Most people consider headaches an annoying and painful- but pretty harmless health hazard. Repeated studies, however, have revealed a connection between serious headaches like migraine and an increased frequency of serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s, stroke and high blood pressure.
As technology advances, scientists can better study exactly what happens as a person experiences a migraine attack. And what’s revealed is frankly devastating. The conclusion is that migraines should not be treated; but rather, avoided by all means.
In today’s feature article, we’ll discuss exactly what happens with a migraine attack, the one single main cause for migraine and how it’s possible to avoid migraine and headache attacks all together, even if you’ve suffered for years.
Note that although not all headaches are considered migraine headache, the same exact function happens in the brain with all headaches. So if you have frequent headaches or suffer migraine with or without headaches please read on and make your comment below.
Anyone who has ever experienced a migraine attack knows all too well how bad it feels. So instead of dwelling on that, let’s look at what exactly happens in your body as the attack arises.
You see, migraine is always caused by some kind of trigger or combination of triggers. Nobody knows exactly why these triggers cause migraines, but they act in some ways like allergy effect.
What makes migraines extremely difficult to handle is that there is usually not one trigger that gets it going but a build-up of many triggers, often over a period of time. And those triggers can be emotional as well as physical or visual. For example, a piece of chocolate may throw you into migraine attack when you’re stressed but do nothing to you when you’re relaxed.
Migraine and headaches happen as the arteries in the brain inhibit or reduce blood delivery to parts of the brain because of changes in dilation. Different types of migraine and headaches depend on where in the brain this inflammation happens. For short periods of time, your brain is experiencing mild stroke effects.
To prevent permanent brain damage from the lack of blood delivery, the body expands the arteries, making the pressure even more severe and causing increased pain and migraine symptoms.
Since your brain at some points can be starving for oxygen, the tissues closest to the main arteries steals most of the oxygen delivered, leaving parts deeper inside the brain deprived. This is not unlike the symptoms of small, mild strokes.
This is the reason why migraine has been connected to the development of dementia and there is higher risk of severe stroke among people with migraine as well as connection to many other neuralogical diseases.
Since every single migraine attack acts as series of mini-strokes on the brain and causes minor brain damage, scientists now warn that the main object should not just to treat the pain from migraine but to try to avoid it altogether to prevent more serous diseases down the road.
Unfortunately, the traditional medicine system has been unable to come up with effective medications to prevent migraine. And in fact, many drugs, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol drugs, can cause migraine attacks as side effects.
It’s therefore important (as with all diseases) to look at the underlying cause of migraine instead of focusing on the symptoms.
Emotional stress is a major trigger for migraine and headache. Who hasn’t experienced a migraine hitting on the exact day when you just couldn’t afford to be sidelined with a migraine. This is why migraine is more common among people suffering high blood pressure and why mind body exercises such as yoga, meditation, bio-feedback and our high blood pressure exercise program have been proven to help tremendously with migraine sufferers.
What you eat is even more important than how you feel regarding triggering migraine. You probably already know about some types of foods that you simply can’t eat without paying for it. When isolating a trigger food, it’s recommended to take out of your diet pretty much everything except basic, unprocessed foods for a week. Then little by little add back in different foods and see how they affect you. However, this can be very complicated because foods may not trigger migraine unless taken in combination with other triggers.
I’ve found the single most important migraine trigger to be oxygen deprivation in the first place. This is the reason why migraine is more common among those suffering sleep apnea, for example. It’s also more common in cities with low or compromised oxygen levels. Oxygen deprivation triggers the inflammation in the brain that then again causes more oxygen deprivation.
Oxygen therapy (where people breathe oxygen from a tank) has been proven as a somewhat helpful method to treat migraine. The problem with oxygen therapy, however, is that it isn’t as effective once your migraine attack has started. It also doesn’t guarantee that the oxygen inhaled is actually delivered to the brain.
Tackling migraine and headaches, it’s important to address all above triggers (emotional, diet and oxygen) and eliminate them systematically. I’ve set up a system to do that in my very successful migraine and headache program. Learn more about that here…
But first, please tell us what you think by leaving your comment below.
by Christian Goodman