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Got a Headache? Your Body May Be Telling You Something
Date:12/21/2010

tudent wouldn't eat all day long and would then consume a single meal late at night. When he began eating more regularly throughout the day, she said, his headaches largely went away.

One dreaded form of vascular headache is the migraine headache. People who have migraines often find the headache pain to be debilitating. Untreated attacks can last anywhere from four hours to three days, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Migraine pain differs significantly from tension headache pain. "Tension headaches tend to feel like a tight band around the head," Beck said, and they are often accompanied by fatigue.

Migraines are not at all similar, Beck said. "Migraines are more like a hammering, pounding type of headache," she said. Migraines usually are on one side of the head and sometimes are accompanied by nausea.

The detective work people need to do with migraines is to figure out their warning signs and headache triggers. By learning the telltale signs of an oncoming migraine attack, they can take medicine to stop the headache before it gets started. And, if they can figure out what triggers their migraines, they may be able to put a halt to them by avoiding the triggers.

Warning signs that a migraine may be developing, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, can (but do not always) include:

  • An aura in your field of vision
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Smelling something that's not there, such as oranges
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased sensitivity to bright light or loud noise

Migraine triggers, on the other hand, vary greatly from person to person. Common ones, though, include:

  • Certain foods
  • Strong odors or fumes
  • Mood problems, such as depression or anxiety
  • Missed medication doses
  • Low blood sugar
  • Sudden changes
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