WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEADACHE AND MIGRAINE

HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES

Headache may be defined as any type of pain arising from the scalp and the tissues around the brain. Migraines affect around the 10% of the population and although some people will suffer from an attack once in a year on average sufferers experience an attack once a month, which can last anything from a couple of hours to a few days.

One of the most common causes of headaches is muscular tension in the neck. As the pressure of daily life mount, stress hormones are released. These make the muscles tighten drawing the shoulders up around the ears. When the stress diminishes we are often left “stuck” in this position without being aware of it. Another stress-related symptom is grinding the teeth at night. Headaches can result from the biting down action and contraction of the muscle groups over the temporal region of the skull. Some headaches are commonly felt in the morning and may be due to the blood sugar levels dropping in the night, leaving the brain starved of its primary fuel. A snack before bed can help to prevent this.

To avoid stiffness and muscular tension at work, stretch regularly or get up and walk around for a while.

CAUSES OF SERIOUS HEADACHES

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

  •                                                                                                                                            

                TUMOR

             MENINGITIS

  •  

             HEAD INJURY

  •                                  

             LIVER DISEASE

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF NONSERIOUS HEADACHES

  • MUSCULAR SPASM                                            
  • SIDE EFFECTS OF MEDICATION
  • GRINDING TEETH
  • DEPRESSION
  • ARTHRITS
  • HYPOGLYCEMIA (LOW BLOOD SUGAR)
  • SPINAL PROBLEMS IN THE NECK

FOOD SENSITIVITIES                                        

MIGRAINES

Migraines tend to be characterized by a throbbing, severe pain, usually on one side of the head as blood vessels in the brain contract and expand. These types of headaches are sometimes accompanied by visual disturbances

Such as double vision or blind spots along with nausea and vomiting. Depending on the individual a migraine attack can last for either a few hours or in acute cases several days.

TYPES OF MIGRAINE

Typically there are two types of migraine 80% begin as headaches that slowly increase in intensity until it becomes a throbbing pain which is made worse by movement or noise. An estimated 20% are preceded by a visual aura that includes an area of visual blindness and flashing lights half an hour before the throbbing pains. They can also cause temporary weakness on one side of the body. Some sufferers have been known to become sensitive to certain sounds or smells before an attack.

THE CONVENTIONAL APPROACH

For simple headaches the use of painkillers (analgesics) such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) or aspirin are normally sufficient to relieve the pain. When migraines are a problem special drugs that help to regulate the blood flow (such as ergotamine) can help. The new choice is a drug that blocks the action of serotonin this drug has revolutionized the treatment of migraine for many sufferers.

COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES

NATUROPATHY

The naturopathic approach will include the identification of food sensitivities and the use of traditional herbal remedies such as a valerian and passiflora. To help stabilize blood sugar levels the trace mineral Chromium is an effective nutrient.

OSTEOPATHY

Osteopathic treatment aimed at releasing tight spinal joints and muscles can give great relief.

NUTRITIONAL THERAPY

Try avoiding dietary stimuli such as cheese, chocolate, oranges and coffee which can set off an attack. Large doses of riboflavin are excellent.

HERBAL MEDICINE

Common tansy and feverfew are a traditional remedy for migraines. They slow the expansion of blood vessels preventing the throbbing head pain. Fever few must not be taken during pregnancy.

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