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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Thursday Thirteen

I suffer from migraines.  I've been having quite a few this summer, so I spent some time looking up information, some which I knew, and some which was enlightening.  Here we go...

1.  Alcohol contains ethanol which can cause or lengthen a headache.  One effect of alcohol is the widening of blood vessels.  Another is dehydration, both of which can cause headaches or prevent them from going away.

2.  Aspirin can be an effective pain reliever and it reduces inflammation by preventing the production of prostaglandins.  It also reduces blood platelet aggregation, meaning they can't stick together, which needs to happen in order to stop bleeding.

3.  Some people think chiropractic treatment can help migraines, but the US  Headache Guidelines Consortium does not endorse chiropractic for migraines.

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4. Caffeine can actually help a migraine which is why it is one ingredient in Excedrin Migraine.  The stimulant in the caffeine does exactly the opposite of what alcohol does; it constricts the blood vessels.  But, due to something called "caffeine rebound," headache sufferers should not consume it in excess.

5.  Beta blockers, which are often prescribed for cardiovascular disease, have helped prevent migraines.  In fact, I take a beta blocker for that exact reason.  Beta blockers reduce the tendency of blood vessels to over-dilate.  These medications take about six weeks to be effective as migraine prevention.  Lately, mine hasn't been helping much with prevention.

6.  Migraines occur more often in women than men.

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7.  Many women experience migraines around the time of their monthly cycle or at mid-cycle about the time of ovulation which indicates a relationship with hormones.

8.  Tyramine, which is found naturally in many foods, can elevate blood pressure if eaten in high amounts.  This has been linked to migraines.  Click the link to see foods that are acceptable on a reduced tyramine diet.

9.  Nitrates, which can be found in many processed meats such as hot dogs and bologna and even in some red wines, can cause blood vessels to dilate leading to headaches.
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10. About 80% of women who experience migraines will stop having them during the third trimester of a pregnancy, probably due to hormone stability.

11. Migraines can cause visual disturbances such as sensitivity to light, flashes, size distortions, jagged lines, the halo effect, tunnel vision, and even loss of vision.

12. Triptans such as Zomig, which I take once every month or so depending on the severity of my headaches, are a class of medication often used to treat acute migraines (not for prevention).  Triptans have many side effects and should be used with caution.

13. Vitamins and nutritional supplements have not been proven to help migraines.

Talk to your doctor if you are having migraines like I do.  And here is an online source for information!

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4 comments:

  1. so hard to ascertain at times,i take very little

    ReplyDelete
  2. hello fellow sufferer. I had one of these things yesterday but they happen all the time, like yours. Medicine causes mine. Can't live with it, can't live without it. Hope you feel a lot better, and soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not a lot of fun, nope. Just one caution--be very careful about beta blockers, they can worsen osteo if you have it, or make it more apt to occur, if you don't. Most doctors recommend no more than a month on beta blockers, since their main job is to prevent calcium from ever reaching the bones.

    Something to consider.

    Aside from that, whatever works, works. Migraines are no fun.

    ReplyDelete

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