comes the role of chiropractic adjustment, which is also well-known to be an effective neurological release therapy because the adjustments in the spinal vertebrae frees up more space for the nervous system to flow through the body without restraint. Thus, through spinal manipulation combined with other therapies, migraine headaches can be treated and even prevented effectively.

Eliminating Migraine Headaches

Migraine headache sufferers can reduce or eliminate their migraine headaches by getting the proper amount of quality sleep. The chemical serotonin produced by the body is dependent on sleep and has been called the “feel good” chemical of the brain. Many people who have poor sleeping patterns will find that the body cannot produce this chemical without it and thus could end up suffering from a migraine attack.
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Sleep quality is depended on certain factors being controlled or eliminated and they are stress, drugs and medications and noise. These things when under control can allow one to get the proper quality of rest that they need.

Lighting can also affect sleep quality and one cannot get good quality sleep with the lights on even if they think that this does not affect them. Turn off all the lights including the TV for a good quality night’s sleep.

There are those who have slept by having the TV on for many years and it is a hard habit to break. If one must have the TV on to fall asleep they should make sure to set the timer so that it goes off after about an hour. Once asleep the subconscious mind is aware of sounds and lights and when these things are eliminated the body can get the proper rest that it needs.

Stress is an element in our lives than can be difficult to eliminate but it can be reduced tremendously with the proper amount of exercise. Exercise has been known to be a great stress reducer.

If you get the right amount of exercise before sunset each day you can get a good quality of sleep at night. Do not, however, exercise just before bedtime as you may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

Certain medications can have their effects on our sleeping patterns. If you must take medication consult with your doctor about its effects on your sleep and if necessary the doctor will have you take them earlier in the day to reduce their effect on sleep. Caffeine is common drug that affects our sleep as well.

Reducing or eliminating caffeine consumption can greatly improve sleeping patterns. Do not consume caffeinated beverages after dinner and if you suffer from migraine headaches, caffeine has been known to trigger them, so eliminating or lessening consumption of it can help.

Feel Good Chemicals to Relieve Yourself From Migraine

If a person suffers from migraines, it may be directly linked with their sleeping patterns. The chemical serotonin or the “feel good” chemical in the brain is directly affected by the amount and quality of sleep a person gets. Those who suffer from frequent migraine attacks can lessen this, and the duration of the attacks by developing proper sleeping habits. If a person has poor sleeping habits this may contribute to a migraine attack because of the lack of serotonin production by the body.

There are some pointers to remember when it comes to getting quality sleep and you need to know that certain factors can affect how well you sleep, they are noise, stress and drugs or medications. These things when reduced or eliminated will produce good quality sleep.

Having lights on when you sleep can also affect your sleep quality. Turn off all lights in the bedroom or where you sleep, even the television. You may think that this will not affect you but it has been shown to improve the quality of sleep when the lights are turned off.

For those who absolutely cannot get to sleep without the TV being on can program the TV to turn off after about an hour or so. You may not realize it but the subconscious mind will respond to these changes by allowing you to get a better quality of sleep when sound and light are kept to a bare minimum.

Stress levels are a factor for many people and though this aspect of their lives may be difficult to eliminate, it can be reduced by getting the proper amount of exercise each day. Exercise does help to reduce stress levels.

Daily exercise can have its effects on producing a good quality of sleep for the individual. Make sure that you exercise before sunset and do not exercise after this time to get a good night’s rest. If you exercise close to bedtime, you may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

Sleep can be affected by the medications that we take. Talk to your doctor if you have not done so about the effects of your medications on your sleeping patterns. The doctor may prescribe them for you earlier in the day or the morning hours so that they have less of an effect on your sleep. Also the greatest drug that affects sleep is caffeine.

If you can reduce or eliminate caffeine consumption this can greatly affect your sleeping patterns and eventually improve them. Do not drink or consume any caffeine after dinner time such as coffee or other beverages that contain caffeine. Caffeine is known to trigger migraine attacks so if you can, avoid it all together.

Simple Headache Fixes

Most people have very stressful lives. People have to work very hard just to make ends meat and feed themselves. This does not even take into consideration of the stress that comes from having a family. It is no wonder why you keep seeing headache medicine commercials on TV and prescription drugs that are supposed to help with migraines. Well if you want to try something else besides drugging yourself there are a few things that you can do to help with your stress and headaches.

The first thing that you can do is really attack your senses with woodwick reed diffusers. This may not be the best option for everyone but it is certainly worth a try. If you can add a smell to your home or room most people will react by calming. You can pick certain smells that you like that really will help you feel comfortable and calm down. To help with a headache the best sent to try out is a hone suckle or a sweet scent. This helps your head by allowing your nerves to calm. The last thing that you want to get is a scent that is a strong popery smell. You want to stick to an oil smell that is faint and not overbearing. This is your best bet to help you relax and calm you nerves.

The second thing you can do is something while you sleep. This tends to help people that have shoulder pain and tension as well as relaxing issues at night. You can try a buckwheat hull pillow. These pillows have so many health benefits as far as cleanliness goes and allergies but no one really pays attention to what these pillows can do as far as comfort and alignment of you back. These pillows really help with your neck and strain that can occur while you sleep. This in turn relieves the tension on your neck which can reduce the headaches that you might have or wake up with.
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These pillows really are something that can help you sleep better and hopefully get rid of those nasty head pains. You can also try both of these at the same time. I have put a diffuser in my bedroom as well as slept with a buckwheat pillow and it really helps me to relax and calm down. Everyone needs to find a way to relax and this is just an option that may work for you. Try it out and see how you feel.