Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stomach Migraine Occurs Mostly In Children

sick alex What is Stomach Migraine

Stomach migraine or abdominal migraine as it is also known is a variant of migraine headaches that occurs mostly in children. It usually occurs in children where there is a family history of migraine sufferers.

Stomach migraines are rare in adults, but around 2% of children may suffer from them at some time. Girls are more likely to be affected than boys. Children that suffer from stomach migraine are very likely to go on to develop migraine headaches as they get older. Leaving stomach migraine untreated is the main cause for it continuing in later life.

Although stomach migraines are part of the migraine family, the pain occurs in the stomach, usually near the navel or middle of the stomach. This is because the muscles of the stomach vigorously contract to ease the pain. Some people may feel bloated or experience an acidic tummy. Stomach migraines often occur as a reaction to a migraine trigger, much like adult migraine. They can cause severe stomach pain, nausea, cramping and often vomiting.

The reasons for stomach migraine are unclear. However, it is thought that stomach migraines may be caused by changes in two chemicals in the body, histamine and serotonin, which occur naturally in the body. The chemical changes could contribute to both migraine headaches and abdominal pain.

Stress and anxiety can both cause fluctuations to these chemicals. It is therefore possible that psychological factors may be a trigger to stomach migraine. Often those who suffer stomach migraines have high anxiety levels, which causes them to increase their adrenaline levels. This actually makes the pain worse.

Apart from psychological factors acting as a trigger for abdominal migraine, it is thought certain foods such as chocolate, processed meats, Chinese food that contain nitrates may cause an attack.

If you think your child may be suffering from stomach migraine the symptoms to look out for are: acute or severe midline abdominal pain, often with a feeling of nausea, vomiting, pale skin and an inability to eat. The stomach pain can last for from one hour to up to three days. Of course for children this could describe a wide variety of ailments, which is why stomach migraine often goes undiagnosed.

Unlike adult migraine, whereby a warning may precede a migraine attack, such as an aura, stomach migraine is sudden and quite severe. There may be no warning symptoms and the severity of the pain can increase the anxiety of the sufferer.

Diagnosing abdominal migraine is difficult. This is because children often find it difficult to describe what they are feeling. A family history of migraine is a key factor. The first step is to eliminate any other causes of the stomach pain. Keeping a record of the attacks can help in a diagnosis. The doctor will check the length of time of the attack, skin color, diet etc of the child to assess for the possibility of stomach migraine.

Little is known about treating stomach migraines as no specific treatment has been developed. Doctors may well treat stomach migraine the same way they treat ordinary migraines. However, some of these treatments are unsuitable for children. The best possible course of action is prevention.

Both children and adults with stomach migraine should attempt to find out what is their personal trigger. As already stated, some types of foods may trigger a stomach migraine. So avoiding these foods may be useful for some as well as keeping a diary. Keeping foods to a minimum that contain artificial substances in them is beneficial. Also avoiding drinks that are acidic and making sure regular exercise is part of daily life is important too.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Migraine Symptoms - Vary From Person To Another

Migraine When describing migraine symptoms it first helps to understand what is a migraine. A migraine is not just an ordinary headache, as those who suffer from it will know only too well. A migraine headache can be severe and persistent and is accompanied by a wide range of other symptoms.

Migraines are the result of a constriction of the arteries in the brain, which reduces blood flow to the brain. This is followed by dilation or widening of these arteries. Hence the often unique throbbing sensation experienced with a migraine headache.

Vary From Person To Another
Migraine symptoms vary greatly from one person to another. About one in every five migraine sufferers will have what is called a classical migraine. Associated with a classical migraine is a visual disturbance known as an aura. This is flashing light in front of the eye preceding a migraine. This can be in conjunction with pins and needles and an altered sense of smell and taste.

Most patients commonly see zigzag patterns of brightly colored lights flashing or even a blind spot in the form of a hole, usually in one eye only. This aura can last from about 10 to 30 minutes. This is usually followed by the headache, but not always as some migraine sufferers only experience the aura. This is known as an ocular migraine.

In most cases the main migraine symptom is a moderate to severe headache. This is usually confined to one side of the head and can alternate from one side to the other. It is often a throbbing or pulsating headache and will get worse with physical activity. Often there is pain behind the eyes, which can be relieved with pain killers or a cold compress.

Women are more likely to suffer from migraines than men
. This is because of regular hormonal changes. Women can get migraines just before or after their menstrual period.

As well as migraine symptoms of the head, a migraine sufferer may experience a variety of other symptoms. These include the feeling of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, even cold hands and feet. If the patient is having a visual disturbance, feelings of dizziness and disorientation can occur.

Hemipleic migraine and can be very frightening.
One very disturbing migraine symptom is that of temporary paralysis on one side of the body. This is known as a hemipleic migraine and can be very frightening if experienced for the first time. As this can mimic the signs of a stroke it is always important to have these sort of migraine symptoms checked out by your doctor to confirm that it is a migraine.

 Sensitive To Sound and Light
Migraine sufferers are generally very sensitive to light and sound during an attack. This is why it is well known that to lessen the effects and aid recovery, being in a darkened, quiet room is very beneficial.

For some people the early warning signs that a migraine is imminent can be easily missed. Migraine symptoms can occur well in advance of an attack. Feelings of elation or intense energy, cravings for sweets, thirst, drowsiness, irritability or depression, are all early warning migraine symptoms.

Migraines can be triggered by a wide variety of causes, such as , certain foods, stress and tension, dehydration, hormonal fluctuations, to name a few. It is important that if you are a migraine sufferer that you try to identify the triggers to your migraine and try to avoid them where possible.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Migraine Relief - Remedies For Migraine Relief

Different types of migraine.
Migraine may be a common problem, but it can be very complex to treat as there are many different types of migraine. Migraines can be very debilitating. They are characterized by intense throbbing headache, which can be accompanied by flashing lights, called an aura, nausea and vomiting. While there are no cures for migraine, there are many different types of remedies and treatments for migraine relief.

Selection of migraine relief remedies
There is a vast selection of migraine relief remedies available which fall into one of three basic categories. These being, preventive, abortive and symptomatic.

Preventive medications are designed to prevent a migraine happening in the first place. Abortive migraine relief is directed at a migraine after it has happened to relieve the pain. And symptomatic migraine relief medication will treat the very disturbing symptoms of vomiting and nausea often associated with a migraine attack.

Migraine relief can be in the form of prescription drugs from a doctor, over-the counter drugs or home remedies, some of which can be very simple and drug free remedies for migraine relief.

Many migraine sufferers rely on simple over-the -counter pain relief medications to relieve the throbbing pain and get rid of a migraine. These range from analgesics such as acetaminophen to anti- inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen. There are now many good migraine relief medications available over-the -counter.

Migraine occurs  because of a dilation of blood vessels in the brain. Up until recently migraine sufferers had very little choice in medications for migraine relief and it's effects. However, newer drugs known as triptans have been developed for migraine relief.

Triptans are the  most commonly prescribed type of medication for migraine relief.This covers an entire range of treatments that work directly on the blood vessels in the brain to relieve the pressure on them. They also bring about an interruption in the chain of chemical events that lead to a migraine attack and consequently reduce the pain.

If migraine is persistent and frequent enough to disrupt daily life, your doctor may prescribe a drug that will prevent migraine. While there is no specific drug for this, certain blood pressure medications as well as some anti-depressants are used for this purpose.

These drugs are known as Beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers. Verapamil, which is a calcium channel blocker is one of the commonly prescribed drugs for migraine relief. This is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure. It works by relaxing the blood vessels, so the blood can flow more easily.

Drug Free relief.
For those wishing to try drug free remedies for relief of migraine, there are many self help treatments you can try. For long term migraine sufferers, they may well have linked certain triggers to their migraine attacks. These can be certain foods, situations, stress, hormonal changes etc. If this is the case, avoiding these triggers can be undertaken. If this fails there are several home remedies that can help with migraine relief.

One such remedy is aromatherapy. It has been shown that certain scents and essential oils tend to ease stress and tension, which may be one of the triggers of your migraine. Peppermint, sandalwood and eucalyptus are the most common oils used in the relief of migraine.

Using these oils for massage is also an effective treatment in the relief of migraine. Just ten minutes of massage from someone else can help relieve tension and relax your whole body, relieving the pain and stiffness experienced with a migraine.

If the headache is severe, one very simple relief is a frozen towel. You need to wet a towel and squeeze it out. Place in the freezer for five minutes or until it stiffens. Fold the stiffened part inside and place around the head and eyes. Place back in the freezer as the towel warms up. Or keep a commercially bought eye pack in the freezer, ready to use when necessary.

One trigger for migraine is dehydration. If you are a migraine sufferer it is important to drink plenty of water. Even during an attack, drinking lots of water can help flush out toxins from the body.

Certain foods may offer relief from migraine headaches. These include salt if taken as soon as you feel a migraine coming on. By eating something salty can help some people stop their migraine. Ginger root and garlic have also been shown to get rid of a migraine. Once an attack has started, drinking chamomile tea can provide relief.

For those who suffer with migraine they know only too well the effects it can have on their lives. For some it can interfere with their lives on a regular basis. For others it may only be a minor inconvenience and be easily treatable with over-the-counter pain relief or home remedies. No matter what the degree of severity of your migraine, there are many different remedies for migraine relief, but if in doubt consult your health care professional for advice.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Migraines Reduce Breast Cancer Risk In Women

"A study of 4,500 women found the link remained significant even when factors that are known to trigger migraines and are linked to breast cancer, such as alcohol and hormone replacement therapy, were taken into account.

The findings are intriguing but it is still not clear why and researchers have suggested it may be due to differences in a woman's hormones.

The research was conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle and is published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Significantly the protective effect of migraines was true for women who have been through the menopause and those who had not.

Dr Christopher Li, a breast-cancer epidemiologist said: 'We were able to look at whether this association was seen among both pre-menopausal and post menopausal women."

Read More:Migraines reduce breast cancer risk in women - Telegraph:

Migraines in Children - Often Associated With Stomach Migraine

Most people associate migraine with adults. However, headaches and migraines are amongst the most common childhood ailments. Yet migraine in a young child often goes undiagnosed. This is partly because young children have difficulty expressing themselves and describing exactly what the problem is. Also many parents and doctors do not recognise the symptoms experienced by a child as migraine.

Migraine has strong family links.Three quarters of children that suffer from migraine have at least one family member who also suffers with migraine. So if you already have a migraine sufferer in the family, it is worth considering the possibility of migraine in your child.

Often children experience the sudden and severe onset of a headache, located around the eyes, in the forehead or temples. They may feel sick and vomit and experience the aura that often goes with a migraine. This is a visual disturbance that can be very distressing. The child may see flashing lights or even have a blind spot in the middle of the eye. They may have very pale skin and have the inability to eat.

Many children feel the need to avoid bright lights, strong odors, or loud noises at this time as it can make the migraine feel worse.. These symptoms are very classic to both adult and childhood migraine.

However, migraine in children often does not present itself in the same way as that of an adult. While migraine in an adult may last only a few hours, a childhood migraine can last from one hour to up to 72 hours. Unlike adult migraine, childhood migraine often doesn't have an accompanying headache or have any early warning signs that an attack is imminent.

Children Often Get Stomach Migraine
Instead the child will experience severe and often crippling stomach pains around the navel or centre of the stomach. This is because the muscles of the stomach vigorously contract in an effort to ease the pain. This is why migraines in children are referred to as abdominal or stomach migraines.

For this reason migraines in children are often dismissed as tummy ache or an excuse for not wanting to go to school. Because of the absence of a headache that is associated with migraine, the condition is often put down to just feeling a bit poorly or stomach upset, particularly if the child vomits.

The reasons for abdominal migraines are unclear
However it is thought that they may be caused by changes in two chemicals in the body, histamine and serotonin. The chemical changes could contribute to both abdominal migraine and migraine headaches.

Stress and anxiety can be a contributing factor in these chemical changes. Therefore, it is possible that psychological influences may trigger an abdominal migraine as with classic migraine headache. Unfortunately when a child is  suffering a migraine, the symptoms and pain may be so distressing that it causes adrenaline levels to rise and make the pain of the migraine worse.

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Migraine During Pregnancy - Women More Prone To Migraine

Pregnancy in the 26th week.During pregnancy, understandably women want to look after their health and be very cautious about medications that they take during their pregnancy. For this reason migraine during pregnancy can cause a problem and concern as to how to treat it, whether through over-the counter medicines, natural remedies or prescription drugs.

Migraine is no ordinary headache.
It is a neurological condition involving the blood vessels to the brain. The blood vessels in the brain constrict and dilate, causing a spasm. This is accompanied with a throbbing headache, often restricted to one side of the head. A person may then experience nausea and  vomiting. For some migraine sufferers they also experience a visual disturbance known as an aura. This presents itself as flashing or zigzag lights in front of the eye or sometimes a blind spot which can be very disorientating.

Women are around three times more likely to suffer from migraines than men.

This is due to the fluctuations in hormones in the body, in particular the female hormone estrogen. Many women experience a migraine attack just before or just after their period.

An estimated 15 to 20 percent of women experience migraine during pregnancy. For some women their attacks become more severe, but for others they diminish towards the end of the first trimester. For some women they suffer their first migraine when pregnant. There seems no explanation for this, but medical experts agree that migraine during pregnancy has no dangers to the developing baby during a migraine attack.

There is little you can do in the way of taking medications for migraines during pregnancy. Although some over-the-counter pain relief medications are safe, but you need to check with your pharmacist. If taken, they need to be taken according to the directions to be safe.

However some types of relief from migraine during pregnancy can be harmful to the developing baby and any medication or treatment during pregnancy should be approved by a health care professional first. This also includes women who suffer from migraines and are wishing to conceive. There are certain prescription migraine medications that have been confirmed as a cause of birth defects, including retardation, malformations and possible stillbirth.

For women suffering with migraine during pregnancy, there are some non-medicinal treatments that can be tried to help during an attack and prevent one.

For those who regularly suffer with migraines, they will be all too familiar with not only the pain of a migraine, but the other symptoms associated with it. They will also be aware that certain triggers can cause a migraine. These include certain foods, in particular, coffee, cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits and foods containing monosodium glutamate and artificial sweeteners. Stress and certain types of light can trigger a migraine. Avoiding these triggers can significantly reduce the occurrence of a migraine.

So if you are experiencing a migraine for the first time during pregnancy, it is well worth keeping a diary of when you have your attacks. You may well be eating certain foods you would not normally eat during your pregnancy. This change in routine can be a cause of migraine in pregnancy as well as your fluctuating hormone levels.
Treating Migraine Without Medication
There are several techniques in treating a migraine during pregnancy without medication. This could be something as simple as using a cold compress or eye mask to relieve the headache. As can a cool shower. Migraines can be brought on by tension, so a head and neck massage to relieve stress is another safe treatment for migraine during pregnancy.

Migraines can often be due to dehydration as well as low blood sugar levels. So it is important that if you suffer migraine during pregnancy to drink plenty of water and eat at regular intervals. Getting enough rest is also important as is the right amount of gentle exercise while pregnant to maintain all round good health.

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Chronic Migraine - More Than Just A Headache

Animation of an MRI brain scan, starting at th... For those who suffer from migraine, they will know only too well the debilitating headache and other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and visual disturbances associated with it. Unfortunately for a proportion of migraine sufferers they will experience what is termed as chronic migraine.

Chronic migraine is an acute migraine that occurs on more than half the days in a month, for more than three months. For some people this may mean they experience a migraine every day.

A migraine is more than just an ordinary headache. 

It is distinguished by several different symptoms, which varies from person to person. There are several different types of migraine, each with their own specific symptoms.

Some migraine sufferers may experience visual disturbances such as an aura, which is a zigzag or flashing light in front of the eye. Or a blind spot and blurred vision. This may be a migraine without a headache. Although most migraine sufferers have the throbbing headache, often on one side only. This may be accompanied with nausea or vomiting. Neck pain and a sensitivity to light and sound are also common.

Hemipleic migraine is a type of migraine which causes migraine numbness. It begins as a form of temporary paralysis on one side of the body. This can be very frightening if experiencing it for the first time, as the symptoms appear much like a stroke.

Women are three times more likely to suffer with migraines than men.
This is due to the fluctuating hormone levels in the body. These migraines are often refereed to as menstrual migraines. Since they often occur just before or just after a period, they can be as disruptive as chronic migraines.

Because chronic migraines occur so frequently, one of the best treatments is prevention. Start keeping a record of the chronic migraine attacks to identify any possible triggers. The most common triggers are certain foods such as chocolate, cheese, citrus fruit, red wine, caffeine and foods containing monosodium glutamate, found predominantly in Chinese food.

Other triggers include stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, low blood sugar levels and certain types of light. Flickering indoor lights or very bright sun light can be triggers to a chronic migraine sufferer. Once you have identified your particular triggers, try to avoid them where possible.

There are many good migraine relief medications available over-the-counter. These include simple analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and ergotamines. However, it is worth noting that headaches can actually worsen in severity and incidence if medication is taken too frequently.

While pain relief medications can be useful in the treatment of chronic migraine, if taken more than twice a week, they can cause additional headaches. This is known as a rebound effect. Medication overuse headaches can start in as little time as two months. It is for this reason that they should be limited to 2 or fewer days per week.

For those seeking prescription medication, certain types of beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, anti-depressants and anti-seizure medications and botox have all been found to successfully reduce chronic migraine. These act as preventative medications and often need time to build up in the body before they become effective and may take one or two months for full treatment effects to take place.

For patients with chronic migraine it is best to seek the advice of a migraine specialist. You may even be lucky enough to be referred to a migraine clinic. A migraine specialist can refer you for tests such as an MRI scan to rule out any other conditions for your symptoms. They will also be able to suggest the best treatment and help in how to get rid of your migraine.

The impact of chronic migraine can be very disabling.
Suffering the symptoms of chronic migraine for over half the month can have a significant impact on daily life. It can make working very difficult. Unfortunately, in many cases, current therapies are not enough to prevent or reduce the impact that chronic migraine has on  lives. As a consequence, some sufferers may also and understandably become depressed and unable to cope.

It is for this reason that if you are a chronic migraine sufferer, you need to take control of your migraines where possible. Try to identify the triggers to your chronic migraine attacks and try using non-medicinal treatments to start with. This could include relaxation classes such as Yoga, massage, cold compresses to relieve the pain of a migraine headache. Aromatherapy oils such as, peppermint, sandalwood and eucalyptus have been shown to reduce migraine symptoms.

It is important to recognise how often every day life is becoming disrupted by your chronic migraine. If this is more than half the month, seeing a neurologist may be able to offer you a wide range of treatments to help reduce your symptoms.

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