When Should I Call An Ambulance
Most headaches are not serious. But headaches can also be a sign of a serious illness, such as a stroke or meningitis.
- it comes on suddenly, is very severe, or has made you lose consciousness
- you have suffered a head injury
- you have trouble seeing, walking or speaking
- your arms or legs feel numb
- you have nausea or vomiting
- you have a high fever
- you are sensitive to light and have a new rash
Spotting The Signs Of Serious Illness
Headaches are extremely common and most of them arent a cause for anxiety.
Occasionally, though, a headache is a symptom of a serious illness, such as meningitis or a brain haemorrhage, and requires urgent medical attention.
Tension headaches are the most common type.
What are the causes?
About three out of four headaches are caused by tension in the scalp or neck muscles due to stress. Tension headaches tend to occur frequently and cause moderate pain, particularly at the back and front of the head. Its often described as a tight band encircling the head.
Other common causes of headaches include hangovers, having irregular meals, long journeys, noise, a stuffy atmosphere, thundery weather, too much sleep, too much excitement, a fever, sinusitis and suffering toothache.
Migraine are one-sided severe headaches with eye symptoms and possibly vomiting. MIgraines can run in families.
Some headaches require urgent medical attention
A severe headache with fever, a stiff neck and rash may be a sign of meningitis, a condition in which the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord become inflamed.
A sudden headache that feels like a blow to the back of the head could be a subarachnoid haemorrhage, in which bleeding occurs between the membranes covering the brain.
In elderly people, a headache with tenderness of the scalp or temple may be due to temporal arteritis, in which blood vessels in the head become inflamed.
What might be done?
Whats the treatment?
How The Outdoors Heal
Tammy Parsons got her allotment 18 years ago just so she could grow wildflowers that her children could pick. But no one could have foreseen the crucial role that patch of land played in getting her through the breakdown of her first marriage eight years later and breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2010.
I live in Bristol but the allotment is high on a hill with a view of the city and up there the air is so clean, its like being in the countryside, says Tammy, 57.
Being up there during those tough times taught me patience in seeing things grow and gave me peace and time to reflect on things when I felt I couldnt cope.
“During my chemotherapy I would go up there and sort of hide away, because I had lost all my hair. I loved being outside. Something about the space and physicality of being near the plants, along with the feel of the cold soil in my hands, the sunlight on my skin was very healing for me.
Tammy though still on medication, has been cancer free since 2011 and met her second husband, Ian, a gardener at Bristol University on an adjoining allotment.
But even if you cant get outside, simply looking at nature could help. MRI studies assessing the brain activity of people looking at nature compared to those looking at built images has shown that in the former groups, the pleasure centres were more likely to light up,” says Dr Gladwell.
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How Do You Cure A Hangover Fast
There are a couple of things you can do to improve your chances of feeling better.
- Drink something with electrolytes added in, such as Lucozade
- Eat a good breakfast, packed with protein and vitamin C
- Go for a gentle walk to get some fresh air
- Take Ibuprofen to minimise swelling and reduce headaches
- Have a nap, only for 20-40 minutes though
These are all proven methods for easing the symptoms of a hangover. Unfortunately, its not really possible to entirely cure one.
In past, research into a range of possible hangover cures has concluded that the existing treatment options have only minimal effectiveness, in relieving certain specific hangover symptoms. Dr Deborah Lee tells us, Sadly, however, none of the hangover cures investigated, improved the full range of hangover symptoms.
How Long Does A Hangover Last
While it depends person to person, the standard hangover can last up to 72 hours according toresearch from John Hopkins University.
For most people, the effects of over-drinking last for a significantly shorter amount of time normally just 24 hours. Its all related to how much alcohol was consumed and how many preventative measures were taken to avoid dehydration. Ethnicity, gender, the health of your liver, what medications youre taking and general nutritional status also play a role.
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What Triggers A Migraine
There are many different ways a migraine can be triggered. While scientists have yet to identify a cause, there is one thing we know the trick to avoiding migraines is to avoid what creates them in the first place.
Migraine triggers are unique to each person, and its not uncommon for someone to have multiple migraine triggers. With that being said, the most common migraine triggers include:
Food: salty or aged foods like cheese and salami. Any food that is highly processed, or foods that trigger inflammation in the body like gluten, eggs, soy, GMO foods, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine.
Nutritional deficiencies: if youre constantly missing out on meals, youll likely have migraine attacks. When it comes to migraines, there is a strong link to the lack of riboflavin and/or B12 in the body .
Preservatives and sweeteners: artificial sweeteners like aspartame and splenda, as well as food preservatives like monosodium glutamate .
Sensory stimulation: unusually bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells can set off a migraine headache .
Hormonal changes: hormonal shifts are a common trigger for women estrogen levels that change during these times can trigger a migraine attack. Also, hormone replacement therapy or birth control can also trigger or worsen a migraine.
Medications: like vasodilators .
Stress: constant mental and physical stress can damage your mind and body if youre not able to control it effectively .
Things You Shouldnt Say To Migraine Sufferers
Have you ever been in a situation where youre trying to show sympathy and empathize with someones situation but just cant seem to find the right words? That youre worried you might say something offensive or insensitive unknowingly?
Everyone has that friend or relative who means well, but despite their good intentions, always seem to blurt out some teeth-gritting comments. A simple association could be that the person lacks knowledge in what was conveyed. Without experiencing something firsthand, it can be difficult to truly understand the complications and frustrations another has gone through. The situation could be exacerbated further based on familiarity, where often he or she could be in an uncomfortable position and may not want to lay out all the details of their personal health problems.
With that, this is a short message to you, a friend,
colleague, or acquaintance, of someone who suffers from migraines.
We decided to get opinions about what comments frustrate migraineurs the most, and who better to ask than the people who experience these comments first hand? Taking to the Migraine Buddy users of our , , and community, this is what they told us:
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Why Fresh Air Is The Best Medicine
Johanna Basford had been plagued by migraines since she was a teenager. They got particularly bad a few years ago and could wipe me out for several days on end, remembers the best-selling illustrator, 33, who received an OBE as part of this years Queens Birthday Honours List.
She tried medication and cutting things from her diet, but three years ago, Johanna also decided to enforce a daily dose of outdoor time, around the beautiful environment where she lives in rural Aberdeenshire with her husband James and daughter Evie, two.
“I used to go for runs and ride my bike, but later, after I had my baby, dabbling in the sweet peas or looking for ladybugs in the sunflowers in our garden was more achievable,” she remembers.
Though she still gets the odd migraine, they are nothing like as frequent, something the gardening evangelist puts down to her outside time. I think taking my gaze away from the screen, allowing myself time to connect with nature and most importantly getting some sunlight and fresh air have made all the difference.
Few would deny that spending time outside, surrounded by natural beauty, is an instant mood booster. But increasingly, research is showing that the great outdoors can be great for our health.
To The Fighters Who Battle Migraines Daily:
Remember that some people say these words too because they genuinely care. Most of the time people dont understand how their words hurt so it is our duty to educate them. Sometimes, all it takes is looking at things from a different perspective. Turning all your negative thoughts into positive ones like how Lynette has done will assuredly bring about a happier and more care-free life. Remember that some people say these words too because they genuinely care. Most of the time people dont understand how their words hurt so it is our duty to educate them. Sometimes, all it takes is looking at things from a different perspective. Turning al your negative thoughts into postive ones like how Lymette has done will assuredly bring about a happier and ore care-free life. My moms first question
From all of us at the Migraine Buddy team, we wish everyone a migraine-free day ahead of you ?
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Neck And Back Pain: 5 Easy Ways To Protect Your Neck And Back While Working From Home
If you are experiencing new, persistent headaches or your usual headache changes does not resolve with painkillers , or becomes more frequent , it is important to speak to your GP.
Please note, this information is a general guide to headaches and is not intended as medical advice. You can find out more information about headaches on the NHS website here. Always seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your health, by speaking to your GP or calling 111 for NHS advice. Always call 999 in an emergency.
The World Health Organisation currently lists headaches as a less common symptom of Covid-19. It describes the most common symptoms of Covid-19 as fever, dry cough and a temperature. The NHS lists high temperature, a new and continuous cough and loss or change to your sense of taste or smell as the main symptoms of Covid-19.
This piece was first published on 22 May and has been updated throughout
Images: Getty, Unsplash
How Should You Relieve Migraine Pain When Pregnant
Your doctor may recommend home remedies first since some migraine medications aren’t safe during pregnancy. This can include using cold packs, finding ways to reduce stress, and getting enough sleep. If you do need medication to treat a migraine, some are considered likely to be safe, including acetaminophen, metoclopramide, diphenhydramine, and cyproheptadine, but check with your doctor first.
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Get Your Pain Reliever Dose Right Why
If you take more medicine than the label says, you may increase your chance of serious side effects. To use OTC pain relievers safely:
Take the dose directed on the label
Wait the right amount of time between doses
Dont take more than the daily limit
If your pain lasts for more than 10 days, stop taking the medicine and see your healthcare professional. Its possible that the problem may need more attention, or a different treatment approach may be needed
Use A Book As A Pillow
To ease a tension headache originating in the suboccipitals small muscles connecting the neck and the back of the head lie on your back with your head on a book or telephone directory, like a pillow, advises osteopath Christian Bates, of the Perrymount Natural Health Clinic .
He says: Adjust the edge of the book so it lays on the knobbly part on the back of your head. Now tuck your chin down towards your chest. This can lengthen and stretch these small tight muscles and bring headache relief.
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How To Get Relief From A Migraine
Migraines are debilitating episodes. During a migraine, everything has to be put on hold. While a migraine runs its course, it can become impossible to work, drive, take care of children, run errands, or manage other household tasks.
There are a number of things migraine sufferers can do to alleviate some of the symptoms. Most people with migraines will take either a prescription or over-the-counter pain medication and retreat into a dark, quiet room. Other things that can reduce the symptoms :
- Cold wet cloth or ice pack over the eyes
- Taking a nap
- Hot showers or taking hot baths and submerging your head
- Vitamins, including Riboflavin, B12, Coenzyme Q10 and Magnesium
- Sinus medications
- Hydrating with water or sports drinks
- Drinking feverfew tea
- Applying diluted peppermint essential oil to the temples or under the nose
- Taking over-the-counter medications
As with all medical concerns, if migraines persist and none of the above suggestions are sufficient to relieve the pain, we recommend seeing a doctor for medical assistance.
Weather And Altitude Changes
A person may experience a headache, or a worsened headache, due to:
- sudden changes in temperature or humidity
- high or low levels of temperature or humidity
- a storm, which changes the barometric pressure
- changes in altitude, such as during plane travel
Depending on the type and exact cause of a headache, a person may benefit from taking:
- over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- medications called triptans, which treat migraine and cluster headaches
A doctor may prescribe other or additional treatments, depending on a persons specific symptoms.
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How Are Migraines And Vomiting Related
Several of these theories can apply to peeps with migraine at one time, as everyone experiences migraine differently.
For some people, nausea is a trigger for migraine so theyll smell something bad, get nausea, and then develop a migraine attack. For others, migraine triggers nausea, even if the nauseous feelings develop among migraines early symptoms.
Severe nausea and repeated vomiting are symptoms of stomach flu. People who have recurrent migraine attacks will often experience symptoms when theyre sick due to another cause. Thats another link between vomiting and migraine theyd probably be in each others Myspace top 8s.
The nervous systems involving the brain and the gut interact and communicate with each other. This bidirectional communication, known as the gut-brain axis, is one of the reasons for GI migraine symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
This correlation, explained in a 2013 paper, could also explain why certain emotional states like anxiety and depression trigger GI symptoms.
Many people with migraine list vomiting and nausea as one of their symptoms. A 2013 analysis of 407 people living with migraine noted that more than 90 percent of them listed nausea as a symptom, and 70 percent experienced involuntary vomiting with their migraine episodes.
Children who experience abdominal migraines often grow to have typical migraine attacks as adults. Doctors dont really know if vomiting relieves abdominal migraine in the same way as migraine episodes.
The Right Breathing Technique
Your breathing technique is the most important aspect of using oxygen to abort a cluster headache attack. Its not as simple as breathing. There are two techniques, and the first seems to be the most widely used.
Aborting Cluster Attack with Hyperventilation Technique: Begin by exhaling completely to the point where you hear yourself wheeze. Take quick, short breaths in until your lungs are full and do a complete exhale again. Repeat this until the attack has passed, but no longer than 15 minutes at a time. If the attack persists, take a ten-minute break and try it again. You should have around 24-30 breath cycles each minute using this option, and youre supposed to feel lightheaded once its done.
Aborting Cluster Attack with Nasal Inhalation: Personally, Ive never used this technique, but it involves breathing in through your nose and out through the mouth with a complete inhale and exhale.
Some research suggests that you can prolong the length of time between attacks by switching to the nasal cannula for 20 minutes after aborting the attack. In which case, you can lower it to 5lpm, use the prongs, and breath normally again. You can also do this for 20 minutes before bed to possibly prevent a nighttime cluster headache.
The information in this blog is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cluster headaches and oxygen therapy. Theres so much more to know, and if your doctor refuses to learn with you, I highly recommend finding another one.
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The Difference Between Headaches And Migraines
People often tend to lump headaches and migraines into the same bucket, says headache specialist Jennifer Kriegler, MD. Many think migraines are just really bad headaches, which is not altogether true, she says. Headaches and migraines can have different causes.
Headaches of any level of pain can be symptoms of a migraine attack, but a migraine is actually a neurological disease or brain imbalance that causes a lot of other symptoms in addition to headaches.
These include sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting, stomach upset, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dizziness, blurred vision, numbness, tingling or weakness in rare cases.
Migraine episodes result from different signals interacting with your brain, blood vessels and surrounding nerves which cause any of the symptoms above. During a migraine headache in particular, specific nerves of the blood vessels are activated and send pain signals to the brain.