Migraine Headaches: Symptoms and Triggers

Woman suffering from migraine.There are many types of headaches but the most severe is the migraine which is known as a type of vascular headache, in which blood vessels in the tissues of the head swell, become inflamed and distended causing pain. The characteristics of a migraine are an intense throbbing or pulsating type of pain that is usually worse on one side of the head but can also occur in the face, jaw, sinuses, or neck area. Migraine headaches can be excruciatingly painful and are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting,sensitivity to light and sound,dizziness and loss of appetite For some sufferers, the migraine can be severe enough to interfere with daily activity and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days without proper treatment. Unfortunately patients are also commonly misdiagnosed for sinus or tension related headaches, so consequently do not receive the proper treatment for their migraine.


Here are a few facts from the National Headache Foundation:

  •         More than 30 million Americans suffer from migraines
  •         Migraines usually occur between the ages of 15 and 55
  •         Approximately 75 percent have a family history of migraines
  •         Children can also susceptible to migraines
  •         There is currently no test to confirm the diagnosis of migraine


Potential migraine triggers include:

  •     Allergies as part of an allergic reaction
  •      Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes
  •      Stress either physical or emotional
  •      Changes in sleep or irregular sleep (insomnia)
  •      Smoking, or exposure to smoke and alcohol
  •      Missing meals or fasting


Certain foods can also trigger migraines such as those containing tyramine (aged cheeses, red wine), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates(processed meats, bacon or hotdogs). Other possible food triggers are chocolate,  nuts, peanut butter, citrus fruits, picked and fermented foods and dairy products.

There is no cure for migraines but treatment for migraines include Over-the-counter medications and certain prescription drugs.

Natural treatment for migraines include: eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated, regular exercise, yoga, massage,acupuncture, adequate sleep, stress reduction techniques such as breathing and meditation, biofeedback. and holistic pain management.


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* These statements and suggested products have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.










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