PHOENIX, Ariz. – Headache problems constitute one of the more prevalent diseases in the world and are one of the most undiagnosed and untreated in the opinion of the World Health Organization (WHO). In this alert from an expert neurologists Amaal Starling M.D., a specialist in migraine and headaches at the Mayo Clinic at Phoenix gives tips on how to help prevent and treat headache conditions, including migraine and rebound headaches that are caused by medications.
There are over 12 different types of headache conditions. The most commonly-reported disabling condition is migraine. It affects more than one billion people across the globe with a prevalence of one in five women one in 11 children and one in 16 males According to WHO is among the most debilitating diseases in the world as Doctor. Starling says.
Migraine disorders can differ based on the stage of a person’s life, states.
“Infant colic is believed to represent the child form of migraine. Abdominal migraine and the cyclic vomiting syndrome are migraine-related disorders which are quite common among young children.” Dr. Starling states. “More traditional migraine attacks happen throughout adulthood. For older adults the pain that is caused by migraine decreases however, the symptoms like light sensitivity nausea vomiting, aura might be more noticeable.”
Despite the advancements in treatments and preventative options it is still difficult to diagnose migraine and, consequently, untreated according to the doctor. Starling says. If you experience head pain that causes them to be unable to function, it is likely that it’s migraine. Often people assume that they suffer from sinus headaches, but it’s actually migraine, she says.
It is considered to be a primal headache condition that is caused by abnormal functioning within the brain. Contrary to secondary headache disorders it is not the result of an underlying condition like an infection or tumor.
Other headache-related disorders that are commonly seen include cluster headaches. This is characterized by a series of attacks that last from weeks to months. It typically involves intense pain lasting for up to three hours around or in one eye. Also, tension headache, which typically has moderate to light pain that may be chronic.
A few primary headache disorders are triggered by certain activities that cause headaches, like cough or sex-related headache, as well as exercise headache. They may also be triggered through having a drink, eating specific food items such as processed meats with the nitrates, sleeping too much and poor posture, stress, and skipped meals.
“Migraine triggers are highly individual. One patient’s trigger could not be a trigger for another individual,” Dr. Starling declares.
“In all, I would recommend following a Mediterranean-style diet that is anti-inflammatory including fruits, vegetables and legumes, as well as nuts and seeds and eating foods that are high in magnesiumand eating whole food and avoiding processed food or fasting” the doctor says. “More recently, there’s been research that suggests eating higher levels of omega-3 fats through eating fish with fatty oils, like salmon, sardines, as well as mackerel.”
The use of pain medications that is not prescribed, such as taking nonprescription painkillers like aspirin or Acetaminophen as well as prescription medications like opioids, and certain migraine medication more than twice per week, could trigger a headache rebound, also known as a headache caused by medication.
“If one is experiencing migraine attacks more than four times per month, it’s an ideal time to look into preventive treatments,” Dr. Starling states. “If you have a patient who has only sporadic migraine attacks that occur less than 4 times each month, a migraine-specific treatment might better than over-the counter analgesics, like ibuprofen.”
New migraine treatments include the development of a new line of preventive medicines which focus on one of the systems in the body that is believed to be the cause in migraine, the calcitonin gene related peptide system, as well as the creation of medical devices for treating migraine, says Dr.
If patients experience headaches that are affecting their capacity to function, instead of self-medicating and diagnosing the problem for the pain, it’s better to seek out a health doctor for assistance with managing symptoms and symptoms, Dr. Starling says.
“Over the last few years, there has been a surge of treatments to treat migraine and preventive migraine,” she adds. “We have a variety of treatments that can make life easier for those suffering from migraine.”
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