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Rebound Headaches – The Merry-Go-Round of Medication Overuse Headaches & Recurring Migraines

October 20th, 2019

When a headache strikes, our first instinct is to reach for the medication cabinet. Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen may be effective at treating headaches and generally cause fewer side effects than their prescription counterparts.

But OTC pain relievers and headache medications are not without side effects. Rebound headaches are one of the biggest concerns for regular headache sufferers. A rebound headache, also called medication overuse headache, occurs as a result of misusing or taking painkillers (or migraine medications) too frequently.

Experts are not sure why rebound headaches happen. However, the general consensus is that as medications wear off, the body goes through a withdrawal reaction – typically another headache – that causes the person to reach for another painkiller. Eventually, this cycle may shift receptors or pathways on the brain and alter how pain is perceived by the body.

Scientists have determined that rebound headaches tend to occur as a result of medication misuse or overuse. That means that those who use medicines for longer than advised by their doctor or pharmacist or take too many pills at once are at greater risk for developing these headaches.

Most of the time, those who get rebound headaches do so after they’ve used medications for 15 days of the month or more. Though no two medications are the same, most OTC painkillers should not be taken for more than two days per week unless instructed by a doctor.

Which Medications Cause Rebound Headaches

Both OTC and prescription medications can cause rebound headaches. The most common OTC medications that cause these headaches are NSAIDs (naproxen, ibuprofen, etc.) as well as acetaminophen. Prescription painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet, and sedatives for sleep have also been shown to trigger rebound headaches.

How Are Rebound Headaches Treated

Because these unpleasant headaches are caused by medications, discontinuing their use may seem like the obvious choice. However, that’s not always safe. If a doctor has prescribed you narcotics, painkillers or migraine medications, ending the treatment abruptly can worsen headaches. That’s why it is important to talk to your physician and come up with an action plan to adjust your treatment safely.

On the other hand, if OTC pain relievers are causing your rebound headaches, it may be safe to try and eliminate them on your own. To break the medication-headache cycle, you can try to discontinue them altogether or to cut back gradually. Some people notice that rebound headaches may persist or worsen for a few days or even weeks after they’ve stopped taking medications. That happens because the body may need longer to metabolize and eliminate the medicine from the bloodstream.

Depending on the type of medication and the severity of the rebound headaches, doctors may choose to prescribe other drugs to help ease withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, the person may be asked to stay in the hospital for a few days to monitor their symptoms and make sure they are responding well to the new treatment.

 

Signs of Rebound Headaches (Medication Overuse Headaches/Recurring Migraines)

If any of the following signs apply to you, you are probably experiencing Rebound/Medication Overuse Headaches and have probably realized by now, that spending the rest of  your life taking pain medications is NOT the answer.

•You suffer from headaches daily or every other day.

•Your pain intensifies about three hours after your last dose of medication.

•Your pain medications don’t work as well as they used to.

•You take more medication, but your headaches are worse.

•You rely on more pills, and you take them more often.

•You take medication even for mild headaches, and you often try to ward off a headache by using a medication.

•You take pain relievers three to four days a week, and you average more than three tablets per day. (This depends on the kind of medication you’re taking, so you’ll need your doctor’s advice.)

•Your pain runs the gamut from mild to moderate to horrible. Usually, the pain is a dull ache that you feel on both sides of your forehead and, sometimes, on the top or back of your head.

•Your headaches occur much more frequently.

How To Prevent Rebound Headaches

Because treating rebound headaches is not always easy, prevention is always the safest approach. These are the three golden rules to prevent medication overuse headaches:

Follow your doctor or pharmacist’s advice: just because OTC pain relievers don’t require a prescription, doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly. In addition to rebound headaches, long term NSAID use can cause stomach problems like gastritis. To avoid rebound headaches, don’t take medications for longer than advised by your physician, pharmacist or by the manufacturer.

Only use pain relievers when you need them: pain relievers are not meant to ‘prevent’ headaches or pain. Avoid rebound headaches and other related issues like drug dependency and withdrawal by only taking medications when you need them.

Avoid caffeine when taking painkillers: rebound headaches are more likely to stem from medications that have caffeine – which many headache and migraine relievers do because caffeine has a tendency to cause dehydration. Taking additional caffeine (like coffee) can further increase the likelihood of getting a rebound headache or a migraine.

Nutritional Options for Migraine & Headache Sufferers

If you suffer from daily headaches or chronic migraines, talk to your general practitioner or neurologist to get a proper diagnosis. Also, consider nutritional supplements and natural alternative therapies.  Nutritional support, lifestyle changes, tracking your migraine triggers,  may be helpful to people who find themselves on the merry-go-round of recurring migraines.

Nutritional supplements that contain magnesium, vitamin B (riboflavin) and feverfew can help you maintain healthy cerebrovascular tone and function as well as maintain healthy mitochondrial reserves in your brain cells. Research has also shown that some migraine sufferers have low levels of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that’s secreted by the pineal gland in your brain.  Supplementing with melatonin has also been shown to be beneficial to migraine sufferers.  It also helps with sleep when taken in the evening.  It is important to note that there is also a sleep/migraine connection.  It is crucial for migraine sufferers to get proper sleep.  Consider healthy sleep habits to keep migraines at bay.  Avoiding foods that trigger migraines, practicing yoga and meditation, and alternative therapies like chiropractic or acupuncture treatments may also help with daily headaches.

 

Pumpkin Spice Bedtime Drink (Vegan)

October 8th, 2019

Pumpkin Spice Drink
Warm up before bedtime with this delicious, hot drink.

INGREDIENTS
2½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
2 tbsp maple syrup
¼ tsp cinnamon
optional: vegan whipped cream + walnuts for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk together all the ingredients on medium-low heat in a small saucepan until the drink is perfectly hot and no lumps remain.
Serve hot!

 

RELATED ARTICLE:  The Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin + Tasty Recipes

 

Healthy Sleep Habits to Avoid Migraines

October 6th, 2019

How many times have you gone to bed making a mental list of everything you had to do the next day: waking up at 6:00 am to make breakfast, taking the kids to school, attending back-to-back meetings at work, running back home to make it to your kid’s baseball game, etc., only to wake up with a pounding headache?

Morning migraines are more common than people realize. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost fifty percent of all migraines occur between four and nine o’clock in the morning, ruining your day before it even starts. Time after time, researchers have found links between sleep and migraines, particularly lack of sleep as a frequent migraine trigger.

 

But improving your sleeping habits is not as easy as it sounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three adults doesn’t get enough sleep, and migraine sufferers are even more likely to experience sleep disturbances.

The problem with our sleeping habits, experts explain, is that we aren’t consistent with them. The vast majority of people either don’t have or don’t stick to a sleep routine. A lack of routine leaves individuals with an erratic sleep schedule that the body cannot adapt to. Fortunately, with a little planning and persistence that can change.

These are five easy steps that you can do to get a better night’s sleep and improve your morning migraines:

Limit Your Caffeine Consumption

Everybody knows that drinking coffee right before bed is a one-way ticket to a sleepless night. But did you know that drinking that 5:00 pm espresso might also be tampering with your sleeping schedule? Caffeine is a stimulant, which is a type of drug characterized by increased activity in the central nervous system and the brain.
caffeine and sleep
The short-term effects of caffeine are usually felt pretty quickly. Five to thirty minutes after drinking a cup of coffee or an energy drink, you’ll feel more energized and alert. But its long-term effects last longer, as caffeine’s half-life is about five hours.

The half-life of a substance is the time your body takes to reduce it to half of its original concentration. Since a regular 8 oz cup of brewed coffee can have up to 100 mg of caffeine, when you drink a cup at 5:00 pm you will still have around 50 mg of in your system by the time you go to bed. If you have trouble sleeping at night, limit yourself to no more than two cups of coffee per day and avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 4:00 pm

Create the Perfect Sleep Environment

From the moment you climb inside your bed to the moment you wake up the next morning, you spend 9 to 10 hours inside your sleeping environment. That’s over 3,000 hours over the course of a year and nearly one-third of your entire life! So, if your bedroom is uncomfortable and messy, your sleep quality will decline.
Sleep Environment

If you want to get the best night’s sleep possible and improve your morning migraines, you must see your sleeping environment as a sanctuary. The concept of a sleeping environment can vary from person to person. While for many of us our bedroom is the place where we rest each night, people who travel frequently may spend more time sleeping on hotel beds than on their own bed.  But regardless of where you rest your head each night when you optimize that place for sleep, you lower your chances of waking up with a migraine. These are three essential factors to consider for improving your sleeping environment:

Lighting

Everybody has an internal clock, called a circadian rhythm, that manages their sleep/wake cycles. In humans, the circadian rhythm is controlled by a group of neurons located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is in constant communication with the eyes. Every day as the sun sets and it gets dark outside, the hypothalamus starts getting ready for sleep.

The problem is that artificial light can alter your circadian rhythm. Research has shown that taking your electronics to bed or sleeping with the TV on can signal your hypothalamus that is not bedtime yet. Avoid disrupting your internal clock by making sure your bedroom is as dark as possible when you are trying to doze off.

Temperature

How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night because you were either too hot or too cold? Temperature plays a fundamental role in your sleep patterns, with a cooler bedroom being preferred for optimal rest. Research suggests that the ideal temperature for sleep should be around 60 to 67 degrees, but remember to wear socks as cold feet tend to be very disruptive for sleep.

Noise

Any loud or sudden noises that jar you awake have negative effects on your sleeping patterns and increase your likelihood of waking up with a migraine. If you live near a busy street or in a noisy neighborhood, consider investing in a pair of high-quality earplugs or a white noise machine. Research shows that constant white noise can induce sleep and block out background sounds.

Consider a Natural Sleeping Aid

Some nights, no matter what we do, we just can’t sleep. But before you give up on the inevitability of waking up with a migraine, consider taking a natural supplement to help you reset your internal clock and ease you back to sleep. There are many research-backed, non-habit forming natural ingredients that can facilitate sleep including; valerian extract, melatonin, magnesium, zizyphus jujube extract and glycine.

Medical providers have known for over a century that there is an association between poor sleep and the frequency and intensity of migraine and other pain syndromes.  When it comes to sleep, small adjustments can lead to big rewards.  Sleep influences all aspects of life.  Establishing or reestablishing healthy sleep patterns will help control migraines as well as support overall health and longevity.

Learn more about sleep and the risk of chronic disease as well as natural options for promoting deep sleep.  Download Sleep/Insomnia White Paper.

Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds for Healthy Eyes, Heart, Skin, Hair, Weight Loss & More!

September 30th, 2019

Commonly viewed as a vegetable, pumpkin is scientifically a fruit, as it contains seeds. Nutritionally it is more similar to vegetables than fruits. Pumpkin has a range of fantastic health benefits, including being one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene.

Eye Health:  Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant. It also gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color.  The body converts any ingested beta-carotene into vitamin A.  Vitamin A is essential for eye health and helps the retina absorb and process light. One cup of pumpkin contains over 200 percent of most people’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A, making it an outstanding option for optical health.  Studies show that vitamin A can also strengthen your immune system and help fight infections. (1) (2)

High Antioxidant Content:  Free radicals are molecules produced by your body’s metabolic process. Though highly unstable, they have useful roles, such as destroying harmful bacteria.  However, excessive free radicals in your body create a state called oxidative stress, which has been linked to chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer. Pumpkins contain antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. These can neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging your cells.  Pumpkin may lower you risk of cancer. (3)  (4)

Heart Health:  Pumpkin contains a variety of nutrients that can improve your heart health.  It’s high in potassium, vitamin C and fiber, which have been linked to heart benefits.  For instance, studies have shown that people with higher potassium intakes appear to have lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of strokes which are both risk factors for heart disease. (5)

Weight Loss:  Pumpkin is rich in fiber, which slows digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer.  It is low in calories as it is 94% water and contains only 50 calories per cup (245 grams).

Healthy Skin:  Pumpkin is great for the skin for many reasons.  Studies show that carotenoids like beta-carotene can act as a natural sunblock. (6)
Once ingested, carotenoids are transported to various organs including your skin. Here, they help protect skin cells against damage from harmful UV rays (7).
Pumpkin is also high in vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin. Your body needs this vitamin to make collagen, a protein that keeps your skin strong and healthy. (8).
Moreover, pumpkins contain lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E and many more antioxidants that have been shown to boost your skin’s defenses against UV. (9) (10)

One cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams) contains:

Calories: 49
Fat: 0.2 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Vitamin A: 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin C: 19% of the RDI
Potassium: 16% of the RDI
Copper: 11% of the RDI
Manganese: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin B2: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
Iron: 8% of the RDI
Small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate and several B vitamins.

When making pumpkin dishes… Don’t throw away the seeds!

PUMPKIN SEEDS ARE POWER SEEDS

Pumpkin seeds were discovered by archaeologists in caves in Mexico back in 7,000 B.C.  North American Indian tribes were the very first to observe the dietary and medicinal properties of pumpkin seeds.  The nutrition in pumpkin seeds improves with age; they are among the few foods that increase in nutritive value as they decompose. Pumpkin seeds stored for more than five months increase in protein content. They can be consumed raw or toasted, plain or tossed in salads and other fresh or cooked dishes.  Containing a variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium to copper, protein and zinc, pumpkin seeds are extremely healthy and are a good source of B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folates), magnesium, iron and protein.  100 grams of pumpkin seeds contains about 30 grams of protein. They are the most alkaline-forming seed.

PUMPKIN SEED BENEFITS

Heart Healthy:  Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of healthy fats, fibers and various antioxidants that are beneficial for the heart.  The high levels of essential fatty acids help maintain healthy blood vessels and lower unhealthy cholesterol in the blood.  Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, compounds that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.

Healthy Sleep:  Pumpkin seeds contain Serotonin, a neurochemical which promotes health sleep.  They are also high in Tryptophan, an amino acid that further converts into Serotonin in the body, to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Prostate Health:  High in zinc these seeds are useful for promoting men’s fertility and preventing prostrate problems. The oil in pumpkin seeds alleviates difficult urination that happens with an enlarged prostate.  Pumpkin seeds also have DHEA (Di-hydro epi-androstenedione) that helps reduce the chances of prostate cancer.

Stabilize Blood Sugar – Pumpkin seeds help improve insulin regulation in diabetics and decreases oxidative stress. These seeds are a rich source of digestible protein that helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

Hair Growth:  Pumpkin seeds consist of cucurbitin, a unique amino that may be responsible for hair growth. They also contain vitamin C that also plays a crucial role in hair growth. Apply pumpkin seeds oil on scalp to see the results or just consume a handful of them daily.

Bone Protection:  High in zinc, pumpkin seeds are a natural protector against osteoporosis, since zinc deficiencies can lead to higher rates of osteoporosis.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source vitamin E; they contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol per 100 g.

Other benefits:  According to studies, pumpkin seeds prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.  These seeds reduce inflammation and counter arthritis pain without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.  They are also used in many cultures as a natural treatment for tapeworms and other parasites.

Take advantage of the abundance of pumpkins during the fall season and give your health a boost. Enjoy these healthy pumpkin recipes.

 

PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE

Tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass and will satisfy all your pumpkin cravings.  It combines pumpkin purée with almond butter, milk, delicious spices, and honey. It’s an excellent source of filling protein and fiber, plus it provides eye-helping beta-carotene. (Can’t get enough pumpkin?

Ingredients:

1 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup or honey
4 ice cubes

Directions:  Blend ingredients together, and enjoy! Serves 1.

 

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HEALTHY PUMPKIN MUFFINS (No Flour, Sugar Free, Oil Free, Dairy Free Gluten Free)

Healthy pumpkin muffins are a better-for-you alternative to traditional pumpkin muffins or pumpkin bread.
Gluten free, sugar-free, oil free, and dairy free. Your taste buds will love the healthy fall flavors.

Prep Time – 20 min
Cook Time – 20 min
Total Time – 32 mins
Servings: 14 muffins
Calories: 123  calories

 

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (toasted & ground) * 9.3 ounces
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats (toasted, 2 Tbsp reserved for muffin tops) * 2.8 ounces
1 1/8 cups pumpkin puree * 10.7 ounces
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
6 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
3/4 cup canned coconut milk or dairy milk (full fat, skim or 1 %,)
2 tsp real vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 ½ tsp pumpkin spice (or 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, and 1/4 ground nutmeg)
½ cup walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, or chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 325. Place all oats on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring once (about 4 to 6 minutes).
Let cool to room temperature. (If you are in a hurry you can skip this step and use plain old-fashioned oats, however the toasting adds flavor.)
Place 2.5 cups of oats in a food processor and blend/pulse until they reach a rough, flour like consistency.
Combine pumpkin puree, eggs, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla. Mix to combine.

Add both ground and unground oats to wet ingredients and allow to sit for 10-20 minutes (this allows the oats to soak and soften).
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just incorporated. (The batter will be very thick.)

Optional: Fold in approximately 1/2 c walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries.

Scoop batter into muffin tin, lined with muffin wrappers (makes 12-14 muffins). Fill the muffin tins 7/8 full.
Bake at 350 for about 23 – 25 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean and the top of the muffin should feel firm.
Recipe Notes
Use parchment muffin liners or lightly spray liners lightly with oil to make the baked muffins easier to remove.

 

GREAT PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients
1 small pumpkin
1 onion
3 to 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1.5 cups of vegetable broth
1.5 cups of coconut milk
1/4 tsp turmeric
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Olive oil (to brush on pumpkin flesh)
Pumpkin seeds and fresh rosemary (to garnish)

Instructions
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F before cutting your pumpkin in half. Spoon out the strings and seeds, saving the seeds for roasting.

2. Using olive oil, brush the flesh of the pumpkin and place the halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately one hour — a fork should be able to pierce the skin. When cooked, allow to cool.

3. On your stove top, saute garlic and onions until translucent — then add turmeric to toast slightly.

4. Add all remaining ingredients (pumpkin flesh, broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper) and bring to a simmer.

5. Once incorporated, use an emulsion blender to create a smoother consistency and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.

6. When ready to serve, garnish with rosemary and pumpkin seeds. If you’d like to roast your own, simply toss seeds in olive oil and salt, baking for around 40 to 45 minutes, or until crispy and golden.

Enjoy!

For more great recipes, visit BrenDid .com

Migraine Awareness Week U.K. Sept 1 – 7, 2019

September 1st, 2019

Migraine Awareness Week (MAW) is an annual campaign in the United Kingdom to draw attention to migraine, educate the public, increase understand and reduce stigma. One out of every 7 people suffer migraine. It is an important public health problem in the UK, associated with very substantial costs.  Increased awareness about the effects of migraines results in better outcomes, increased access to migraine care as well as empowerment and validation for those diagnosed.  There are almost 200,000 migraine attacks every day in the U.K. and migraine sufferers lose 25 million days from work or school each year because of them.  Although it is the third most common disease in the world, affecting an estimated one in seven people globally, migraine remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.  For more information and support for migraines and headaches in the U.K., visit the links below.

To get involved with MAW, increase awareness, or join a meetup… visit the Migraine Trust’s Migraine Awareness Week page.

Organizations concerned with migraines and headaches in the U.K.

The Migraine Trust, a charity which supports sufferers, educates healthcare professionals and funds research into migraine and other headaches.

The National Migraine Center, the only national charity in the UK that offers treatment and support for migraine sufferers without the need for a GP referral.

The British Association for the Study of Headache, a national organization focused on raising the profile of headache and its surrounding issues.

OUCH, an organization focused on raising public awareness of Cluster Headaches, and offering support and guidance to sufferers.

The International Headache Society, a world-wide organisation for those with a professional commitment to headache, publishes the international headache journal ‘Cephalalgia.’

Trigeminal Neuralgia Association UK (TNA UK), a charity providing information and support while raising awareness of TN within the medical community and general public.

European Headache Alliance (EHA): Advocating for the rights and needs of the 80 million people in Europe living with a headache disorder.

European Headache Federation (EHF): Improving awareness of headache disorders and their impact among governments, health care providers and consumers across Europe.

To the Best of Health,

The MigreLief Team at Akeso Health Sciences

Help for children's migraines

Avoiding Spring Migraines & Headaches

April 24th, 2019

Springtime brings change.

It is a hopeful season transforming cold to warm, darkness to light, and grey to color as nature springs back to life everywhere. The brain of migraineurs however, likes consistency.  Even subtle changes in light, air-pressure, temperature, humidity, and fragrances that don’t affect anyone else can have devastating effects on migraine sufferers.

Weather changes almost inevitably cause variations in atmospheric pressure and headaches or migraines that are caused by or affected by changes in the weather are often called barometric or pressure headaches or migraines. You can treat a barometric pressure headache like other types of headaches. Take and over-the-counter medication or nutritional supplement option at the first sign of discomfort.  To prevent future barometric pressure migraines, become aware of air pressure changes and make simple lifestyle adjustments.

Beware of hotter days. A team of researchers at Harvard found that an increase in temperatures occurred 24 hours before increases in admissions to emergency rooms for treatment of migraines. There is not much a patient can do to control the weather or avoid warm temperatures or changes in barometric pressure, therefore it is important to be vigilant about managing other triggers such as sleep and diet. Avoid well known food triggers, and drastic changes in your sleep pattern if you can. It is also very important to stay well hydrated and to avoid strenuous outdoor activities or exercise during times of the day when it’s excessively warm or humid.

Spring is also allergy season, and for many people sinus or allergy headaches can lead to migraines.

Tips to avoid “Spring” migraines:

1. To avoid airborne allergens in your home, clean or change A/C filters
2. If you are allergy prone, make sure your allergy medications are handy.
3. With higher temperature, dehydration occurs even if we don’t feel dehydrated. Dehydration is a big cause of migraines. Drink lots of water
4. Stick with a sleep schedule, try to got to bed at the same time as much as possible and determine what number of hours is best for you. Both too little and too much sleep can increase migraine risk.
5. Light (photophobia) is a major contributor to migraine risk. Purchase a polarized, high grade pair of sunglasses and wear a hat with a brim to keep out even more light.
6. Be careful of new fragrances that you introduce not only in perfumes but moisturizers as well.

Follow these tips, use your Migrelief daily maintenance supplement, keep fast acting MigreLief-NOW (as-needed migraine formula)  on hand for emergencies, and enjoy the fun and beauty of Spring.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

5 Best Yoga Poses for Migraine Headache Relief

April 15th, 2019

It’s heartbreaking to see a friend, or loved one suffer a migraine attack but only those who suffer migraines can truly understand how traumatic and debilitating they are. Migraineurs have lost many precious moments to pulsating pain, vertigo, aversion to light and nausea to name just a few intolerable symptoms of migraine. But there is hope. In addition to avoiding various triggers when possible such as stress, hormone fluctuations, sleep disturbances, certain types of food, excessive use of caffeine, addressing migraines nutritionally at the cellular level and adding some healthy habits to your lifestyle such as yoga, can make all the difference.

Yoga for Migraine SufferersBENEFITS OF YOGA
More and more people are catching on to the benefits of yoga.  Not only does it increase flexibility, improve you balance, build muscle strength, improve you posture, and prevent cartilage and joint breakdown, it also increases blood flow, drains your lymphs and boosts immunity.  If that’s not enough to get you started with yoga, it can help regulate your blood pressure and adrenal glands, lower your blood sugar, help you focus, relax overall and release tension in your limbs, help you sleep and make you happy.

Yoga is also believed to reduce pain.  Yoga, meditation or a combination of the two is believed to reduce pain in people with arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraines and other chronic conditions. Note: While yoga is effective and most doctors today advise you to take up this form of workout, when it comes to migraines or disorders, always consult your physician as yoga is not an alternative to your physician’s advice. Adding a cardiovascular activity such as walking or swimming and getting a good night’s sleep will help with reducing stress and is also very beneficial to migraine sufferers.

 

6 YOGA POSES FOR MIGRAINE AND HEADACHE SUFFERERS

When going through the sequence of yoga poses (asanas), hold each pose comfortably for a few minutes while concentrating on relaxing and breathing, inhaling and exhaling, slowly and deeply.

#1  STANDING FORWARD BEND – Invigorates the nervous system by increasing blood flow and calms the mind.
Yoga for healing migraines• Standing with even weight through the feet, or weight very slightly forward onto the toes, keep the tailbone tucked under, allow the spine to bend forward.

• Tuck the chin gently in towards the chest, lengthen the back of the neck. Gently work the fingertips or palms towards the floor. Hold the pose, relax and breathe.

 

 

 

#2 CHILD’S POSE  – Calms down the nervous system, helps to increase the body’s parasympathetic state… decreasing stress and migraines.

Yoga for healing migraines

• Start on your hands and knees (tabletop position).

• Bring your legs all the way together, then sit your hips back onto your heels with your toes together, letting you knees spread apart wide,

• Stretch your trunk and arms forward and rest your forehead on the floor as you lower your chest onto your thighs. Close your eyes and relax for a few seconds and don’t forget to breathe.

• Reach your arms back along each side of your body, towards your feet, resting with your palms face up.

• Close your eyes, breathe and relax.

 

 

#3  CAT & COW – Improves blood circulation, relieve tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back while increasing serotonin levels in the brain and relaxing the mind.
Yoga for Migraine Prevention

CAT:  Begin on your hands and knees (tabletop position).

• Center your hips over your knees and square your shoulders over your wrists.

• Inhale as you tilt your tailbone towards the sky, lowering your stomach towards the floor (cow pose).

• Arch your back and keep your neck long.  Relax and hold the position for a few seconds.
Yoga for Migraine Relief

COW:  Exhale as you round your spine, drop your head and tuck your chin (cat pose).

• Tighten your abdomen while keeping your chin to your chest.

• Breathe slowly and deeply while holding the pose for a couple of minutes.

• Switch between the cat and cow poses a few times while taking long deep breaths and slow exhales

 

 

#4  SUPINE TWIST – Stretches spine and relieves tension in the shoulders and back.

Yoga for Migraine Prevention

• Lie on your back with your knees drawn in towards your chest.

• Cactus your arms out by your sides with your palms facing up and parallel your shins to your mat, bringing your knees to 90-degree angles.

• Inhale, then exhale as you slowly lower your knees to the left side of your body.

• Hold for 8 breaths, then draw your knees back to center.

• Hug your knees into your chest for a breath, then twist to the right on an exhale. Hold for 8 breaths.

 

 

#5  CORPSE POSE – Rejuvenates the body by bringing it into a deep state of meditative rest.

Yoga for Migrane Relief

• You can end your yoga routine by lying down in this pose and relaxing.

• Lay on your back with legs and feet slightly apart and let feet fall out to the sides

• Rest arms away from your sides at a 30 degree angle with palms facing up.

• Close your eyes, and relax your entire body.

• Think happy thoughts!

 

 

NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT FOR CHRONIC MIGRAINE SUFFERERS

Try increasing nutritional support if you are a chronic migraine sufferer by adding MigreLief dietary supplements to your daily regimen.

MigreLief Migraine Supplements

 

 

 

 

 

Created just for migraine sufferers, MigreLief® comes in 4 nonprescription nutritional formulas:

3 “daily maintenance”
Original MigreLief
Children’s MigreLief (age 2-12)
MigreLief+M
for menstrual migraine sufferers

“as-needed” formula
MigreLief-NOW for on-the-spot nutritional support.

The MigreLief® Nutritional Regimen for Migraine Sufferers:

MigreLief and MigreLief-NOWAction Step 1:  Choose one formula for daily maintenance and take daily.

Action Step 2:  Take MigreLief-NOW as-needed.

Action Step 3:  Live the life you love!

For more information, visit MigreLief.com, call 1-800-758-8746 or email healthadvisor@migrelief.com

 

 


**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or medical condition.

 

 

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

 

Migraine World Summit 2019 – FREE Ticket (Virtual/Online Event)

February 2nd, 2019

The largest patient event in the world for migraine & headache returns this March 20-28.
Join more than 100,000 informed attendees and tune in to 32 NEW interviews to find the answers you need to help better manage migraine and chronic headache.

The Migraine World Summit will bring together 32 experts including doctors and specialists to share new treatments, research, and strategies to help you improve your migraine and chronic headache.

2019 Migraine World Summit

WHY ATTEND?

World-Leading Experts: At the Migraine World Summit, you’ll learn first-hand from 32 of the world’s top migraine and headache experts from leading institutions including the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, John Hopkins Hospital, Stanford Medical, John Hopkins Hospital, and the International Headache Society.
Full Access: Many of these world-leading experts have long waiting lists and fees that are beyond the affordability of the average insurance policy. Skip the waiting period and get straight into the room with these experts.
Free: The event is entirely free whilst live from March 20-28. Visiting dozens of specialists in one field would take years and costs thousands of dollars. This is an incredible opportunity to hear from dozens of leading experts in migraine for free during the week. After March 28, transcripts and interview copies are available to order.

Claim your FREE ticket now at the following link:  http://www.migraineworldsummit.com?afmc=aj

Questions answered include:

  • What new treatments are available or coming soon?
  • What can I learn from successful patient case studies?
  • What new non-medicinal alternatives are recently available?
  • How can I break refractory chronic migraine?
  • When I should get a scan for my headache condition?
  • How is neck pain and migraine related?
  • How important is sleep and exercise really for those with migraine?
  • Are supplements or vitamins worth considering?
  • What are some common drug interactions and side effects we should know about?
  • How do I need to know about hemiplegic and vestibular migraine?
  • How important is diet for migraine and headache?
  • How can I interpret migraine research?

The virtual Migraine World Summit is free from March 20-28, 2019.

Register now for your complimentary pass.

Claim your FREE ticket now at the following link:

Migraine World Summit – Complimentary Pass

See you at the Summit!

To the Best of Health,

 

The MigreLief Team at Akeso Health Sciences

Try this Healthy “Life Extension” Smoothie

January 3rd, 2019

I created the “Life Extension Smoothie” to provide some of nature’s most protective, healing and perfect nutrients to protect against those factors that cause aging and disease.

There are numerous health benefits to combining ground organic flax-seed, omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids and blueberries in a delicious protein smoothie. These benefits are described below following the recipe.

Life Extension Smoothie

LIFE EXTENSION SMOOTHIE RECIPE

8 oz. (227g) fresh or frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp. (30g) ground flax seed powder
1 Tbsp. (15ml) Barlean’s Omega Twin* (organic flax & borage oils)
*May substitute another brand or just flax oil.
1 scoop MRM Natural Whey Protein Powder* (low carb and no sugar or artificial sweeteners)
*May substitute with any nutritious low/no sugar whey protein powder. A vanilla protein powder will add to it’s delicious taste.
16 oz. (474ml) water
1 tsp. (5g) cinnamon powder
4 ice cubes (adjust to preferred thickness)

Blending Instructions:

Add the ice, blueberries and flax seed powder first, then add the oil and cool water. Blend on low for about 10 seconds, then on high for a minute or more. Drink the first glass, then re-blend the remaining mixture for 20-30 seconds, and consume while still mixed and cold.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Flax Seed Powder – Flax is a blue flowering plant that has attracted the attention of medical researchers around the world. Not only is it a source of two different kinds of dietary fiber (soluble & insoluble, each with different health benefits), it is also a source of powerful, health-promoting Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Flax seed is the single highest source of “LIGNANS” which protect our body against cellular damage and unhealthy cellular changes. Flax seed has been studied for the following conditions: heart disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, oral cancer, menopause, PMS, kidney disease, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, peptic ulcer, hemorrhoids, weight loss and mineral absorption.

Flax Seed Oil – Flax oil contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids, or EFA’s. These are the “anti-fat” fats that make foods like flax seed, and certain cold water fish like salmon, herring and mackerel so healthy. The EFAs are the good fats that fight the bad fats we get in our diet from junk food and processed foods which are almost impossible to avoid. The highest quantities of Omega-3 fatty acid, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is present in flax-seed. ALA is the parent from which EFA and DHA (the healthy fish oils) are derived. ALA converts to compounds called prostaglandins. These compounds can be either inflammatory and anti-inflammatory. ALA converts to anti-inflammatory types of prostaglandins and since most degenerative disease all have inflammatory components, ALA is a welcome ally. In fact, studies have shown that ALA prevented platelets (red blood cells) from clumping together which can be a factor in heart attack. It has been known to increase the elasticity of heart arteries, and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. A study also showed that women who have breast cancer had very low levels of ALA in their breast tissue compared to women with healthy tissue.

Borage Oil – Borage is a plant whose flowers and leaves, as well as the oil from its seeds, are used as medicine. Borage seed oil contains a high content of the essential fatty acid known as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is part of the inflammatory mediation process and therefore the oil might be expected to have an impact on a variety of diseases and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and atopic eczema. Combined with fish oil, borage seed oil has shown improvement in bone density in a study of elderly osteoporotic women. A study also concluded that GLA may hold promise for treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

Every cell in our body is enclosed by a cell membrane which plays a role in determining many cell functions, including what healthy or unhealthy things get in or out of our cells. Almost 25% of the cell membrane is composed of what should be healthy “phospholipids” (good fats). Unfortunately, because you get so very little of the good fats from sources like flax oil and borage oil, and so many of the bad fasts from the typical western diet, the body uses what it has (the bad fats, disease-causing trans and saturated fats) and incorporates the bad fats into these very critical cell membranes. The very nature, integrity and function of the cell membrane worsens, and a critical mechanism that we rely on to stay healthy and stay alive is seriously changed and compromised.

THE GOOD NEWS IS… by switching to a combination of flax-seed oil and borage oil (such as Barlean’s Omega Twin, or various brands of the individual oils combined), the body will begin to incorporate the “good fats” back into your cell membranes and re-establish cell membrane integrity and give you back the powerful protection that healthy cell membranes provide to our bodies. Matter of fact, the very process of AGING is associated with organic and biological changes in things like cell membranes. These EFA’s, by protecting cell membrane integrity, are combating some of the cumulative negative effects of aging and poor dietary habits.

Blueberries – All fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of some powerfully protective and health promoting compounds called phytochemicals. One class of phytochemicals called “flavonoids” have an impressive range of heath benefits. Blueberries seem to have the most impressive combination of phytochemicals, especially flavonoids, compared to other fruits and vegetables. A 2017 double-blind, placebo-controlled trial has shown that blueberries can improve some aspects of cognition in older adults. Studies also suggest that blueberries can inhibit the growth of liver cancer, and can help preserve cognitive function in post-menopausal women and decrease their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Blueberries also have amazing anti-oxidant powers that can protect you and your loved ones from most of the illnesses and diseases we all worry about.

We all know that we need oxygen to stay alive. But one of the byproducts resulting from the burning of oxygen is the production of potentially dangerous and unstable molecules called “FREE RADICALS.”  These free radicals are missing an electron and want to get that missing electron from somewhere in our bodies. They do this by attacking a healthy cell. This attack can cause the cell to die or to mutate… and neither option is a good choice!  Fortunately, both our bodies and certain foods can provide us with antioxidants that can neutralize these dangerous free radicals before they attack our cells. Because there are many different types of free radicals the real trick is to know which of the many antioxidants can neutralize as many of the different types of free radicals as possible. This is where the simple blueberry shines. The United States National Institutes of Health found that blueberries, which contain antioxidants, may act to protect the body against damage from oxidative stress, one of several biological processes implicated in aging and in the development of a number of neuro-degenerative diseases. Compared to 40 other fruits and vegetables measured for their anti-oxidant activity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has ranked blueberries, by far and away the best.

Cinnamon – Proven health benefits of cinnamon are: high source of antioxidants, contains anti-inflammatory properties, protects heart heath, fights diabetes, helps defend against cognitive decline and protects brain function, may help lower cancer risk, fights infections and viruses, while protecting dental health and freshening breath naturally.

Whey Protein – Whey protein is considered a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose content. People commonly use it as supplementation, alongside resistance exercise, to help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean tissue mass. Whey protein enhances immune function, may lower blood pressure, treat type-2 diabetes, reduce inflammation, may be beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease, and enhance the body’s antioxidant defenses as well.

The “Life Extension Smoothie” makes it easy for people to incorporate these incredibly healthy ingredients and nutritional treasures into their diet effortlessly. Enjoy!

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.
Chief Scientific Officer, Akeso Health Sciences
HealthAdvisor@MigreLief.com