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UNDERSTANDING HEADACHES

HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES

An excruciating, throbbing head pain, at its worse, can land a sufferer in bed for a day or incapacitate them for several days. Vision sensitivities (even temporary blindness), nausea, shaking, vomiting, fatigue, depression, skin problems, and irritable bowels accompany the pain. Statistically, headaches cripple more people than motorcycle accidents. Many get chronic, recurring headaches, and that number increases every year, with 70% of all migraine sufferers being women.

Between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from intermittent headaches. Headache pain may be generalized (all over) or localized (in one area) and may range from mild to severe. Some headaches have a known cause while others, like migraine headaches, do not. Of the several types of headaches, most fall into one of three basic categories; tension-type headaches that bring an ache in the area where the muscles of the head and neck meet; vascular headaches, which include migraines, toxic, and cluster headaches.

RANGE OF SYMPTOMS

  • Visual : flashing light, wavy lines, spots, partial loss of sight, blurry vision
  • Tingling or numbness of the face or extremities on the side where the headache develops
  • Confusion
  • Partial Paralysis
  • Decrease in or loss of hearing
  • Hypersensitivity to feel and touch
  • Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Muscle Stiffness, especially in the neck
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Olfactory hallucinations: smelling odors that aren’t there
  • Difficulty finding words and/or speaking
  • Vertigo
  • Auditory Hallucinations
  • Reduced sensation
  • Food cravings
  • Mood changes – depression
  • Fatigue

POTENTIAL CUASES

  • Foods, Allergies
  • Chemical Sensitivities
  • Injections, Animals
  • Medications
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Emotions, Stress
  • Hayfever
  • Infections, Inhalants
  • Brain Tumors, Strokes Poor Sleep, Cell Phones
  • TMJ

VISION RELATED HEADACHES

Although headaches related to eye disorders occur much less frequently than is generally supposed, eyestrain and diseases of the eye can lead to headaches. Straining your eyes through excessive reading or squinting at a computer screen, for example, will fatigue muscles controlling eye movement. You also may suffer vision-related headaches if you habitually work under flickering fluorescent lights.

It’s difficult to separate eyestrain headache from tension headache. Sitting in the same position for extended periods of time, while reading or typing on a computer, will certainly strain neck and shoulder muscles as well as the eyes.

Narrow-angle glaucoma, a rare eye disease, can cause pain around the eye, forehead, or temple region. Its symptoms mimic those of migraine or cluster headache, so if you have either problem it’s important to get your eyes checked, both for this condition and for general vision impairment.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

What you do for a living and where you spend your time can also lead to headaches. You might have already had experience with this type of environmental trigger if you work in a place where you inhale fumes or toxins. Some environmental substances that can lead to headaches include: turpentine, carbon tetrachloride, benzene, formaldehyde, heavy metals (especially lead), and carbon monoxide. Other workplace conditions to consider are bright lights, glare, noise, and eyestrain.

EATING AND SLEEPING PATTERNS

Fasting or missing meals is a major headache trigger. Researchers found that for the majority of more than 2000 women who experienced a migraine, the lack of food for 5 hours during the day or 13 hours overnight was a primary factor in triggering their headaches. No one completely understands why this is so. Presumably, fasting can affect the level of neurotransmitters; and low blood sugar from lack of food can cause blood vessels to dilate, leading to headache. Nighttime sleep and naps during the day also may play a role in the headache process. Too much sleep or too little sleep can trigger headaches in the headache prone.

HEADACHES AND HORMONES: WHAT’S THE CONNECTION?

There is strong evidence of a relationship between headache and hormones. First, women get migraines much more often than men do, but it’s only after puberty, when women begin to produce higher levels of female hormones, that gender makes a significant difference. Second, 60 percent of women with migraines report that their headaches happen more often right before, during, and after menstruation, when hormone levels change. This type of headache is known as menstrual migraine.

Third, headaches tend to improve during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Fourth, recurring headaches may stop for menopausal women, or they may get worse. The female hormones estrogen and progesterone can affect the amount of serotonin available in the body. Additionally, estrogen increases prostaglandins, which cause menstrual cramps. Both estrogen and prostaglandins are active in the body’s anti-pain system.

COMMON CAUSES

Tension headaches are due to tight, contracted muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp, and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression, or anxiety. Overworking, not getting enough sleep, missing meals, and using alcohol or street drugs can make you more susceptible to them. Headaches can be triggered by chocolate, cheese, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). People who drink caffeine can have headaches when they don’t get their usual daily amount. . Other foods such as citrus fruits, dairy products, soybeans, wheat products, onions, fatty foods, seafood, and artificial sweeteners (aspartame or nutrasweet) can cause the headache, or almost any food under the sun.

BE HEADACHE FREE

Pain and Allergy Clinic identifies those issues surrounding those headaches. Using a technique called NAET (started 25 years ago in LA) the body is treated for those sensitivities that are linked to the pain and inconvenience of those pressure headaches or migraines. Each person is treated according to their physical or mental causes.

As one’s headaches become less noticeable, life will become a happy and healthier one. No throbbing, pulsating, excruciating pain. But clarity, calmness and peace of mind will be there for you to enjoy.

“Of course as usual, I felt great after my treatment! I woke up with no headache or neck pain. About 11 AM had a little eye headache and neck pain that lasted a short time and then nothing. And nothing since.” — Paula

Call the Healing Center for further information and enjoy all the benefits of another beautiful day.