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What You Should Know About Headaches And Migraines
As you know, if you receive my newsletters or if you suffer from fibromyalgia, there are many symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. There is the widespread pain, and, in many patients an increase in the severity or frequency of headaches, commonly migraines. In fact, research shows that the vast majority of people with fibromyalgia will suffer from migraines at some point in their life. For some patients, headaches and migraines are frequent.
When a person has inflammation from pain, the brain reacts. Because patient’s with fibro are more sensitive to the pain, their headaches and migraines are more intense than those without the condition. It is common for the other symptoms of fibromyalgia (fogginess, aches and pains, depression, etc…) to become worse when your migraine escalates.
Individually, both migraines and fibro can be debilitating and keep you from accomplishing day-to-day activities. When you combine the symptoms, it can truly become unbearable. Both conditions are treatable, but fibromyalgia cannot be cured. With migraines, all you can do is treat the pain after one comes on. I’m sure you have heard of many migraine medications but, I find that exercise, stress reduction, alternative therapies, and alterations to your diet can be just as effective as these concocted remedies.
Migraines are actually not the most common headache experienced by fibro sufferers, this distinction goes to tension headaches. It is easy to mistake one for the other. The primary differences occur in severity, type of pain, and the location. While both types of headaches can be mild to moderate, a migraine can escalate to severe. With migraines, you will feel a pounding or throbbing on one or both sides of your head. Tension headaches are a dull tightness on both sides of your head. The biggest difference between the two is the nausea, halos around objects, and light and sound sensitivity seen with migraines.
Headaches and migraines can be treated, and often prevented (depending on the type), even if you have fibro. Of course, there are medications you can take. These may range from antiepileptic’s to B-blockers, antidepressants, Topamax, Triptan medications to Botox. Despite the readiness of many doctors to write you a handy Rx, these medications frequently have side effects. B-blockers, for example, can cause depression, nightmares, memory issues, and sleep disorders. As if fibro patients don’t have enough of these to worry about already.
The best method of treatment comes from prevention, and there are many options available. Physical therapy, massage, yoga, tai chi, meditation, acupuncture, acupressure, hypnotherapy, exercise, diet, and counseling can all be huge in the headache prevention process.
Based on my almost two decades treating fibromyalgia patients with chronic migraines, I’ve found that the two main triggers are food allergies and missed or mismanaged thyroid conditions. You can read about both of these in my book Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and CFS www.getfibrobooks.com
I also like to use butterbur, specifically Petadolex an over the counter supplement that has proven time and time again to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. You should be able to find Petadolex online, including Amazon.
It is rare that I have a patient with migraines who doesn’t see a dramatic difference in them after working with me to uncover and treat low thyroid and food allergies. High does of magnesium and CoQ10 are also helpful.
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