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How to deal with Migraine headaches.

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Author: Joan Bones

Migraine patients often notice that their headaches begin with a throbbing sensation followed by increased skin sensitivity. This increased skin sensitivity, called allodynia, may take the form of scalp tenderness, "painful" hair or pain associated with hair brushing or wearing earrings or glasses. Migraine sufferers, like Jonathan, often must stay in bed for the duration of the headache. Migraines are not like other kinds of headaches--they have very specific physical causes, and a unique group of "triggers." Triggers do not actually cause migraines. If a person does not have a physical predisposition for migraines to begin with, a trigger will probably have no effect. Migraine headaches aren't as common as tension headaches. But for teens who do get them, the pain can be strong enough to make them miss school or other activities if the headaches aren't treated. Migraine can occur any time of the day, though it often starts in the morning. The pain can last a few hours or up to one or two days. Migraines afflict about 30 million people in the United States. They may occur at any age, but usually begin between the ages of 10 and 40 and diminish after age 50. Migraine suffers use their ergotamine. Some people try plain old aspirin. Migraine headaches seem to be caused in part by changes in the level of a body chemical called serotonin. Serotonin plays many roles in the body and it can have an effect on blood vessels. Migraines are thought to be caused by a sudden widening of the blood vessels that supply the brain, which in turn irritates the nerves surrounding these blood vessels. Migraine headaches are truly debilitating disease. Sufferers can be out of commission for days at a time, often when they can least afford to be. Migraine headache drawings often showed the pounding or throbbing nature of a migraine. Some drawings of migraine headaches featured visual symptoms, upset stomachs, and nausea. Migraine occurs no more frequently among the cluster headache population than among random population than among random populations (Andersson, 1985). When migraine predates the commencement of cluster attacks, migraine usually ceases when the cluster attacks begin (Bickerstaff, 1959); thus, although these disorders are biologically distinct, their mechanisms are probably connected. Migraine headaches are usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision. Women are more likely than men to have migraine headaches. Migraine is irregularly episodic, so there needs to be some explanation for why a particular migraine episode occurs at a particular time and not at another time. A migraine trigger is any factor that on exposure or withdrawal leads to the development of an acute migraine headache. Migraine treatments may also include antinausea drugs and medications to prevent or stop headaches.
   
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