healthcare,health and wellness
What it’s like to experience “migraine with aura,” a debilitating chronic health condition
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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Who is Matt Granite? Matt Granite is a freelance consumer reporter who produces stories and video for this Station, Amazon and others. He is not compensated by the brands featured here. This Station and its parent company may receive a share of the revenue from the site that sells the product if you purchase one of these products using the link on this page.
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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Alternative solutions for migraines: 12 Proven natural remedies backed by science
Alternative solutions for migraines: 12 Proven natural remedies backed by science
Monday, June 17, 2019 by: Edsel Cook Tags: acupuncture , alternative medicine , b vitamins , butterbur , cannabis , Chinese medicine , chiropractic treatment , Coenzyme Q10 , CoQ10 , essential oil , essential oils , exercise , ginkgo biloba , gluten free , goodhealth , goodmedicine , headaches , healing arts , herbal medicine , lavender oil , Magnesium , medical marijuana , migraine , mind body science , mindfulness therapy , natural cures , natural medicine , Naturopathy , pain relief , prevention , remedies , supplements , TCM
( Natural News ) There are plenty of natural therapies for improving the painful symptoms of a migraine. These health supplements, herbal remedies, and alternative medicines can help manage migraines, especially if the patient also avoids triggers for the condition, such as food, food additives like MSG and artificial sweeteners, and heavy metals. Amend migraine-causing nutrient deficiencies with these health supplements
Migraine patients often suffer from deficiencies in magnesium, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and B vitamins. Taking supplements of these nutrients can significantly improve the state of the patient.
In a 2016 evaluation of multiple studies, Taiwanese researchers at Chang Gung University found that administering magnesium intravenously to patients with acute migraine gave them considerable relief within less than an hour. Oral doses of the mineral also significantly reduced the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
Likewise, increasing the levels of CoQ10 helps decrease headaches and disability in pediatric and adolescent migraine patients. Taking 150 milligrams (mg) each day can reduce the number of days that migraine headaches last by more than 50 percent. The coenzyme can also be taken three times a day at 100 mg doses to decrease the frequency of migraines and the number of days with headaches and nausea.
B vitamins can bring down homocysteine levels that cause migraine. A daily dose of 2 mg of folic acid, 25 mg of vitamin B6, and 400 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 can reduce homocysteine, along with the frequency and severity of headaches. 100% organic essential oil sets now available for your home and personal care, including Rosemary, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Clary Sage and more, all 100% organic and laboratory tested for safety. A multitude of uses, from stress reduction to topical first aid. See the complete listing here , and help support this news site.
Supplementing with 400 mg of vitamin B12 (riboflavin) reduces the frequency and length of the migraine. A treatment course using vitamin B2 (niacin) similarly reduces the migraine attacks by a large margin. (Related: Migraine, again? Alcohol may be the reason why your head hurts .) Take these herbal medicines to prevent migraine headaches
Ginkgo biloba contains Ginkgolide B, a bioactive compound that prevents migraine attacks when taken at a dose of 60 mg twice a day. By reducing the frequency and duration of the migraine, Ginkgolide B decreases the need for other medications.
Another herbal medicine of note is cannabis . Both inhaled and edible forms of medical marijuana can decrease the frequency of migraines. A patient can use more than one form of medical cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of migraine and stop attacks from happening.
The essential oil of lavender can bring effective relief to patients with acute migraines. Inhaling the vaporized oil for 15 minutes can reduce the severity of the headache within two hours.
An extract made from the roots of the butterbur ( Petasites hybridus ) also offers natural pain relief from headaches. It reduces the frequency of severe migraines in children, adolescents, and adults alike. Alternative therapies that reduce stress and bring relief to migraine patients
Traditional Chinese medicine prescribes acupuncture for people suffering from migraines. An acupuncture session can completely relieve pain within 24 hours of treatment without the adverse effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
Chiropractic treatment can also improve migraine headaches by relieving stress. One of the most effective chiropractic approaches is spinal manipulation therapy, which not only reduces the frequency and length of migraine attacks, but also improves disabilities caused by the disorder.
Try to exercise more often. The intensity of a migraine can be decreased by taking bi-weekly, 45-minute-long sessions of aerobic exercises paired with progressive muscle relaxation techniques that help the body wind down.
Mindfulness therapy is a non-physical approach to reducing stress. It can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Avoid foods that contain large amounts of gluten. Celiac disease and migraine are known to be linked together – patients who have one often have the other as well. A gluten-free diet will do wonders for migraines as well as protect gut health.
All About Montreal Botox Clinic
2 minutes ago by Eugenia Sanders Injection BotoxThere comes a time in everyone�s life to consider Botox in Montreal as an effective cosmetic treatment. Though there is plethora of treatments available to enhance and boost your way of life, Botox remains a very popular choice. This treatment focuses on treating and paralyzing facial muscles to remove wrinkles. Numerous people prefer to have Botox when they reach a certain age. Therefore, it is essential to consider what Botox provides. From migraine headaches to excessive sweating, Botox can give relief from a range of medical conditions. Botox is most commonly referred as a cosmetic enhancement to smooth wrinkled foreheads and erase crow�s feet. Wrinkles and fine lines are common to see on your forehead, around your eyes, and rest of your face. When Botox gets injected into muscles, it blocks signals from nerves to muscles and this causes muscles lose its contracting ability. Thus, the wrinkles get soften and relax too. However, the effect is just temporary, as Botox would wear off overtime. But, if you continue to carry out Botox over a long time, the affected muscles will naturally start to get more relaxed without treatments. Though Botox is an effective cosmetic treatment, there are still some kinds of wrinkles, which are not treatable. The reason for getting wrinkles is due to over-exposure of the sun. In such a case, Botox will not respond that easily. The Botox def initely helps you to maintain the youthful and get you a healthier appearance. At the same time, injections will not favor you on the positive side for the long term if you do not take care. After getting the treatment to try to use sunscreen, avoid overexposure to the sun, and stay apart from tanning booths or anything else. If you go repeatedly to the sun, it may irritate your skin. Whatever may be the skin type, Botox is a clinically tested treatment that is best to cure the wrinkles in the skin. When you work with Botox, it will help you to look younger than before. The wrinkles and lines on your face, you can have a good profound effect on the way. A perfect Botox treatment will have the best result after years and it improves your physical appearance. Botox is ideal for those who need a boost to look younger and hotter . It is very clear that Botox is beneficial for improving the way of inner feelings. Try to be patient and you can have a better result. Botox medicines help you to boost confidence and have perfect self-esteem. Many people suffer from low self-confidence and they could not cope up in life . You need to enhance and improve your confidence. For this, Botox treatment is the best way to improve confidence. As a result, it can help you to step up the lives of people and even Botox can reduce the risk in life. Only, when you have the proper procedure, you can easily find a better result in the case of Botox. When you see other cosmetic procedures, it will surely take overtime by putting you at risks like having internal bleeding. Even to a greater extent, m any treatments need extensive recovery periods to recover and they result only in both exhausting and uncomfortable. Rather when you use Botox treatment, it is easy to feel the difference. Using Botox is a safe process when you undergo a complete process. Using Injection Botox has less recovery time and side effects. Due to proper procedure, there is no high risk while undergoing the treatment. Now, you can use cosmetic treatment without thinking of the side effects and they are less risk type to use. There are procedures that make you bedridden for several days even after the treatment. But in the injection of Botox, there is enough time to get the surgery done and recovery time . The biggest advantage of Botox is that it is quick as well as conventional treatment. It only takes a total of about only fifteen minutes to recover. Even then, one can see the results just after two weeks. When you need to have proper conditions, you can easily have the best results. Rather other treatments have more time to cure. When you come to Botox treatment, you need not to worry about the medicine. The reason is that they can help you to reduce the migraine health problem . A Botox injection can minimize the occurrence of migraines. Moreover, one can relax the muscles, which are responsible for these headaches. Apart from this, If you loved this informative article and you want to receive much more information concerning Injection Botox assure visit our page. it reduces pain signals to your brain. Do you know that Botox can also help you in dealing with excessive sweating? Though heavy sweating is not a serious problem, it may have some negative impacts on your self-esteem. Now you can understand that the Botox help you to have strong bonding with the medical field. Some eye conditions like eyelid spasms, blurred vision, and crossed eyes will have a solution using the Botox injection. Relaxing the eye muscles will not work against each other. In turn, it gives time to other eyes muscles for healing. When you do not have overactive bladder, there will be frequent and unexpected contractions. To have them under control then Botox will help to cure. It is significant to control those bladder contractions. Otherwise, they may cause frequent urination and urinary incontinence. Botox injects into the bladder and treat these conditions using cystoscope. Finally, using Botox injection it is easy to normalize your urination that can contract regularly. Studies suggest that men who suffer from enlarged prostates can get relief from Botox. The relief offers can last for up to a year. If Botox gets directly injected into prostate glands, issues li ke frequent urination and urinary tract infections are improved significantly. Besides, the side effects, which may occur with medications including erectile dysfunction or incontinence, are not seen with Botox. Botox improves the flow of urination by reducing the size of the gland. Even, some medical professionals hope that Botox proves to be a useful treatment to heal arthritis pain. There is no question that Botox procedure available at Montreal Botox clinic provides a multitude of health benefits.