Over the years, scientists have discovered how stress adversely effects health, causing a number of serious complications in the body. High blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke have all been traced back to stress. Recent studies also uncovered how stress can wreak havoc on the heart and the vascular network of the body as well as the brain. These disturbances can be severe and may even result in death.
In the United States, 37 million people are affected by migraines. Of this number, 3% suffer from chronic migraine attacks, or those which account for at least half of each month spent suffering from migraine pain. Most of the unfortunate victims of this neurological disease are women, however, an astonishing 5-6% of men also experience chronic migraines.
As doctors and researchers dig further into the effects of chronic migraines on sufferers, it is hard to ignore the apparent correlation between migraines and depression. Research has shown that chronic migraine sufferers, most especially women, have higher rates of depression than their migraine-free counterparts. Recent studies found that over half of individuals suffering from migraines develop depression. Research has also shown that women are nearly 50% more likely to develop depression, if they suffer from chronic migraines.
Migraines can be a real challenge for sufferers. Torturous head and neck pain often cripples people for hours or even days once a migraine sets in. Much research has been done to develop cures or treatments for the painful condition. Despite this, many people are unaware of the real nature of migraines. In an effort to spread awareness and dispel myths, here are five things you probably never knew about migraines:
You know that crunching numbers from spreadsheets and lack of sleep can trigger your migraine. But are you mindful of the food that you eat? While foods do not necessarily trigger migraine attacks for all sufferers and it is quite possible that certain types of food trigger migraines on some occasions only, it is important that you become your own dietary expert. Keep a journal and track all the food you eat so that you’ll know your reaction to particular food substances.
With that in mind, here are five common food types that you should be especially mindful of since they’re known to trigger migraines among migraine sufferers:
1. Sulfite-rich Foods
Migraineurs are all too familiar with the symptoms: sensitivity to light and sound, seeing auras, nausea, and intense, unremitting pain. After hours or even days, the pain subsides and you feel relieved but perhaps don’t feel quite normal. Lesser-known than the migraine itself is the migraine “hangover” known as the migraine postdrome.
Life as a chronic migraine sufferer is not easy. There are times when you’re in such excruciating pain you cannot even communicate how much it hurts because the agony is beyond words. Attacks can occur with a sudden viciousness that there’s no time to warn anyone around you about what is happening. You tend to withdraw from loved ones, not because you don’t care for them or need their support but because the severity of the pain precedes everything and everyone.
Life as the husband or father of a migraine sufferer is not easy, either. It can be difficult when it’s your wife or child who is at the mercy of chronic migraine pain and there’s nothing you can do to alleviate or end the pain. You want to stay near to make sure they have everything they need, but they may not able to verbalize exactly how you can help. You hate to see them suffer, and you wish you could offer relief. You know the best thing you can do is allow them to find enough respite to be able to tell you how you can help.
Impact on relationships
Migraine sufferers are often reluctant to tell employers about their condition, sometimes with good reason. Those who have never experienced chronic migraines have a difficult time understanding the tremendous impact it can have on day-to-day life. Being upfront about migraine pain, treatments and triggers can make a world of difference in your workplace and doesn’t have to be a headache for your boss, either.
Migraines are difficult to manage. Attacks not only cause discomfort but also debilitating headaches, vertigo and auras. Trying to cope with severe migraines is a daunting task. Faced with pain, confusion, and discomfort with no immediate relief, a migraine sufferer may feel depressed and in despair. Staying focused and positive during these trying times can be an enormous challenge. Despite the difficulties, migraine sufferers can develop their own routines to avoid and ease attacks, and keep spirits afloat during one.