Tag Archives: headaches

Are Brain Freezes and Migraines Connected?

Last weekend, my husband and I went to Sonic and we swore to tell no one. Well, here I am three days later breaking our vow, writing an article about our shameful, secret stop. But I promise the story is relevant.

We both ordered a little ice cream and my husband, a strawberry slush. And about three seconds into his first big slurp, he slapped his hand against his head and called ‘brain freeze!’

It was kind of cute, but it’s also the pits when it happens to you. But have you ever wondered what causes that? Is it from simply sucking too fast? Is it strictly relevant to the temperature of the beverage or dessert? Or does it have more to do with personal sensitivities?

I don’t get brain freezes, only what I call ‘throat freezes.’ And I also don’t get headaches. But my husband on the other hand? Brain freezes and migraines. Is there a connection between the two? That’s what researchers are trying to find out.

According to an article in CNN, a group of researchers presented a study they’d conducted on the topic of the dreaded brain freeze at the Experimental Biology conference in San Diego this week. (more…)

Fighting Food-Related Headaches with The Migraine Solution

It’s hard to imagine fearing an orange. Or a teaspoon of vinegar. Or a banana. But that’s exactly how many people feel. They’re convinced that eating certain foods will bring on a major whopper of a headache. Is this a legit concern?

“Although many people believe that some foods may trigger a migraine, the evidence remains a bit fuzzy,” says Elizabeth Loder, MD, MPH, the chief of the Division of Headache and Pain at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and who along with Paul Rizzoli MD wrote the just-released The Migraine Solution.

Loder points out that it’s especially challenging to track food triggers because different foods may affect different people in different ways. There’s also no consensus about how long it might take a dietary culprit to set off a headache so it’s difficult to pin down which foods are the real trouble makers.

For example, chocolate is one food in particular where the research is mixed. You may believe that chocolate sets off a migraine, but Loder notes that a craving for chocolate could be an early warning sign that a migraine is about to strike rather than its cause. “You have to be cautious and not jump to conclusions about how the two things are linked,” she points out. (more…)

Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras, Part Two

A brief background plus an overview of the first three chakras was outlined in part one of the Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras. The following is a continuation of the guide that explains the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh chakras and what you can do to keep them open and in balance.

4th Chakra

Sanskrit name: Anahata
English name: meaning “unstruck”
Location: middle of the chest
Associated body parts: heart, lungs and arms
Color: green
Element: air
Sound vibration: YA

  • Governs sense of unconditional love, heart-felt gratitude and the ability to share.
  • When your fourth chakra is out of balance you may have difficulty giving and receiving unconditional love for yourself and others. You might also have a weak heart, suffer from arrhythmia, heart palpitations or certain breathing problems.
  • Yoga poses such as camel, bow and cobra help to open and balance the heart chakra.


When Migraines Attack: How to Stop Them Before They Start

The word is out: Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann suffers from occasional migraines and she’s not alone. Millions of people have to deal with the pounding, pain and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines not only cause pain and suffering but also can cause people to miss days at work- bad news for Miss Bachmann, because the President doesn’t get sick days.

The letter released from her doctor states that she is aware of her triggers. Examples of migraine triggers can be hormone-related (pre- or post-menopause), stress, too much exercise, warm weather and strong smells. Food and drink triggers included things like aged cheeses such as blue cheese, feta, mozzarella and Parmesan, red wines and certain liquors. Tyramine is the culprit and is a chemical substance that is contained in both. You might also be able to blame your migraines on your Mom or Dad because they are sometimes hereditary. There has also been a possible link drawn between obesity and increased occurrence of migraines.

Congresswoman Bachmann was diagnosed with “migraines with aura”, which are  migraines accompanied by spots in vision and possibly temporary vision loss. The aura usually appears 20 minutes to an hour before the migraine itself. Patients usually experience throbbing pain in one or both temples, have difficulty dealing with strong odors, like perfumes or cologne, and excessive light or noise, accompanied by some form of nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.


Obesity Linked to Headaches and Migraines

headacheThe laundry list of ailments associated with obesity continue to grow. A few days ago I wrote about how obesity has health effects beyond the more famous (heart problems, diabetes, etc.), such as causing chronic low back pain. Add headaches to the list.

U.S. researchers say obesity may raise the risk of getting migraines. In a study, 37 percent of women with abdominal obesity (determined by waist circumference) reported experiencing migraines, compared to 29 percent of women who were not obese. For men, 20 percent with abdominal obesity reported migraines as opposed to 16 percent who who weren’t obese.

An important piece of the puzzle is still missing, however. (more…)