Migraine Myths and Reality

Myth #1:
Migraines are easily recognized and diagnosed by doctors.

Migraines are among the least properly diagnosed and most mistreated of all illnesses.

Up to 70% of migraine sufferers have never been properly diagnosed with having the illness. Migraines remain seriously underestimated and misunderstood, even among doctors treating the problem.

Myth #2:
Migraines are annoying and uncomfortable, but there’s nothing life-threatening about them.

Migraines can induce several life-threatening conditions such as stroke, aneurysms and coma.

27% of all strokes experienced by those under the age of 45 are preceded by a severe migraine headache. 25% of all cerebral infarctions are associated with migraines. In addition, studies have also found links between migraines and epileptic seizures.

Myth #3:
Migraines are nothing more than really bad headaches.


Aspartame and Migraines

When it comes to migraines, better to put on pounds than drink diet sodas. Diet sodas sweetened with aspartame, at any rate. In case you that word doesn’t ring a bell, how about NutraSweet? Equal? Little blue packages in the sugar bowl on restaurant tables?

If you were to go solely by the information about aspartame that you can find on the Internet, you might every well think this product was created by the devil himself. Truly, the amount of web space devoted to attacking aspartame and its brand name NutraSweet is phenomenal. The product has been vilified like almost no other product on the market, blamed for everything from memory loss to schizophrenia. Although the jury is still out on aspartame’s culpability in relation to many dangers, there is no getting around the fact that aspartame has been linked to migraines in many studies.

Ways to Avoid Migraines

The problem with migraine prevention is that there isn’t just one cause for the headaches. There are very many triggers for migraines, in fact, and trying to avoid them all would be an exercise in solitude. Who wants to spend the rest of their life living in a hermitage just to avoid headaches? That being said, there are a few things you can do to avoid migraines and here are the top ten.

1) Cut out caffeine. Among the multitude of products linked to migraines is caffeine. Taking in too much can lead to a headache of monstrous proportions. Unfortunately, it’s not only too much caffeine that lead to a headache, it’s caffeine withdrawal if you’re used to taking in a lot. Best to cut back slowly.

Instantly Relieve Migraines

When a migraine headache hits, all you really care about is relief. Nothing else matters, every other concern in the world takes second place to getting rid of the pain. If it’s severe enough—and migraines pain can get pretty severe—you won’t even care what it takes to get that relief. No step is too outrageous; too off the wall.

Instant relief for migraines may be accomplished with over the counter medication such as ibuprofen or migraine-strength aspirin. But one man’s instant is another man’s intolerable wait. There are certain steps you can take that have proved to be effective in instantly relieving migraine pain in other sufferers. Most, if not all, probably won’t work for you, but you just may get lucky enough to stumble across one that does the trick.

1) One of the causes of migraines is the rush of blood to the head, so constricting the blood vessels to slow down that rush can often lead to relief. As anyone who remembers elementary science class knows, heat expands and cold contracts. Therefore, applying cold compresses to the forehead and/or back of the neck is a good starting point.

2) In keeping with the same concept as the above, try dipping your fingertips into ice cold water and massaging your temples and neck. This method combines the attempt to constrict blood vessels with the soothing relief of a massage, and is much better for those people who just can’t stand to have a wet cloth weighing down on their forehead.

What is a Migraine?

We’ve all heard the term before, but what exactly is a migraine headache? And how does it differ from other headache types?

One way to tell it’s a migraine is by the length of time it lasts. A migraine isn’t going to go away in a half-hour. Unless you are very, very, very lucky. Chances are your headache, if it truly is a migraine, is going to last anywhere from four to seventy-two hours. Yes, that’s right. Seventy or more hours is not common, but neither is unheard-of. Should your headache last that long, of course, you should be in the emergency room. Don’t wait nearly that long to seek medical attention.

How to take your blood pressure

According to studies conducted, about 30 percent of those afflicted with hypertension are not even aware that they have the problem. This has led some medical experts to refer it to as the century’s silent killer. Hypertension does not have any symptoms specific to the disease. Its crop of usual symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, weakness and nosebleeds can just as easily be connected with other common medical problems. Some do not even exhibit any symptoms at all. In fact, for most people, the symptoms do not even occur until after the condition has gone way past the mild stage and has reached the life-threatening stage.

The significance of this is further highlighted by the fact that high blood pressure is essentially a lifestyle disease. Unlike other medical problems brought on by viral or bacterial infection, high blood pressure progress from mild to worst depending on the lifestyle of the person.

Because of the lack of symptoms, experts advise people especially those 35 years old and above to regularly have their blood pressure checked.

Blood pressure is determined through the use of the sphygmomanometer. The machine is actually easy to use that there have been versions that were created for personal and home use.

Infant blood pressure machine

An infant blood pressure machine is preferred by pediatricians. There are many pieces of equipment that can be used to measure blood pressure in infants, and the main principle in their use is how to use them correctly to ensure a correct reading is obtained. An infant blood pressure machine may have cuffs of variable size that can be changed to be suitable to the child having their blood pressure observed, but it is very important that the right sized cuff is used; otherwise a false reading will be obtained.

It’s very important to keep the child calm whilst they have their blood pressure taken. Most children dislike this procedure as it can be uncomfortable; therefore if any sort of excitation occurs in the infant, this may ultimately cause a false reading. Dolls or other interesting toys can be used to try and keep the infant occupied whilst having their blood pressure taken. It’s also a good idea to let the child explore the machine to try and lessen their fear of it.

Infant blood pressure machines usually have a digital read out, there is no excuse in this day and age especially in western countries for children to have their blood pressure taken with an old fashioned mercury type sphygmomanometer. It would be virtually impossible to take it this way anyway as the child would become very distressed.

How to take blood pressure

Taking a person’s blood pressure can sometimes be quite a complex procedure with quite a number of different factors being taken into consideration. These include alcohol, before having your blood pressure taken you should not consume any alcoholic beverages. If alcohol is taken, this can cause the blood pressure to become raised therefore giving a false reading.

A blood pressure is taken using an instrument called a sphygmomanometer. If the reading is to be correct, at least two readings should be taken at an interval of two minutes and the average value is to be used as the specific value of blood pressure. However this is very rarely done.

An old fashioned sphygmomanometer consists of a cuff, meter, pump and valve. The cuff is used to inflate the area around the upper arm and a pump is then used to build pressure in the cuff, so as to arrest the blood circulation. The pressure is slowly released and the doctor concurrently auscultates the blood vessel in the arm at the higher and lower level. These two levels are known as the systolic and diastolic measurement.

The systolic pressure which is the higher sound is due to myocardial contraction and diastolic pressure (the lower sound) is due to myocardial relaxation.