Headaches Part 2

Life Story by Daniel | Wednesday, April 23, 2008 | 0 comments »

There’s so many ways of relieving headaches out there whether it’s scientifically proven or not.

From using Lemons, Apple, Cinnamon to even Rosemary.
No one is able to say if it’s useful or able to relief as it depends on individual.

What about the ways to control or relief headache scientifically?

Before I start, do remember all the following methods RELIEF headaches but not CURE it.

These methods can be categorized into 2 groups, natural or drugs relief.

Let me explain the methods without help of drugs or natural remedy.

Get Some Sleep
As we discussed previously, most common headache are often triggered by stress and fatigue.
Sleeping reduces stress (check out post regarding Stress and Management) and fatigue.
Therefore getting some good sound sleep relieves many tension headaches.
But sleeping can also cause a headache if you get too little or too much.
So it’s important to set regular bedtime and get up the same time every morning.

Fuel Your Body
Skipping meals can cause headaches just as easily as missing sleep.
When your body runs low on fuel, it activates the part of the nervous system that increases tightness of the muscles throughout your body,

Mind Your Diet
It's a good idea for people who get frequent headaches to consider the possibility that the foods they ate two to three hours earlier had something to do with their headache.
The common offenders are foods that contain tyramine, an amino acid known to trigger headaches in many people.
Foods or beverages containing tyramine or other headache-producing substances include most alcoholic beverages, aged cheeses, cured meats, pickles, chocolate, citrus fruits, pizza and anything containing monosodium glutamate (MSG).
As different food might have different effect on individual, it’s always a good way to try eliminating them one by one from your diet and see what happens if you suspect that foods are causing your headaches.

Pass On Red
The next time you're offered red wine, think twice.
Red wine contains many chemicals that can dilate blood vessels and cause headaches.

No More Third Cups.
Don't drink excessive amounts of coffee.
If you drink three or more cups of coffee every day in the office and you sleep in late on Saturday, you could wake up with a headache because of caffeine withdrawal.
To prevent that, doctors suggest that you drink no more than one or two eight-ounce cups of coffee a day.

Quite Smoking
Smoking is bad for everyone, and it will make certain headaches worse.
If you smoke, quit.

Get Moving
Exercise is a surprisingly effective treatment for headaches.
It seems odd, but there are people who will play a vigorous game of racquetball and find that their headaches go away.
Exercise relieves stress and can trigger production of natural painkillers called.
Just walking 30 minutes a day three times a week may be enough to prevent headaches and enhance your health in other ways.
But if your headache is accompanied by a fever, you should seek medical advice and postpone exercise until you recover.

Get Warm
One important home remedy is using a heating pad on the neck and shoulders for 15 to 20 minutes daily.
It's a very good way to gradually reduce the frequency of your tension headaches.
The heating pad helps soothe tight muscles and prevents them from squeezing off circulation.
In a pinch, you can try taking a warm shower or hot bath, but neither is as effective as a heating pad, he says.

Learn To Relax
Most important, learn to relax your mind and body.
Do things you enjoy, spend time with your families.
Learn to make time for yourself.

If natural remedies don't work for you, there are plenty of prescription and over-the-counter medications that may relieve your headache pain.

Here are some examples of drug relief.

Reach For An Aspirin
Most people can find excellent relief from their headaches if they take two aspirin or acetaminophen.
Aspirin decreases inflammation, and both aspirin and acetaminophen are good pain relievers.

Do note, never give Aspirin to Children as it might cause Reye syndrome.
Reye syndrome is sudden (acute) brain damage (encephalopathy) and liver function problems of unknown cause.
The syndrome has been associated with the use of aspirin to treat chickenpox or the flu in children.

Caffeine Cure
If you have a moderate to severe headache, try taking your aspirin with a strong cup of coffee.
The caffeine in the coffee will speed absorption of the aspirin.
But do note, as caffeine can increase the effect of certain drugs.
It’s not always suitable to take caffeine with drugs as it might speed up the side effects too.
For example caffeine in coffee or tea can interact with antibiotic like ciprofloxacin and may increase nervousness, sleeplessness, heart pounding, and anxiety.

Is It Time For A Prescription?
For severe cluster or migraine headaches, you may need a prescription drug such as ergotamine with caffeine (Cafergot) or dihydroergotamine.

Ergotamine or dihydroergotamine are in a class of medications called ergot alkaloids.

Ergotamine works together with caffeine by preventing blood vessels in the head from expanding and causing headaches while dihydroergotamine works by tightening blood vessels in the brain and by stopping the release of natural substances in the brain that cause swelling.

Ask your doctor if a prescription medication is right for you.

Be Wary Of Painkillers
There's nothing worse for a headache than using painkillers regularly.

Any pain medication, whether it is prescription or over-the-counter, should not be used more than twice a week for headaches, because regular use of these medications actually lowers your pain threshold and will increase the frequency of your headaches.
These increased in frequency are called rebound headaches, and when this happen consult your family doctor.

Antihistamine The Other Alternative
Histamines are substances that try to attach to the cells in your body and irritate them (Mosquito Bite). Histamines can cause itching, sneezing, a runny nose and watery eyes.
Antihistamines prevent histamines from attaching to your cells and causing symptoms.
Antihistamines can also relieve itchiness caused by insect bites and stings, poison ivy and poison oak.
It’s more commonly use against motion sickness and allergies.

Over-the-counter antihistamines that don't also contain pain medication may subdue your tension headache if you take one or two tablets every four hours.
You can take up to 300 milligrams per day, but don't exceed the daily limit given on the package label.

These antihistamines can cause muscle relaxation if taken repeatedly.
They're effective and they get you away from pain medications.
They may make you drowsy at first, but the more you take them, the more effective they will become against your headaches and the less drowsy you will be.

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Headaches Part 1

Life Story by Daniel | Wednesday, April 23, 2008 | 0 comments »

Recently I’ve been having frequent headache.

Sometimes to the extent that even painkiller won’t help.

As I am partial medically trained, I understands some of the danger of headaches.
Do you know headache can be one of the symptoms of stroke?

Guess busy schedule, stress and fatigue are the main causes of my headache.

So I’ve decided to do a little research one headache and find a little ‘cure’.

Before I share these causes and cures, as listed below are some symptoms and if you case of headache is alike, STOP reading this article and consults your doctor immediately!

1. You never had headache before, but are getting them now.
2. Your headache persists for more than 72 hours and is disrupting your day to day work.
3. The headache feels like ‘explosion’ in your head.
4. You are also experiencing vision problems, difficulty talking, problems with coordination, weakness in your arms and legs or difficulty thinking clearly.
5. You also have a fever or stiff neck.
6. You get a headache whenever you exert yourself.
7. You're also vomiting but don't feel nauseated.
8. Your headaches are becoming more frequent and severe.

I might sound scary but fortunately, less than 5 headaches in 100 are a sign of a serious underlying illness.
For the majority of us, headaches are a painful but routine part of life.
(Still, do consult your doctor for persistent headache)

Sometimes it seems like nothing feels worse than a nasty headache.
It throbs, it bangs, and it squeezes.
It can feel as if it's twisting your head inside out and wringing all the energy from your body.

9 out of every 10 headaches are muscle contraction headaches, also known as tension headaches.

Often triggered by stress and fatigue, these headaches are caused by sustained contraction of the head and neck muscles.
Tension headaches usually strike in the late afternoon and can feel like a tight band is wrapped around your head.

Sometimes, people often mistake migraine with headache.

Unlike headache, migraine occurs when blood vessels in the scalp dilate.

It often begins early in the morning with intense pain on one side of the head or behind the eyes.

The pain can last for several hours or linger for up to three days.
Some people who have migraines experience auras, flashes of light or zigzag lines, which might lasts from 15 to 30 minutes before the headache occurs.
Migraines also can cause nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light

Do you know 65 to 75 percent of the people who have migraines are women and are often connected to the menstrual cycle?

Men, however, are more likely to get cluster headaches, an extreme burning or gnawing type of head pain in or around one eye.
Considered one of the most painful types of headaches, cluster attacks may last up to two hours once or twice a day for a month and then not occur at all for six months or several years.
It’s one of the more uncommon types of headache, as it only occurs once in every 100 headache.

Headaches also can be a sign of a cold, flu, high blood pressure, brain hemorrhage, stroke, brain tumor, meningitis, Lyme disease, tapeworm, glaucoma, abscessed tooth or caffeine withdrawal.
They can also be side effects of certain drugs.

As you can see, we can’t really pin point what causes our headache.
They are often natures warning that something is wrong somewhere in the body.

So consulting a doctor is still the best option.

In the next post I’ll share some useful ways to relieve headache =)

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Stress and Management (Part 4 of 4)

Life Story by Daniel | Tuesday, April 01, 2008 | 1 comments »

There’s so many ways and methods people do to cope and reduce stress.
These methods include meditations, yoga and even shopping.

To some people, smoking and drinking is also their way of coping with stress.
But is it really effective?

Think about it, why do we need to cope and reduce stress?

It’s for our health and people around us.

But when you smoke or drink, are you improving your health or are you making it worst?
Smoking does not only affect you, but also people around you.

1. Second-hand smoke contains all the same cancer-causing, toxic chemicals that the smoker inhales, but at greater levels.
Tests on tobacco smoke found that side-stream smoke has more tar and other cancer causing chemicals than mainstream smoke.

2. Second-hand smoke contaminants that lurk in household dust and on furniture can expose children to levels that are equivalent to several hours of active smoking.

3. As little as 30 minutes of exposure to second-hand smoke can damage a non-smoker's heart and increases the risk of heart disease by 30%.

4. Several studies have indicated that secondary smoke can cause lung cancer in non-smoking spouses of heavy smokers as well as in non-smokers exposed to smoking in the workplace.

Aren’t all these reasons enough for you not to smoke?

Other than smoking, in fact there are many unhealthy ways that people often misuse as a method to reduce stress.

These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run.

Some of these unhealthy ways includes:

2.Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs
3.Using sleeping pills or tranquilizers to relax
4.Overeating or eating too little
5.Sleeping too much
7.Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
8.Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems

Learn positive ways to deal with stress

There are many healthy ways to reduce stress or cope with its effects, but they all require change.
You can either change the situation or change your reaction.
When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, accept, or adapt.

Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to managing it.
No single method works for everyone or every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies.

Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control. =)

That’s all folks for my 4 long post regarding Stress and Management.

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Stress and Management (Part 3 of 4)

Life Story by Daniel | Tuesday, April 01, 2008 | 0 comments »

Previously we’ve learnt how to avoid unwanted stress.

But there are times where no matter how we try to avoid they just kept coming.
And worst, existing stress is getting bigger and bigger.

This is why, after avoiding unwanted stress, it’s time we reduce the existing ones.


Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by making healthy lifestyle choices and taking care of yourself.

If you regularly make time for rest and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.

Learn to nurture yourself.

To many people, nurturing oneself seems like a luxury.
Especially for people of the older generation, they often believe in work hard, save hard but not enjoy hard.

Why work so hard and earn so much money when you can’t even take a little time out of it to give yourself some enjoyment.

Got your pay?
Buy a little something for yourself, something that you like as a reward for a month of hard work.

Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Remember this, nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.

Some might say, ‘I don’t even have time for breaks, let not say nurture myself’.

Nurturing doesn’t require extensive planning or even time management.
There’s so many simple things in life we can do to nurture ourselves.

Some of these things are:

Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule.
You wouldn’t allow other people to disrupt your work would you?
So do not allow any other obligations to disrupt your rest and relaxation time, as this is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.

Spend time with positive people who enhance your life.
As we mentioned regarding environment stress, a strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.

Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
By doing these small little things you like, can really make your day.

Laughter is the best medicine, and you’ll noticed stressful people rarely smile.
Always keep your sense of humour and this includes the ability to laugh at yourself.
The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

A healthy body is equivalent to a healthy mind.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle is also an important step to fighting off stressors.

Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress.
When we exercise, our bodies produce little chemicals called endorphins.
Scientifically speaking, endorphins are polypeptides, which are able to bind to the neuron-receptors in the brain to give relief from pain.

Endorphins are believed to produce four key effects on the body: they relieve pain, they reduce stress, they enhance the immune system and they postpone the aging process.

When you are stressed, it is important to get enough sleep.
Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.

Exercisers actually go to sleep faster, are more refreshed when they wake up, and have sharper memories.
Exercise also increases the blood flow to the brain, bringing extra sugar and oxygen, which can help when concentrating.

There are so many benefits of exercise not only to reducing of stress, so keep exercising as you got nothing to lose =)

Eating well is also important.

Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat.

Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.
(Remember: breakfast is a very important source of energy to start off a good day, never skip it)

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