Migraine triggers | MIGRELIEF

Migraine triggers Category

Ocular Migraine vs. Visual Migraine — What is the Difference?

August 20th, 2019

Not all migraine sufferers experience the head pain commonly associated with migraine attacks. Some people experience a type of silent migraine with visual disturbance but no head pain. “Ocular migraine” also known as “retinal migraine” is often confused with “visual migraine” which is a symptom of visual changes or vision loss resulting from the aura phase of the common migraine.

However, for people who experience ocular migraines the visual changes are a little different and can be very frightening as they most often include temporary vision loss that can last up to an hour. Both ocular migraines and visual migraines can occur with or without a headache.

Ocular Migraine vs. Visual Migraine

Ocular or retinal migraines happen in the eye, so only affect the vision in that eye, while visual migraines occur in the brain, so affect the vision in both eyes together.
  

Visual Migraine or Migraine with Aura

  • · A typical migraine accompanied by aura (a variety of visual sensations like a kaleidoscope, zig zag lines and blind spots that often warn that the pain is on the way)
  • · Visual disturbances usually affect both eyes
  • · Aura usually occurs before the migraine head pain attack
  • · Condition isn’t serious but can make it difficult to function and complete tasks

  

Ocular or Retinal Migraine (sometimes referred to as eye migraine or ophthalmic migraine)

  • · Typically occur in one eye and affects vision when a blood vessel in the eye spasms, resulting in a lack of blood flow.
  • · Typically include a flickering blind spot or black spot near the center of your field of vision which gradually gets bigger causing vision loss
  • · Vision loss typically lasts 30 minutes (range is 10 min to 1 hour)
  • · Usually not accompanied by a headache

Temporary Vision Loss

People experiencing ocular/retinal migraines will see a pattern of black spots called “scotomas.” These black spots gradually get bigger and cause complete loss of vision. Other people will partially lose vision in one eye. This is usually characterized by blurry, dim vision or twinkling lights called “scintillations.” Vision loss is temporary and restores in under an hour.

What causes ocular/retinal migraines? Ocular migraines occur when the blood vessels to the eyes start to constrict, or narrow. This reduces the blood flow to one of your eyes. When the migraine ends, the blood vessels relax and open up, allowing blood flow to resume and vision is restored.

Ocular migraines are believed to have the same causes or triggers as regular migraines. These triggers may include:

  • Migraine Triggers· Lack of Sleep
  • · Stress or hypertension
  • · Perfumes and strong odors
  • · Bright or flickering lights
  • · Foods containing nitrates such as hot dogs and other processed meats.
  • · Foods additives such as tyramine or MSG
  • · Caffeine
  • · Chocolate
  • · Tobacco use or cigarette smoke
  • · Artificial Sweeteners
  • · Dehydration
  • · Low blood sugar
  • · Being in higher altitudes

  
Migraine headaches have a genetic basis, and some studies say that up to 70 percent of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine headaches. If one parent has a migraine, there is a 50% chance of a child having it to. If both parents have migraine, a the chance of a children also experiencing migraine increases to 75%.

According to the World Health Organization, migraine headaches appear to be triggered by activation of a mechanism deep in the brain, which releases inflammatory substances around nerves and blood vessels in the head and brain. Imaging studies have shown changes in blood flow to the brain during ocular migraines and migraine auras. But why this happens and what brings about the spontaneous resolution of ocular migraines and visual migraines remain unknown.
  

NOTE: Temporary vision loss caused by ocular or retinal migraines, like migraine with aura is relatively minor however, you should always check with your doctor first to be properly diagnosed and rule out other serious health issues.
  
DIAGNOSIS: There are no diagnostic tests to confirm retinal migraine. Diagnosis is accomplished by reviewing the patient’s personal and family medical history, studying their symptoms, and doing an examination. Retinal migraine is then diagnosed by ruling out other causes for the symptoms. With retinal migraine, it is essential that other causes of transient blindness, such as stroke of the eye (amaurosis fugax), be fully investigated and ruled out. Seeing an ophthalmologist for a full eye exam is generally required for a good look at the back of the eyes.

  

KEEP A MIGRAINE DIARY & TRIGGER TRACKER

Keeping a migraine journal/diary to help uncover and track your migraine triggers can help you understand and avoid those triggers. Popular triggers include, lack of sleep, dehydration, changes in weather (barometric pressure), eating certain processed foods like aged cheese, MSG containing foods, bright lights from computer screens/television, stress and even strenuous exercise. Avoiding your triggers once discovered, can go long way towards migraine prevention. (FREE MIGRAINE DIARY & TRIGGER TRACKER – Click Here)

MigreLief Migraine Supplements

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MIGRAINE SUFFERERS SHOULD NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF NUTRITION:

Optimizing nutritional status through supplementation is very beneficial. The dietary supplement Migrelief, both daily and as-needed formulas, provide nutritional ingredients proven to be beneficial when it comes to maintaining healthy cerebrovascular tone and function (blood vessels in the brain) and maintaining healthy mitochondrial energy reserves (the powerhouses of brain cells).

 

What is a Migraine? Symptoms, Types and Migraine Statistics

February 3rd, 2019

Men, women, and children can experience migraines which are usually accompanied with severe, throbbing/pulsating head pain usually on one side of the head.  Migraines and can last from 2 to 72 hours, or even days.  Migraine is the most common type of vascular headache and can be divided into migraine with aura (classic migraine) and migraine without aura (common migraine).  Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. The pain is generally made worse by physical activity.  Not all migraines include head pain.  Severe stomach pain is associated with ‘abdominal migraines’ and other migraines may include, auras, and vestibular symptoms.

Other symptoms of migraine may include; nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound or light and visual disturbance such as flashing lights, spots, or  temporary loss of vision.

Migraines can occur at any time of the day.  Some people experience migraines every week, while others only get them once or twice annually. While, migraines are not usually a threat to a person’s overall health, they can be debilitating, and interfere with a person’s quality of life and day to day living.  The causes of migraines are not known at this time, although there are some things that are more common in people who experience them. Migraines tend to run in families and are more common in men then women.  Before the age of 12, they are more common in boys.

Difference Between Headache and Migraine

A, ‘Tension Headache,’ differs from a Migraine in that it is less severe and is rarely disabling. Tension headaches present mild-to-moderate pain, are distracting but not debilitating, present a steady ache, and may involve one side of the person’s head. Migraines may also have mild-to-moderate pain, but can also involve moderate-to-severe pain. Tension headaches can involve both sides of a person’s head, but rarely include a sensitivity to sounds or light, nausea, or vomiting.

Migraines present intense, pounding or throbbing pain that is debilitating with a steady ache. Migraine headaches may also involve one side of a person’s head. Migraine headaches can involve both sides of a person’s head, and can involve sensitivity to sounds or light, nausea, or vomiting. Things such as stress and fatigue can start either a tension headache or a migraine. Both of these types of headaches can also be triggered by changes in a person’s body hormone levels (before during or after menstruation, or at menopause), certain foods, or even barometric pressure fluctuations/changes in the weather.

Prodromal Symptoms (early warning signs leading up to a migraine)
Light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, nausea, fatigue, yawning, increased urination, cravings, mood change, and neck pain.

Types of Migraines

Migraines are classified by the types of symptoms a person experiences in association with them. The two most common types of migraines that people experience are, ‘Migraine With Aura,’ and, ‘Migraine Without Aura.’ Other, less common, types of migraines include, ‘Abdominal Migraine,’ ‘Basilar Artery Migraine,’ ‘Cartidynia,’ ‘Headache-Free Migraine,’ ‘Ophthalmoplegic Migraine/Ocular Migraine,’ and, ‘Status Migrainosus.’ There are some women who experience migraine headaches either just prior to or during, or after menstruation.  These migraines are referred to as, ‘Menstrual Migraines.’ Menstrual migraines are  related to hormonal changes and usually occur at the same time every month, just before, during or after a woman’s menstrual cycle.  For some women,  migraines go away during pregnancy while other women experience migraines for the first time during pregnancy, or after menopause.

  • Migraine with Aura: Characterized by a neurological phenomenon (aura) that is experienced ten to thirty minutes before the headache. Most auras are visual and are described as bright shimmering lights around objects or at the edges of the field of vision or zigzag lines, castles, wavy images, or hallucinations. Others experience temporary vision loss. Non-visual auras include motor weakness, speech or language abnormalities, dizziness, vertigo, and tingling or numbness of the face, tongue, or extremities.
  • Migraine without Aura: The most prevalent type and may occur on one or both sides of the head. Tiredness or mood changes may be experienced the day before the headache. Nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light often accompany migraine without aura.
  • Abdominal Migraine: Most common in children with a family history of migraine. Symptoms include abdominal pain without a gastrointestinal cause (may last up to 72 hours), nausea, vomiting, and flushing or paleness . Children who have abdominal migraine often develop typical migraine as they age.
  • Basilar Migraine: Involves a disturbance of the basilar artery in the brainstem. Symptoms include severe headache, vertigo, double vision, slurred speech, and poor muscle coordination. This type occurs primarily in young people.
  • Carotidynia: Also called lower-half headache or facial migraine, produces deep, dull, aching, and sometimes piercing pain in the jaw or neck. There is usually tenderness and swelling over the carotid artery in the neck. Episodes can occur several times weekly and last a few minutes to hours. This type occurs more commonly in older people.
  • Headache-free Migraine: Characterized by the presence of aura without headache. This occurs in patients with a history of migraine with aura.
  • Ophthalmoplegic Migraine: Begins with a headache felt in the eye and is accompanied by vomiting. As the headache progresses, the eyelid droops and nerves responsible for eye movement become paralyzed. Ptosis may persist for days or weeks.
  • Status Migraine: A rare type involving intense pain that usually lasts longer than seventy-two hours. The patient may require hospitalization.

Causes of Migraines

Researchers believe migraines are due to abnormal changes in levels of substances which are naturally produced in a person’s brain. Then the levels of these substances are increased they may cause inflammation, resulting in blood vessel swelling. Swollen blood vessels then press on nearby nerves, causing pain. Still, the exact causes of migraines remains unknown. Genetic involvement has also been linked to migraines. Persons who experience migraines may have genetic factors that control functions of their brain cells associated with migraines.

It is known that people who experience migraines react to various factors and events, referred to as, ‘triggers.’ These triggers vary depending on the individual and do not always lead to a migraine. Combinations of triggers, not necessarily a single one, are more likely to initiate a migraine. An individual’s response to triggers can also vary between migraines.

Migraine triggers may include:

  • Lack of or too much sleep (change in sleep pattern)
  • Skipped meals
  • Bright lights, loud noises, or strong odors
  • Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Weather changes (barometric pressure changes)
  • Alcohol (often red wine)
  • Caffeine (too much or withdrawal)
  • Foods that contain nitrates, such as hot dogs and processed lunch meats
  • Foods that contain MSG (monosodium glutamate), a flavor enhancer found in fast foods, seasonings, spices and broths.
  • Foods that contain tyramine, such as aged cheeses, soy products, fava beans, hard sausages, smoked fish, and chianti wine
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal)

Track your migraines:  Keeping a migraine diary and recording the details that led up to the migraine will be helpful for tracking your triggers.
Keep track of the following:

  • The time of day your headache started
  • Where you were and what you were doing when the migraine started
  • What you ate or drank 24 hours before the attack
  • Each day you have your period, not just the first day (note if they happen at the same time each month in relation to your period).

FACTS & STATISTICS
How common is migraine?
1 billion sufferers worldwide
1 in 4 homes
1 in 5 women
1 in 16 men
1 in 11 children

Migraines are familial:
If 1 parent has migraine, 50% chance of a child having it too.
If both parents have migraine, 75% chance of a child having it too.

Preventive Treatments:
Prescription medications
Dietary supplements
Devices

Nutritional Support for Migraine Sufferers
Supplements known to be of great benefit to migraine sufferers and recommended by neurologists and headache specialists for 2 decades are the MigreLief line of supplements for migraine sufferers and include:

3 daily formulas (for maintaining normal cerebrovascular tone and function) and one fast-acting “as-needed” formula for on the spot nutritional support:

MigreLief Original (age 12-adult) – Daily
Children’s MigreLief (age 2-11) – Daily
MigreLief+M (menstrual/hormonal migraines) – Daily

MigreLief-NOW (fast-acting) – As Needed

MigreLief Now – Winner 2018 Amazing Wellness Award – Best Herbal Supplement
For more information, visit MigreLief.com

 

What Do Weight-Gain, Poor Memory and Depression Have in Common?

April 8th, 2017

Stress and Forgetfulness WMany of you already know that stress is one of the most common migraine triggers.

STRESS CAN ALSO AFFECT HORMONES THAT CAUSE INCREASES IN ABDOMINAL FAT LEADING TO WEIGHT  GAIN, COMPROMISED MEMORY AND DEPRESSION.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO!

The stress hormone “Cortisol,” which is released by our adrenal glands, can protect us in dangerous or trying times but if the stress is constant, then it can lower your immune system and add dangerous life threatening fat to your abdomen.

Cortisol is important for maintaining blood pressure and providing energy for the body.  Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, stimulates the release of insulin and maintains blood sugar levels. The end result of these actions can be an increase in appetite.

Research has consistently shown that stress can and does, in some people result in over-eating and weight gain.  Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or add pounds.

Luckily, research is also showing that controlling stress can prevent weight gain.
Research published in the Journal of Obesity found that even without going on a formal diet, people who controlled their stress and just thought about what they were eating, prevented weight gain.

The question is, “How can I control my stress levels?”  Saying it is a lot easier than actually doing it  So what are some stress busting techniques that work?

1-    Certain B vitamins found in a B complex available in any health food store can help with the effects of stress on your body and hormones

2-    Regular exercise at least 3 times a week, for just 15 minutes,  if done in intervals (see 9XTrim Pulsed Interval Training explanation at 9XTrim.com) can be a major stress buster.

3-    An herbal extract of  Ashwagandha (one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic herbal medicine) can really center you while decreasing the feelings of nervousness and anxiety caused by chronic stress.

4-    Meditation is a proven stress reducer.  Spending even a few minutes meditating can restore your calm and inner peace.  You can practice meditation wherever you are, whether you are walking, waiting for an appointment, or sitting at your desk.

5-    Structured breathing is very calming.  Breath in through your nose for 10 seconds, hold it for 30 seconds and then slowly release the breath through your mouth for 15 seconds.  Done once or twice every hour or two, can do wonders to keep you calm.

6-    Certain foods help reduce the effects of stress.  They are:

·         Oatmeal

·         Avocados

·         Walnuts, almonds, pistachios

·         Oranges

·         Salmon,Tuna

·         Spinach

 

In addition, consider using an Anti-Stress and Memory Enhancing nutritional supplement – Calm & Clever

Click here to listen to my radio segment about the effects of stress on the body, discussed on the Dr. Tony O’Donnell Show!

Now that you have a game plan, there’s no time like the present to improve your memory while getting calm, slim and happy!

 

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix M.S. C.C.N.  C.N.S.