Connect with us

Headache / Migraine

What is it that causes headache?

Published

on

Headaches are among the most common medical complaints; they are felt by most people at some point in their lives. They may affect anyone whatever their age, race and gender.

World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, in any given year, nearly half of all adults worldwide would experience headache.

Headache can be a sign of stress or emotional distress, or may result from a medical condition such as migraine or high blood pressure, anxiety, or depression. That may lead to other problems. For example, people with chronic migraine headaches can find it difficult to regularly attend work or school.

Causes

A lady having headache
Headache is a common complaint around the world.

A headache can occur in any part of the brain, on either side of the head, or in just one location.

There are different ways to define the headaches.

The International Headache Society (IHS) categorizes headaches as primary if they are not caused by another condition or secondary cause.

Primary headache

Primary headaches are stand-alone illnesses directly caused by overactivity or issues with pain-sensitive structures in the brain.

This protects the head and neck, blood vessels, muscles, and nerves. This can also be due to changes in the brain’s chemical function.

Migraines, headaches of the cluster, and headaches of stress are typical primary headaches.

Secondary headaches

Secondary headaches are symptoms that occur when a further disorder stimulates the head’s pain-sensitive nerves. In other words, the symptoms of headache may be linked to another cause.

A wide array of different factors may lead to secondary headaches.

Including:

  • alcohol-induced hangover
  • brain tumor
  • blood clots
  • bleeding in or around the brain
  • “brain freeze,” or ice-cream headaches
  • carbon monoxide poisoning
  • concussion
  • dehydration
  • glaucoma
  • teeth-grinding at night
  • influenza
  • overuse of pain medication, known as rebound headaches
  • panic attacks
  • stroke

Because headaches can be a symptom of a serious condition, if they become more severe, regular, or persistent, it is important to seek medical counseling.

For instance, if a headache is more severe and debilitating than previous headaches, worsens or does not improve with medication or is followed by other symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, sensory changes and neck stiffness, a doctor should be called immediately.

Types

There are many types of headache.

Tension headaches

Eating something very cold will bring on "brain freezing."
Eating something very cold will bring on “brain freezing.”

The most common form of primary headache is the stress headaches. Such headaches usually start in the middle of the day slowly and gradually.

The person may feel:

  • as if they have a tight band around the head
  • a constant, dull ache on both sides
  • pain spread to or from the neck

Headaches of the tension types may be either episodic or chronic. Episodic attacks usually last for a few hours but can last for a few days. For a period of at least 3 months chronic headaches occur for 15 or more days a month.

Migraines

A migraine headache can usually cause pulsating, throbbing pain just on one side of the head. Accompanying the aching may be:

  • blurred vision
  • light-headedness
  • nausea
  • sensory disturbances known as auras

Migraine is the second most common type of primary headache, and can affect an individual’s life significantly. Migraine is the sixth-highest cause of days lost due to disability worldwide, according to the WHO. A migraine can last between 2 and 3 days, from a few hours.

Rebound headaches

Headache rebounding or overuse of treatment results from improper use of medication to treat symptoms of headache. They are the most prevalent cause of secondary headache. They usually start early in the day, and continue all day long. They can improve with medication for pain, but worsen when it wears off its effects.

Rebound headaches can cause, in addition to the headache itself:

  • neck pain
  • restlessness
  • a feeling of nasal congestion
  • reduced sleep quality

Rebound headaches can cause a variety of symptoms, and each day, the pain can be different.

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches typically last between 15 minutes and 3 hours, and unexpectedly occur once a day, up to eight times a day for weeks to months. There may be no signs of headache in between clusters and this duration of headache-free will last months to years.

Cluster headaches cause pain:

  • one-sided
  • severe
  • often described as sharp or burning
  • typically located in or around one eye

The affected area may become red and swollen, the eyelid may drop and the affected side nasal passage may become stuffy and runny.

Thunderclap headaches

These are unexpected, serious headaches that are often described as the “worst headache of my life.” In less than one minute, they reach maximum intensity and last longer than 5 minutes.

Thunderclap headache is often due to life-threatening conditions such as intracerebral hemorrhage, cerebral venous thrombosis, ruptured or unrupted aneurysms, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RVS), meningitis, and hypophyseal apoplexy.

People who suffer such sudden, severe headaches should seek immediate medical evaluation.

Treatment

Rest and pain relieving medications are the most effective ways of treating headaches.

Generic pain relief medicines are available over the counter (OTC), or doctors can prescribe preventive medicines such as tricyclic antidepressants, agonists of serotonin receptors, anti-epileptic drugs, and beta blockers.

Following the advice of the doctor is important, because overuse of pain relief medicine will lead to headache rebound. The diagnosis of rebound headaches includes the drug to reduce or avoid pain relief. In extreme cases, a brief hospital stay may be necessary to safely and effectively manage the withdrawal.

Another Alternative treatments

Acupuncture is an alternative therapy which can help to ease headaches.
Acupuncture is an alternative therapy which can help to ease headaches.

There are several alternative forms of headache treatment available but it is necessary to consult a doctor before making any major changes or beginning any alternative forms of treatment.

Other methods include:

  • acupuncture
  • cognitive behavior therapy
  • herbal and nutritional health products
  • hypnosis
  • meditation

Work has failed to provide proof that all of these strategies work.

A headache can sometimes result from a deficiency of a particular nutrient or nutrient, particularly magnesium and some B vitamins. Nutrient deficits can be due to poor food consistency, underlying issues with malabsorption or other medical conditions.

Home remedies

A number of steps can be taken to reduce the risk of headaches and to alleviate the pain if it does happen:

  • Apply a heat pack or ice pack to your head or neck, but avoid extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid stressors, where possible, and develop healthy coping strategies for unavoidable stress.
  • Eat regular meals, taking care to maintain stable blood sugar.

A hot shower may help, but exposure to hot water can cause headaches in one rare condition. Exercising regularly and having enough rest and adequate sleep helps alleviate overall health and stress.

Symptoms

Headaches can radiate from a central point across the head or have a quality similar to that of a vise. They can appear gradually or suddenly sharp, throbbing or dull. They can last for up to several days, from less than an hour.

To some extent the symptoms of a headache depend on what type of headache it is.

Tension Headache: There may be general, mild to moderate pain around the head that may feel like a band. We tend to have both sides of the brain affected.

Migraine headache: A intense throbbing pain typically happens in one section of the head, often in the front or side. Nausea and vomiting may occur and the person may feel particularly sensitive to light or noise.

Clusters headache : These can cause severe pain, often around one eye. They usually occur around a given time of year, likely over a span of 1 to 2 months.

Diagnosis

Generally, a doctor will be able to diagnose a particular type of headache by identifying the condition, the type of pain and the frequency and pattern of attacks. If the origin of the headache is unclear, tests may be done to avoid more serious causes.

Other checks could include:

  • blood tests
  • X-rays
  • brain scans, such as CT and MRI

The WHO points out that headache is often not taken seriously because it is intermittent, most headache does not lead to death, and is not contagious.

We are asking for more money to be dedicated to combat headache conditions, due to the enormous health burden we pose.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

two × 2 =

Ear, Nose and Throat

Are sinus infections contagious?

Published

on

Sinus infections, often called sinusitis, are sometimes confused with the highly contagious common cold.

However, just because sinus infections and colds have similar symptoms does not mean that all sinus infections are as contagious as a cold.

It depends on the cause of a sinus infection whether it is communicable or not.

What is it?

sinus infection

Sinuses are hollow cavities that can be found in the cheeks, on either side of the nose, behind the nose, and in the forehead.

Normally, these spaces are airy and bordered by a thin coating of mucus.

When the tissues around these hollow spaces enlarge or become infected by bacteria, fungus, or a virus, a sinus infection results.

Are sinus infections contagious?

Sinus infections can be caused by a variety of causes, some of which are communicable.

A virus-caused sinus infection is infectious and rapidly spreads from person to person.

Sinus infections caused by a deformity, nasal obstruction, or allergies are not communicable.

Sinus infections are classified into several categories.

Sinus infections are divided into different categories based on how long they last.

The following are some of them:

  • Acute – Infections that persist for four weeks or less
  • Subacute – Infections that last between 4 and 12 weeks
  • Chronic – Infections that continue longer than 12 weeks
  • Recurrent – infections that recur on a yearly basis

Furthermore, each form of sinus infection can be caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

Because of blockages in the nasal passages or malformations in the sinus cavities, some forms of sinusitis simply cause swelling and irritation. Sinus infections can also be caused by allergies and long-term exposure to pollution.

Symptoms

Sinus infections are frequently mistaken for a nasty cold. People may find it difficult to tell the difference between a cold and a sinus infection. Some of the symptoms are similar to those of a cold. These are some of them:

  • pain in the teeth
  • pain in one or both ears
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • pressure in the sinus cavities
  • bad breath
  • cloudy nasal discharge
  • stuffiness of the nose
  • cough
  • postnasal drip
  • sore throat

Bacterial sinus infections have a few additional symptoms. These signs and symptoms include:

  • facial pain
  • symptoms lasting longer than a week
  • pus-like or thick nasal discharge

Treatments

The majority of sinus infections are treated solely for symptom relief. There are numerous alternatives for alleviating annoying symptoms.

These are some of them:

  • oral steroids for more severe infections
  • nasal irrigation to reduce mucus drainage and remove irritants
  • medicated nasal sprays containing corticosteroids that reduce inflammation

A doctor would usually prescribe medicines to destroy the bacteria in cases of bacterial sinusitis. Antibiotics may be required for up to two weeks if a person has bacterial sinusitis.

Treatment for chronic or recurring sinus infections will also seek to address the underlying cause and shorten the length or frequency of infections.

A doctor may recommend injecting steroids straight into the nasal passages to relieve inflammation in these circumstances.

A doctor may recommend surgery to open up the sinus passages and give them more room to drain in cases of chronic sinusitis that are resistant to treatment. A doctor may provide allergy shots in the case of chronic sinus infections caused by allergies.\

Home remedies

A person may choose to self-treat a sinus infection at home in some instances. Until the sinus infection clears up, people can take over-the-counter drugs to treat their symptoms.

The following are some of the most frequent over-the-counter remedies for sinus infections:

  • Acetaminophen: Pain and tenderness caused by enlarged nasal passages are reduced.
  • Decongestants: reduce the amount of mucus that is produced
  • Cold medications: Drugs that treat a wide range of symptoms, such as congestion, pain, and cough

Additional therapies may be beneficial in conjunction with at-home treatment. Steam or a humidifier, for example, can assist cleanse nasal passages.

Some people use nasal irrigation at home to eliminate extra mucus and clear their airways.

Essential oils can be used by people who are interested in herbal or natural remedies.

Lemon oil, lavender oil, and eucalyptus oil are some oils that may aid with sinus strain. Essential oils should be used with caution because they are not regulated or controlled by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

When should you see a doctor?

Anyone who has been experiencing pain and pressure in their sinuses for more than a week should contact a doctor. If a chronic fever or cough does not improve with time, they should be addressed.

A doctor will examine a person who exhibits these symptoms. A physical examination and a determination of the individual’s history of sinus infections will be part of the evaluation.

The following indicators of sinus infection will be looked for by a doctor:

  • bad breath
  • tenderness of the face
  • swelling of nasal passages and tissues
  • greenish mucus
  • redness in the nasal passages

A doctor might also inquire about your pain. Pain in the ears, teeth, and areas surrounding the nasal passages are typically of interest to doctors.

If a sinus infection has lasted more than a week and the doctor suspects a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.

Antibiotics aren’t always required because infections might be caused by viruses, allergies, or nasal abnormalities.

Sources:

  • https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/11/sinus-infections-contagious/
  • http://care.american-rhinologic.org/sinusitis_q_a
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318237
  • http://acaai.org/allergies/types/sinus-infection
  • http://www.entnet.org/content/sinusitis

Continue Reading

Headache / Migraine

What is status migrainosus?

Published

on

Status migrainosus is a type of migraine that is difficult to treat. It’s a migraine that lasts more than 72 hours.

Treatments for migraines may not be effective in treating status migrainosus. However, there are a number of options for dealing with it.

The episodes can become debilitating and interfere with daily life. A person may require hospital treatment to break the cycle of symptoms.

In this article, we’ll look at what causes status migrainosus, how it differs from other types of migraine, and how to alleviate symptoms.

What is it?

status migrainosus
Status migrainosus symptoms extend longer than those of a regular migraine attack.

A severe migraine attack that lasts more than 72 hours is known as status migrainosus. The same symptoms that characterize a person’s usual migraine attacks may be present, but they may be more severe.

The main sign of status migrainosus is the persistent headache and accompanying symptoms. When traditional methods of symptom management, such as rest and medication, fail, hospitalization may be required.

The majority of migraine attacks follow a distinct pattern. A warning period may precede this, which may include visual problems or other sorts of aura.

Following that, during the attack phase of a migraine episode, a person may have a headache and:

  • sensitivity to light and noise
  • fatigue
  • nausea and possibly vomiting

The person may feel a migraine “hangover” as these symptoms fade, which can last hours or even days.

A person can distinguish a migraine episode from other forms of headaches based on the sequence of symptoms.

The headache phase of status migrainosus lasts for at least 72 hours, or three days.

Symptoms

The pain and nausea of status migrainosus are so intense for some people that they must spend time in a hospital.

The symptoms are comparable to those of other migraine types, but they linger longer and are more severe.

Migraine symptoms can also differ from person to person and episode to episode, although they typically look like this:

Phase of the prodrome

Mood swings, food cravings, nausea, difficulty sleeping, concentration, sensitivity to light and sound, and other symptoms may occur. They can persist anywhere from a few hours to several days.

Aura

If a person goes through this phase, their eyesight may change – lights or strange forms may appear in their field of view. On one side of the body, a person may experience numbness and tingling.

This stage could last anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.

Phase of a headache

It’s possible that the headache will be severe and throbbing. It usually affects one side of the head, although it can also affect the other.

The migraine must include the following symptoms to be diagnosed as status migrainosus:

  • pain that is debilitating, rather than jus
  • a headache that lasts longer than 72 hours

A person with status migrainosus may also experience the following symptoms:

Changes in consciousness: Difficulty concentrating and communicating, as well as confusion and sleepiness, are all possible symptoms.

Vomiting and nausea: It’s possible that a person won’t be able to eat or drink, putting them at risk of dehydration and other symptoms.

Other symptoms: These may include weakness and tingling, nasal congestion, pain and stiffness in the neck, anxiety, and low mood.

The pain may temporarily ease with medication, rest, or both.

Diagnosis

There is no reliable test for migraine. Whether a person sees a doctor during or after an episode, the doctor may do the following:

  • perform a physical examination
  • do other tests to rule out, for example, a stroke or brain injury
  • ask about symptoms
  • take a medical history

Only migraine people develop status migrainosus.

A doctor may investigate whether a person’s medical history includes the following items to help determine whether they have status migrainosus:

  • at least five previous migraine episodes that each lasted 4–72 hours and occurred without an aura
  • two previous episodes of migraine with an aura

They may also conduct neurological tests or order an MRI to rule out other problems.

Treatment

Although there is no cure for migraine, drugs can help to reduce the duration of status migrainosus symptoms.

Pain, nausea, and other symptoms are treated with standard therapy. Among the possibilities are:

It’s important to preventing vomiting since dehydration can induce migraines and make symptoms worse.

A doctor may employ specialty medications to assist interrupt the cycle of symptoms in an emergency situation. The following therapies are possible:

  • steroids
  • muscle relaxants
  • antipsychotics
  • in rare cases, opioids
  • triptans, which tighten the blood vessels
  • anti-seizure medication
  • antihistamines

The doctor can inject these drugs if the patient is vomiting.

Prevention

There are methods for avoiding migraine attacks and status migrainosus. There are additional methods for reducing the severity or frequency of episodes.

Among the options are:

  • anti-seizure drugs
  • Botox injections
  • antihypertensive drugs
  • calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP, pathway monoclonal antibodies
  • antidepressants

Acupuncture, biofeedback, and relaxation techniques are some non-drug treatments that may help.

Living with status migrainosus

Living with migraine can be challenging, particularly for those who are prone to status migrainosus.

Migraine can have long-term social, financial, and psychological consequences in addition to the immediate symptoms.

Life with migraine can be tough due to anxiety about an episode occurring, irritation over unmet plans, and a variety of other issues.

Support groups may be beneficial. They also give people the chance to share and learn new ways to deal with symptoms. The Move Against Migraine online group, for example, is run by the American Migraine Foundation.

Counseling may also assist a person in coping with the pain and anxiety that might accompany a chronic condition.

Find more tips for coping with migraine here.

Avoiding triggers

Many migraine people have noticed that certain triggers might set off attacks.

By keeping account of what happened in the days leading up to a migraine attack, including dietary, emotional, and environmental aspects, a person can learn to identify their triggers. The next stage is to figure out how to cut down on your exposure to these triggers.

The following are common status migrainosus triggers:

  • weather changes
  • infections, such as a cold or the flu
  • surgery on the head or face
  • hormonal imbalances
  • stress
  • changes in medication, such as antidepressants or birth control pills
  • injuries to the neck or head
  • changes in sleeping or eating patterns

Keeping hydrated and getting enough rest can help to lessen the number of episodes you have. Drinking at least 60–80 ounces of water each day is recommended.

Conclusion

The condition known as status migrainosus can be frightening and painful. Understanding what triggers these episodes and taking actions to avoid them might help reduce anxiety and keep the problem from recurring.

A tailored treatment strategy may also assist to avoid or lessen the severity of attacks.

After having status migrainosus, a person should seek further evaluation and counsel from a neurologist who specializes in migraine.

Sources:

  • https://www.ccjm.org/content/85/7/514.long
  • monoclonal-antibodies/
  • https://headaches.org/resources/intractable-migraine/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320247
  • http://www.headaches.org/2007/11/02/case-studies-issue-novemberdecember-2006/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554611/
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/status-migrainosus
  • https://www.ichd-3.org/1-migraine/1-4-complications-of-migraine/1-4-1-status-migrainosus/
  • https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/migraine-what-is-it/symptoms-and-stages/
  • https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/timeline-migraine-attack/

Continue Reading

Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine

Is magnesium effective in the treatment of migraines?

Published

on

Migraines are difficult to treat with standard medicine, so many people seek out other methods to prevent them. Magnesium is one possible treatment.

Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral that aids in blood pressure control, heart health, neuron and muscle function regulation, and the formation of bone, DNA, and protein. Headaches and migraines may be caused by a magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is used by some people to treat and prevent migraine symptoms such as severe migraines, visual abnormalities, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting.

Magnesium and migraines

magnesium

Taking a magnesium supplement, according to some study, may be an effective method to prevent headaches. Other research has revealed that during a migraine, a person’s brain magnesium levels may be low.

To avoid migraines, the American Migraine Foundation recommends taking a 400–500 mg magnesium oxide supplement daily.

Magnesium’s effectiveness as a migraine preventive, according to some researchers, increases when a person takes higher dosages — over 600 (mg) — for at least 3 to 4 months.

Taking high dosages of magnesium as a supplement, on the other hand, may cause side effects in some people.

For people with migraines that include an aura or visual abnormalities, using magnesium may be more beneficial.

How to Treat Migraines with Magnesium

Magnesium oxide, in the form of a tablet, can be taken by migraine people to enhance their magnesium intake.

If a person is having trouble absorbing magnesium sulfate, a doctor may inject 1–2 grams (g) of it intravenously.

Magnesium can also be found in the following forms:

  • magnesium citrate
  • magnesium chloride
  • magnesium carbonate

The body absorbs these different types of magnesium at different rates. Magnesium is difficult to absorb unless it is bonded to something else, thus magnesium supplements frequently include other nutrients, such as amino acids, that have additional health advantages.

Some people prefer to increase their magnesium intake by eating more.

Magnesium can be found in the following foods:

  • mackerel, tuna, and Pollock
  • low-fat yogurt or kefir
  • bananas
  • figs
  • dark chocolate
  • cereals
  • spices
  • cocoa
  • nuts and grains
  • black beans and lentils
  • tea and coffee
  • green leafy vegetables
  • avocado
  • seeds, such as pumpkin or squash seeds
  • almonds

Magnesium is suggested in daily doses of 310–320 mg for women and 400–420 mg for males.

Risks and side effects

Magnesium is found in a variety of foods. There appear to be no hazards connected with increasing magnesium levels by consuming more of these foods.

Taking too many magnesium supplements, on the other hand, might cause unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea, cramping, and vomiting.

If a person develops diarrhea as a result of taking a magnesium supplement, they should stop using it immediately. Staying hydrated is also critical for a person suffering from diarrhea.

People should also avoid taking magnesium supplements if they are using aminoglycoside antibiotics. Combining these medications can cause in muscular weakness and other issues.

Magnesium can also interfere with how antibiotics are absorbed. As a result, any essential antibiotics should be taken at least 2 hours before or 4 to 6 hours after taking these supplements.

Magnesium also helps to reduce blood pressure. People who take magnesium supplements while taking blood pressure medicine may be at risk for hypotension, which is when blood pressure drops dangerously low.

An overabundance of magnesium in the body can have serious consequences, including:

  • coma
  • slowed breathing
  • an irregular heartbeat

Supplementing of magnesium may cause additional negative effects in people who have specific medical conditions, such as:

  • kidney problems, including kidney failure
  • gastrointestinal conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or a stomach infection
  • bleeding disorders
  • diabetes

Anyone considering taking magnesium supplements should consult with a physician first. A doctor can tell you if the supplement is safe for you depending on your medical history.

Before using a magnesium supplement, pregnant women should visit their doctor. They should also avoid taking high amounts of magnesium sulfate intravenously because it can cause bone thinning in the fetus.

Conclusion

Magnesium, if administered correctly, could be a safe therapeutic choice for migraine people. Its risk of negative side effects is lower than that of some established medical therapies.

Magnesium oxide may be especially beneficial for people who have a history of aura.

Magnesium supplements should be discussed with a doctor first, as they may combine with a person’s medication or exacerbate symptoms of an existing condition.

Magnesium supplements can be found in a variety of pharmacies and health food stores.

Sources:

  • http://nccam.nih.gov/health/pain/headachefacts.htm?nav=gsa
  • http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/magnesium
  • https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322596
  • http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
  • http://dining.nd.edu/whats-happening/news/69490-magnesiumthe-invisible-deficiency/
  • https://www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/treatments/supplements-and-herbs/
  • https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/understanding-migraine/magnesium/
  • https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/types-of-migraine/

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 NccMed.com