Oh, My Aching Head
A migraine headache is severe, throbbing pain, with the additional symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light, sounds and smells. An attack can last from 4 to 72 hours. If you have a head pain, a proper diagnosis by a physician is recommended to determine the right course of treatment.
Ten to 30 percent of migraine sufferers can pinpoint diet triggers. Here is a list of suspected foods:
The relationship of caffeine and headaches is somewhat confusing. A small amount of caffeine can relieve a headache, but too much may bring one on. Caffeine initially constricts the blood vessels, reducing the pain, but too much causes the blood vessels to dilate, causing more pain.
Most people can tolerate one or two caffeine drinks a day. However, if you decide to cut caffeine out of your diet, do this gradually over a week. "Cold turkey" withdrawal from caffeine can give you another headache.
Diet is only one of the many suspected triggers for a migraine. Keep a food diary for a month, tracking your headaches. You may be able to determine a relationship between food and headaches. A dietician can help you plan careful menus. No one has the migraine puzzle completely finished; it will take the combined efforts of sufferers, researchers and doctors to put all together.
A special thanks to all who participated in the health fair. Congratulations to the door prize winners. See you next year.
Submitted by Kent Hughes, Wellness Committee