Avoid Triggers and Prevent Headaches
Many people with migraines suspect that their headaches happen when they experience certain things:
a sudden change in the weather, a sleepless night, or a dinner of MSG-laden Chinese food. They're
probably right, because an enormous number of factors have been identified as potential triggers
for migraine headaches.
Physiology of Migraines
What is happening physiologically when a migraine headache occurs? It turns out the origin of a migraine headache is in the brain stem. This brain stem is a bit above the spinal cord, but below the cortex of the brain. The migraine “control center” in the brain stem emits signals to the blood vessels lining the brain, requesting these blood vessels to dilate and expand. In the process, pain signals are sent back to the “control center”.
The Latest Research on Migraine Headaches (2009)
Research continues on the mechanisms behind migraine headaches and effective treatment. While migraines continue to lag behind other health issues in terms of available research dollars, there are some promising developments on the horizon...
Lifestyle Effects on Migraines
The daily choices you make can affect how many migraine headaches you experience. Many behaviors you might not think twice about can induce migraines-- activities as basic as eating, sleeping, and getting a little exercise.
Natural Treatment for Daily Migraines
Certain alternative treatments have proven effective. These include chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture and biofeedback therapy. Magnetic therapy also has been used with success. Magnetic therapy causes increased electrical activity in the brain. This increases neural conductivity which then stimulates within the brain the secretion of the hormones serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin controls moods and depression tendencies.
Serotonin Syndrome and Migraine
A life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome may occur when triptans used as treatment for migraine are used together with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a selectvive norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).
An example of an SSRI is Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil. Serotonin syndrome occurs when the body has too much serotonin, a chemical found in the nervous system. Triptans, SSRIs, and SNRIs all affect the blood by raising serotonin levels.
New Cures for Migraine Headaches
There is a broad range of treatments for migraines. They range from medications like the triptans (sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, frovatriptan) to consuming healthful foodstuffs to avoiding certain stressful lifestyles to relaxation techniques. Migraine headache intensity varies from one individual to the next, and no unified remedy currently exists.