Monday, July 28, 2008

Understanding Migraine Headaches

By Christian Goodman

Your head is not really hurting when you feel that you have a headache. Did you know that brain tissues and skull bones don't have the nerve fibers that are sensitive to pain and therefore can't generate the sensation of pain? Then why does your head hurt when you have a migraine?

Migraine headaches have something to do with the blood vessels, that is why they are called vascular headaches. When you are experiencing migraine, your temporal artery is enlarged, which is located just under the skin at your temple. When this happens, it makes the tiny nerve fibers twisted around it to release chemicals.

The chemicals released cause pain, inflammation, and further enlargement of the temporal artery. The greater the swelling, the worse your pain becomes. So why does this artery enlarge to the point of causing severe pain?

The answer may lie in another naturally occurring chemical in the body. Serotonin is one of two major neurotransmitters in the brain that control blood vessel size, among other things. (Norepinephrine is the other one.) Studies done before a migraine show an abnormally high level of serotonin. During the migraine the serotonin level drops to an unusually low level.

While the actual cause of migraines remains a mystery, researchers are looking at a genetic predisposition, since migraine sufferers tend to run in families. They're hoping to find a definitive answer in the near future.

The impact of this unbearable headache is not only felt by the migraine sufferers, but business establishments as well. Studies have shown than around 150 million workdays are lost each year because of migraine headaches. This is equivalent to around $5-7 billion dollars.

The missed work and productivity that's lost from migraines is not just the problem of those who must endure the headaches, it's becoming a significant burden to the general public, through no fault of those living with the constant threat of suffering. Migraine headaches affect 28 million people in this country, more often females, although men suffer them too.

Migraines are often times under diagnosed and often untreated, that is why it becomes persistent. Doctors miss the diagnosis of migraine headaches in more than half the people who have them. Treatments prescribed are often not effective.

One reason why treatments are not effective is that most doctors prescribe pills for the headache. The problem with pills is that migraines usually stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, the one that controls the 'fight or flight' mechanisms in the body.

When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, it postpones the emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine, preventing any absorption into your system. So instead of getting broken down and absorbed, the pills just sit in your stomach.

There is another solution though. The Migraine and Headache Relief program is a simple to use program that's given thousands of migraine sufferers amazing results. It doesn't require the body to be able to absorb or process anything during the stressful time of a migraine attack.

The Migraine and Headache Relief Program only entails several simple to do exercises and only needs a few minutes a day to do. It is effective in reducing and in many cases eliminating the debilitating effects of migraine. Reclaim your life, use the program!

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