What do you do when the medication you turn to, turns on you?
When a migraine strikes, many sufferers head for the medicine cabinet or local pharmacy and take prescription drugs or an over-the-counter analgesic, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or a pain relieving medication, containing caffeine. Reaching too frequently for these medications can not only lead to serious side-effects, they can increase the number and frequency of your attacks.
Chronic use of OTC’s can lead to:
- Heart Attack
- Kidney Damage
- Liver Damage
- Hair Loss
Merely addressing the pain and other symptoms of migraines with popular prescription medications and over the counter drugs known as “Abortives” can lead to recurring headaches otherwise known as medication overuse headaches. It’s a vicious cycle and very discouraging when the drugs you turn to…turn on you. Medications used to stop your migraines can actually increase the frequency and tendency of your migraine attacks making you more dependent on the medication.
The following comment is from Stephen Silberstein, M.D., director of the Jefferson Headache Center and professor of neurology, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia:
“One of the greatest bugaboos we see every day in headache centers is patients with chronic daily or near-daily headache, who are overusing medication. It is our most common problem. These patients have often not responded to treatment and in an attempt to treat themselves, actually make the problem worse. This is not addiction or an attempt to get ‘high’; rather, it is motivated by the patient’s desire to relieve pain and dysfunction. Migraine preventive therapy is grossly underused.”
Don’t Just Treat the Pain
Many chronic migraine sufferers resort to taking prescription medicines named triptans when a migraine gets out of control. These medicines are used “acutely.” This means you take them when you already have a migraine you want to try to stop. These drugs do not prevent migraines from occurring.
In fact, not only do they not prevent migraines, the general consensus amongst researchers and clinicians is that on-going regular use of triptan drugs like Imitrex or Zomig actually increase the total number of migraines that many users of the drugs experience. Some readers of this article may recognize this pattern in their own lives. A migraine develops that won’t go away and one of these drugs is administered. The current migraine either goes away or decreases in intensity to the point where it is manageable but a day or two later, another migraine occurs: “The Rebound Headache.”
If users are not careful this can lead to increasing drug use and a cycle of reoccurring migraines. This rebound cycle occurs not only with triptan drugs but with caffeine-containing over-the-counter medicines.
Caffeine can help reduce the pain of headaches and migraines in some sufferers. But unfortunately it is caffeine that causes many headaches and contributes to the development of migraines in many, if not most sufferers.
In fact, several well-known neurologists who specialize in treating migraine sufferers have stated that one of the most powerful ways to reduce the number of migraines that sufferers experience is to remove caffeine from their diets.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, because caffeine is addictive and many sufferers when they try to ween off of it actually go through withdrawal-like symptoms and experience a temporary, short increase in their headaches or migraines. Fortunately, this will last only a short time, perhaps several days and then a significant decrease in the frequency and intensity of migraines should occur.
Addressing Migraines Nutritionally is a much safer and desirable short and long-term choice in dealing with the effect of migraines on your life.
When chronic migraine sufferers get these factors under control the results can be life changing!
- Maintain normal platelet aggregation
- Reduce or eliminate vasospasms
- Maintain normal mitochondrial energy reserves
Many things can happen physiologically that can contribute to migraines occurring.
Platelets in your blood can clump together (aggregate) more than they should and this causes a neurotransmitter called serotonin to over release in the area the clumping occurs. Unfortunately, serotonin can cause blood vessels around the scalp and brain to constrict too much. When this happens, in migraineurs the body’s attempt to open the “constricted” blood vessel can result in the blood vessel over-dilating (opening too much). When this happens, these blood vessels can irritate nerves and contribute to the excruciating pain associated with migraines.
Blood vessels, when all it not right with them, can also spasm. This spasming can also contribute to pain and improper cerebrovascular function (function of the blood vessels serving the brain). Migraineurs are very susceptible to this.
Migraineurs (unlike non-migraineurs) have been shown to have very low energy reserves in the energy producing mitochondria of their brain cells prior to getting a migraine. This energy deficiency may make migraine sufferers more susceptible to migraines than people who have normal mitochondrial energy reserves.
Akeso’s MigreLief Supplements, address migraines at the cellular level nutritionally. This is why MigreLief has been recommended by leading headache specialists and top headache clinics worldwide.
To learn more about MigreLief, visit Akeso’s Migrelief website at MigreLief.com.