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Headache

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Headache

LifeSource Vitamins

Headaches are one of the most frequently occurring disorders; they're more prevalent than even the common cold. Most of us have experienced headaches of varying intensity and kind, and most of us will continue to have them now and then.

The vast majority of headaches are caused by tension in the muscles of the head, the shoulders, and the neck. If you have a tension headache, you may feel tightness, pressure, or throbbing anywhere in your head or neck. Often the pain is worse as the day goes on but disappears upon waking the next day.

Migraine headaches are another matter. They account for only 6 percent of headaches, but what they lack in numbers, they make up for in severity. They are intensely painful and are often accompanied by vision disturbances, extreme sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. A migraine episode, which is usually incapacitating, may last a few hours, or it can go on for several days. Unlike tension headaches, migraines are not caused by muscular tension but by disturbances in blood flow to the head. In addition, it is rare to have just one migraine; most migraine sufferers get them at least once a month. The disorder can run in families and affects far more women and girls than it does men or boys.

Cluster headaches are a different type of headache, characterized by painful one-sided headaches that usually occur in clusters of several headaches in a short period of time. There may be no headaches for weeks or months.

Headaches can be triggered by a variety of factors, most often stress and anxiety but also allergies, hormone imbalance, poor digestion and detoxification, low blood sugar, fatigue, and drugs (including caffeine and alcohol). Most headaches are best addressed by identifying and removing the trigger or triggers, along with implementing strategies for natural pain relief.

If you have recurring or extremely severe headaches, however, you should consult a doctor to rule out any serious underlying causes, which can range from glaucoma to high blood pressure to brain tumors. Check with your doctor before combining herbs with prescription headache medications.

** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when taking any and all supplements.

Headache

Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch and Mark Stengler

Super Prescription #1 Aspirin – All Natural - LifeSource Product

This contains the most common homeopathic remedies for headaches. Take as directed on the container for the treatment of all three types of acute headaches.

Super Prescription #2 Magnesium - LifeSource Product

Take 200 mg two to three times daily. Reduce the dosage if diarrhea occurs. Magnesium has been shown in several studies to be effective in alleviating migraine headaches, and we also find it very helpful in preventing tension headaches. Intravenous magnesium can be very effective for acute headaches. Consult with a nutrition-oriented doctor for intravenous treatments.

Super Prescription #3 Riboflavon - B - Complex – Vitamin B - LifeSource Product

Take 400 mg daily for at least three months. Studies have shown it to be effective in preventing migraine headaches.

Super Prescription #4 Fever Few - LifeSource Product

Take a product standardized to contain 250 to 500 mcg of parthenolides daily. Several studies have shown it to be effective in reducing the severity, the duration, and the frequency of migraines.

Super Prescription #5 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) - LifeSource Product

Take 100 mg2 or three times daily. Several studies have shown 5-HTP to be effective in preventing migraine and tension headaches. It has a direct effect on serotonin levels, which affect circulation in the blood vessels of the brain, and increases the body's endorphin levels (natural painkillers). Do not use if you are currently on a pharmaceutical antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication.

Super Prescription #6 Omega 3, 6 & 9 - LifeSource Products - See All of our Omega 3 – Fish Oil Products.

These essential fatty acids improve circulation and reduce inflammatory prostaglandins that may contribute to migraine headaches. Take as directed.

Super Prescription #7 B - Complex – Vitamin B - LifeSource Product

Take 50 mg daily. Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which may be deficient in migraine sufferers.


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Symptoms of a Cluster Headache

  • One-sided headaches that are intense for a number of days or weeks and then disappear and re-appear later


Symptoms of a Tension Headache

  • Sensation of a tight band around the head
  • Pressure throbbing anywhere in the head or the neck
  • Tension in the neck or the shoulder


Symptoms of a Migraine Headache

  • Severe pain, usually on one side of the head
  • Vision disturbances that precede or accompany head pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • May last for several days


Root Causes

  • Emotional stress
  • Fatigue
  • Allergies (food or environmental)
  • Sinusitis
  • Eyestrain
  • Poor posture and spinal misalignment, especially of the neck and the jaw (TMJ)
  • Excessive intake or withdrawal from drugs, like alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, or illegal substances
  • Low blood sugar
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Constipation and poor digestion/detoxification
  • Nutritional deficiencies (especially of magnesium, B6, essential fatty acids)

TREATMENT

Diet

Recommended Food

To avoid headaches caused by food additives, eat meals that you've prepared from whole foods. To keep your blood sugar steady, try to have five small portions throughout the day, instead of three large meals.

Make sure that you get enough fiber to reduce the chance of headaches induced by constipation or toxic buildup. One to two tablespoons of ground flax seeds, along with 10 ounces of water, is a good way to start the day.

Drink a glass of clean water every two waking hours. The fluid will keep the muscles in your head and neck supple and will also flush out toxins.

If you want to prevent headaches, include sources of both calcium and magnesium in your diet. Soy products, green leafy vegetables, and beans are all rich in calcium. Green leafy vegetables and beans are good sources of magnesium as well, as are nuts, bananas, and wheat germ. If food allergies keep you from eating these foods, take a good calcium/magnesium supplement every day to ensure adequate intake.

Fish such as salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that may help prevent migraine headaches. Consume a serving three to five times weekly.


Foods to Avoid

If you suffer from migraines or recurring headaches, determine whether your problem may be caused by an allergic reaction or a sensitivity. Common triggers of both tension and migraine headaches include foods that contain either tyramine or phenylalanine. Tyramine can by found in cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, coffee, cold cuts, herring, smoked fish, wine, alcohol, sausage, sour cream, and vinegar.

Sources of phenylalanine include mono sodium glutamate (MSG), the artificial sweetener aspartame, and nitrates, which can be found in processed meats, especially hot dogs. If you do have an allergy or a sensitivity, eliminate the troublesome food or foods from your diet.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar products (including artificial sweeteners).

Do not consume sugary foods. They cause your blood-sugar level to rise sharply and then crash; often the result is a headache.

Very cold foods can also cause headaches. Ice cream and cold drinks are frequent culprits, so avoid them.


Detoxification

If you suffer from chronic headaches, a detoxification program can be effective. Try a two- to three-day vegetable juice fast, unless low blood-sugar levels bring on your headaches.


General Recommendations

  • Calcium relaxes the nervous system, the muscles, and the blood vessels, making it helpful for all types but especially for tension headaches. Take 500 mg twice daily.
  • Ginkgo biloba improves circulation to the brain and has anti-platelet activity. Take 60 mg two to three times daily of a 24 percent flavone glycoside extract.
  • Melatonin has been shown in preliminary research to help migraine headaches. This is a hormone supplement to consider, especially if you have insomnia. Take 0.3 to 0.5 mg before bedtime.
  • Peppermint or menthol cream applied to the temple area has been shown in studies to be helpful for tension headaches.
  • White willow bark (Salix alba) contains salicin, the ingredient from which aspirin is derived. White willow bark is a highly effective pain reliever that's much easier on the stomach and the entire body than its pharmaceutical counterpart is. Take 60 to 120 mg daily.
  • Take a few quiet moments with a relaxing cup of tea to reduce tension/stress headaches. Peppermint, chamomile, and passionflower are all good choices.
  • Enzymes taken with meals improve digestion and absorption. Take a full-spectrum enzyme with each meal or as directed on the container.

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    *Disclaimer: None of the above statements have been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. As always, consult your physician before taking any and all supplements. LifeSource Vitamins. Individual results may vary.

    Disclaimer: All the information contained throughout this website is based upon the opinion of the founder of LifeSource Vitamins Bruce Brightman, and the entire team at LifeSource Vitamins whose relentless research and studies have been ongoing on since 1992. Other articles and information are based on the opinions of the authors, who retains the copyright as marked on the article. The information on this site is not intended to replace your health care professional, but to enhance your relationship with them. Doing your own studying and research and taking your health care into your own hands is always best, especially in partnership with your health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have any medical conditions, always consult your health care professional before taking supplements based on the information on this site.

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