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5 signs you should seek medical treatment for your headache

2019-06-21T14:49:07 (BPT) – You’ve been there before — you wake up and immediately feel the pulsing in your head, you get to work and can feel the pounding pressure mounting as you move between looking at your computer screen and meetings, you’re gearing up for a fun day out with your kids but you cringe as the pain in your head magnifies with every shout of excitement.
The National Headache Foundation wants you to know you are not alone. Nearly 40 million Americans experience migraine and the World Health Organization lists headache disease as the third leading cause of productivity loss due to disability.
“People often underestimate the pain they experience and think their only choice is to endure,” said Dr. Seymour Diamond, executive chair and founder of the National Headache Foundation and Director Emeritus and Founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic. “There is nothing normal about pain in your head, yet even today after treating headache and migraine for over 60 years, I still see doctors dismissing their patients’ symptoms.”
It can be easy to dismiss a headache as normal, but normal shouldn’t be confused with common. Headaches can also be caused by your daily habits that may be easily removed from your routine or can help your doctor develop a treatment plan.
Know your headache and migraine triggers
Food is one of the more common triggers, from smoked foods to alcohol and avocados, that is often overlooked. Keep a food journal to see if you can identify patterns and triggers Weather changes, including high- and low-pressure systems For women, menstruation and hormone fluctuations or imbalance Screen time Stress and a compromised sleep schedule Headaches or uncharacteristic migraine symptoms can indicate you need medical attention. People are often reluctant to call their healthcare provider or go to the ER because they don’t want to arrive only to learn that nothing out of the ordinary is wrong.
Diamond advises, “If your symptoms are out of the ordinary for you, absolutely seek medical attention from a specialist and get help. Your headache or migraine should not keep you from living your life to its fullest.”
Common signs that you should seek medical help for your headaches
You have more than the occasional headache (more than twice a week) Your headache persists, and continues to get worse or won’t stop Your headaches interfere with your normal activities of daily life You find yourself taking pain relievers more than two days a week You take over-the-counter medications for headache relief, but the recommended dosage is not adequate Headache and migraine are serious conditions and you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to your doctor, or to seek out a certified headache expert: . Most patients want their healthcare providers to be prepared and engaged when answering questions and be willing to educate them about their treatment options. On the other hand, healthcare providers often think that what matters most to their patients is expressing understanding and compassion. Diamond emphasized both a patient and their healthcare provider need to communicate clearly to effectively treat the headache or migraine.
Simple steps you can take to effectively communicate your concerns and needs with your healthcare provider include: staying focused on the most important questions you have, providing a daily record of your symptoms, sharing your concerns and reactions, and asking questions. After consulting with you to best understand your personal experience and needs, your doctor may recommend a combination of treatments that may or may not include:
Pharmaceutical therapy Massage therapy Acupuncture Yoga Meditation Diet changes Exercise Sleep changes Journaling symptoms Biofeedback therapy The debilitating effects of headache and migraine don’t have to be part of your regular routine. Understanding your condition, knowing your triggers and having an honest conversation with your healthcare provider can help you get back to living your life.
For more information about headache and migraine or to find help, visit: .

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What it’s like to experience “migraine with aura,” a debilitating chronic health condition

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June is Migraine Awareness Month.
It was Christmas Day 2012. My friend and I had just sat down for turkey served with a side of cheesy Hallmark holiday movies when I felt my left hand start tingling. It crept up until my whole arm was numb, while I simultaneously lost sensation on the left side of my face. The numbness slid down to my neck and as I started to lose feeling inside my throat, I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to breathe for much longer.
My friend, who suffers countless food allergies, bolted to get me an antihistamine, which appeared to relieve the numbness and within 30 minutes all was back to normal—until a pounding migraine set in. It kept me in bed for the next two days.
I had never suffered headaches before, and it was four years before it happened again, late one night while home alone and panicking about who (and how) to call if my airway became numb again. This time, I stood in the kitchen thinking I was going mad because I couldn’t see my right arm in my peripheral vision like I could the left. I then lay in bed desperately racking my brain to remember where my friend lived. “It’s New-something Beach,” I told myself over and over, baffled at why I couldn’t remember something I knew I’d never forget. (It’s Newport Beach, for the record.)
Two days later a “tele-doc” assured me I was fine. It was partly laziness, partly work, and partly the same feeling I still experience today that stopped me going to my actual doctor. Once the symptoms hit, time stops. I wallow in frustration, self-pity, and sometimes even tears. Yet, once the worst passes, I find myself questioning whether it was actually that bad or if I was just being a drama queen given that I can function now, albeit with a lingering headache.
When I did finally see my doctor, after several more incidents of visual disturbances followed by excruciating migraines—three times in a week at one point—she immediately diagnosed me with migraines with aura, ordered an MRI (which was clear) and referred me to a neurologist.
According to the American Migraine Foundation , migraines affect 12% of the population (around 39 million Americans) and between 25-30% of patients suffer aura—defined as a a sensory disturbance—which indicates that an astronomical 9+ million people are suffering migraines with aura in the U.S. alone. The sensory disturbances can include blind spots, speech difficulty, numbness, and confusion, and the trippy nature of the visual disturbances is said to have inspired famous pieces of art. Aura typically lasts 20-60 minutes before a migraine kicks in, although some patients suffer aura without subsequent head pain.
“We believe that cortical spreading depression is the reason why you have an aura,” says Dr. Cathy Glaser of the Migraine Research Foundation , which raises money to fund research, improve treatments, and finds causes and cures for migraines. “It’s an electrical force that goes through your brain and the result is aura. What causes that is still unknown.”
So, with well over 1 billion people estimated to be experiencing aura worldwide, why had neither myself nor most people I know heard of aura in a medical sense? “I think it’s largely undiagnosed,” Dr. Glaser says. “And if you don’t know that’s what you’re suffering, you’re not going to talk about it.”
Women are bearing the brunt of migraines, a genetic neurological disease. The Migraine Research Foundation states that 28 million (out of 39 million) migraine sufferers are women , with an increased occurrence during the reproductive years, which makes me—a 37-year-old woman with a mother who suffered migraines (without aura) in her forties—a prime candidate.
My neurologist’s first suggestion was to stop drinking coffee for a month. “Ha!” I thought. “As if.” Caffeine helps alleviate migraine pain, but is less effective if your system is used to it, he said. For a month, I reluctantly sipped the various flavors of hot chocolate I bought to justify my new and unwanted habit, instead of the extra-strength espresso I bring back in bulk every time I go home to New Zealand. I didn’t suffer any migraines to test the theory that the drugs would be more effective and promptly resumed my caffeine habit when the month was over, given that I’ve had it two decades and gone years without migraines.
In the year since, I’ve experienced migraines anywhere from every two weeks to once in four months, and they’ve followed a consistent pattern of blind spots and visual disturbances before a pounding migraine lasting 8-12 hours, but often lingering for days. Numbness and confusion haven’t haunted me again, however recent episodes have seen me hit with a second round of aura 12 hours after the first, followed by an even more intense head-pounder.
Although I’m sometimes guilty of staying on my laptop, common advice is to lie in a dark room until aura passes. My neurologist prescribed Excedrin with caffeine and Tylenol to take at the onset of symptoms, and sumatriptan for when the migraine starts to set in, however the pill makes me nauseous and it’s difficult to know whether it’s easing my pain or if I’m experiencing a less intense migraine. I’ve found codeine to be more effective for pain management, and on my worst days have taken all of the above.
The Aculief (a small device placed between your thumb and forefinger to apply pressure to the L14 acupressure point) seemingly helped ease pain during one episode, but again, it’s hard to know whether treatments are working or if it’s just a lesser migraine, and ultimately my most effective move has been sleeping it off. The FDA recently approved a device that uses smartphone-controlled electronic pulses to relieve migraine pain.
As for preventive measures, magnesium supplements keep aura at bay for some, while 2018 saw the arrival of Emgality , belonging to a class of drugs called CGRP inhibitors, which aim to reduce the frequency of migraines. The monthly injections have a list price of $6,900 a year and a common theme in reviews is that they are painful, but effective.
For Jennifer O’Neil, the injections have been life-changing, having suffered “debilitating” migraines since she was 6. Her aura took the form of “everything smelling like skunk,” and she averaged 12-15 incidents per month until starting Emgality in December. She’s had only three migraines since, and none since March. Aside from pain and a rash at her injection site, the treatment has given her new life, with triggers like irregular sleep, chocolate, and travel no longer a problem. “I experienced so much anxiety because the simplest things would trigger migraines,” she says. “Now, I feel like I can take on the world. I’ve been told I’m a ‘glass half-empty’ girl, and some of that has definitely lifted. When you’re not in constant pain with a deep-seated fear hanging over your head, it’s freeing.”
Others swear by Botox, an FDA-approved method for those who suffer chronic migraines (more than 15 days per month.) The Botox is injected around pain fibers in the head and stops chemicals involved in pain transmission from being released.
Maureen Dooley suffered migraines with aura multiple times a week or day until getting Botox. “I’ve been free of them for over 15 months and get the injections every four or so months,” she says.
“Any drug that helps your migraine is life-changing, but Botox in particular because it eliminates or significantly decreases the need to take other medication for a long period since it lasts 3-4 months,” Dr. Glaser says.
She notes that like with any other treatment, neither Emgality nor Botox will work for everyone and adds that general healthy habits, like consistent sleep patterns, regular meals, and managing anxiety can make a huge difference. “It’s not going to make migraines go away, but will help you manage them.”
Pain and inconvenience of migraines aside, one of the worst parts has been worrying when the next one will hit. The unpredictability carries an often-unshakeable fear, and an endless string of “what ifs.” What if I walk into a bucket list celebrity interview and confusion hits? What if I get married and experience visual problems right before walking down the aisle? What if I’m driving and numbness occurs? Having gone three months without a migraine, the tiniest glitch in my vision ignites a wave of dread that the auras are back.
I often feel unjustified for taking a sick day or cancelling plans because of what so many ears hear as “just a headache.” Or, I feel silly for whining about my symptoms when I know there are people out there battling life-threatening conditions, or migraine patients suffering worse and more frequently than myself.
Take Melissa Phelps—she’s 38 and has been suffering since she was 12 years old. “I was looking at the teacher and her face suddenly disappeared,” she recalls. “I was scared so I went to the sick bay at which point the left side of my face went numb and I started vomiting.” An MRI ruled out doctors’ stroke suspicions and Melissa was told it was a migraine with aura, which she continued to suffer weekly or monthly for the next few years, during which she relied on imigran nasal spray for relief.
While eventually going aura-free, the weekly bouts returned as she started planning her wedding at 21, and they became daily after she got pregnant later that year. Stopping after she gave birth, symptoms returned when she was expecting her second daughter at 23 and again, “worse than ever,” when her husband died. “I tried taking antidepressants, but after one month I started getting multiple auras per day,” says Phelps, who has also found codeine effective. “I was left in a financial mess and needed to work but couldn’t due to the auras. I suffered terribly until I was around 30 years old, then they stopped for a few years, which was wonderful—I started working full-time in retail and was able to travel with my beautiful daughters. Then they came back two years ago and are now daily. Maybe caused by stress… two teenage daughters!”
While Melissa’s patterns suggest stress as a contributing factor, others have found food, red wine, and menstrual cycles to be triggers. The rapid drop in the hormone estrogen prior to the start of menstruation is believed to be what ignites migraines in the days before/after periods commence, and the Migraine Research Foundation estimates 7-19% of women suffer menstrual migraines.
Between doctor’s advice, online articles, Facebook groups, and medical studies, the vast number of treatments and suggestions can be so overwhelming it’s enough to bring on another headache. I feel lucky that I don’t suffer frequently enough to thoroughly experiment with different treatments, yet not having a guaranteed solution on hand is extremely unnerving.
“Don’t give up,” Dr. Glaser advises. “There’s no magic pill for migraines, so you have to manage your expectations, be patient and persistent. Take medication enough to give it a chance to work. If it doesn’t, try the next option. If you’re not comfortable with your doctor, find someone else. There isn’t a cure right now, so you have to be realistic, take responsibility for your own care, hope for better management—and not give up!”

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This constantly-cool towel can help you beat the heat | DEALBOSS

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BUY IT NOW: $23 off Cool Hydra ICE Towel two-pack with free shipping
You’ve got to be kidding me! Those were the words out of my mouth when I saw this product at the lifestyle expo inside the Consumer Electronics Show.
A towel that stays cold? Why would I want that?
Of course, that was in January.
This is now. I’ve found that this towel provides instant relief from humidity, sweltering heat and temporary relief when I get a headache (like while I break boxes outside for recycling and prepare for Amazon Prime Day). For those hot days at the park, my now one-year-old daughter can enjoy her own personal cooler climate when I can’t find enough shade. If you work out, tailgate or find yourself on the sidelines watching a sporting event for your kids, this could be your favorite product this summer.
If you’ve ever avoided walking the dog due to the heat or you mowing the lawn, the Cool Hydra ICE Towel provides instant relief draped around your neck. With all of the concerns over heat stroke and raised body temperatures, we all know the benefits of a cold compress. Now imagine that compress staying cool for hours. It can be your best friend while you garden, camp or hike.
The Cool Hydra ICE Towels have a similar composition to what you might find in a pillow that stays cool for the duration of the night. Simply soak the towel and then snap it a few times and the cooling effect is immediately noticeable.
Ideal for athletes, anyone who works outside and our summer weather, the sale price on the towels today makes things even more attractive. Click the play button to see the towels in action (you’ll notice my daughter loves them too) .
Features of the Cool Hydra ICE Towel: Ideal for helping anyone battle the heat. Perfect for tailgating, watching outdoor concerts and sporting events. Beneficial for athletes, outdoor workers and any workout inside or out. Can be used to help senior citizens, pets and people of all ages cool off. Feels like your own personal air conditioner on the go. 100% irritation and chemical-free. Can help provide temporary relief from headaches or migraines. BUY IT NOW: $23 off Cool Hydra ICE Towel two-pack with free shipping
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Everything You Need To Know About Reiki Ellsworth ME

By John Thomas
Coping with anxiety disorders and stress is not easy. The ups and downs of life, unfortunately, leave just about everyone susceptible to these concerns at some point. To find lasting relief from these issues, you should schedule for Reiki therapy. This is an ancient Japanese practice that increases the life energy force of a patient, making him or her to enjoy enhanced physical and emotional well-being. If you would like to get scheduled for Reiki Ellsworth ME is an excellent place to begin research for reliable practitioners.
In order to get familiar with the value of the treatment you will receive, you must first understand what Reiki therapy is. Well, this is treatment that effectively relaxes the body and eases various kinds of illnesses that can affect your physical and mental health. Your practitioner will use a hands-on or hands-off approach to channel life force into your body. This will get you recharged and the symptoms of health concerns will be alleviated. Moreover, treatment will reward you with a deep sense of calmness.
For sessions to begin, you will be asked to remove your shoes and jewels and lie on the massage table with your clothes on. The expert will then put his or her hands in tactical positions over your body to deliver healing. It is possible for the practitioner to also use a light touch when making crisscrossing patterns along your back, but you will not experience any pressure.
Reiki delivers holistic healing and it is recommended for persons of all ages. The various techniques used by a skilled expert will provide relief from mental concerns including stress and anxiety. This could also assist in effectively treating minor concerns like migraines and headaches.
Treatment is completely non-invasive and this makes it unnecessary to stop taking your usual prescriptions. Following your sessions, you will experience higher levels of energy, better moods and calmness that will allow you to sleep deeply at night without much struggle. If you want to enjoy all the benefits of Reiki therapy, it will be important for you to schedule for routine treatment sessions.
There are certain instant benefits you can expect from therapy. The majorities of patents attest to enjoying an intense sense of relief from chronic anxiety and panic attacks. Even though Reiki is gentle, the power of the practice is unmatched and treatment can make you feel more focused, present and alive.
If you are a first-timer in seeking treatment, the practices of your practitioner and the techniques used may seem somewhat odd. This practice does not involve any kind of bodywork and the specialist may not even touch you. In case you need relief from stress, the professional will focus mainly on the head and shoulder area.
For treatment to work for you, you should strive to remain relaxed all through. Switch off your phone and focus on the moment. Another way to ensure that you relax with ease is to do your research ahead of time and find a professional whose values make you feel comfortable.
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