Each day I receive notices about various stories and reports on migraines that appear in the news. Although it is easier for me to separate fact from what I may call fiction, I do find it disturbing that many migraineurs may be relying on migraine news that could be misleading or make migraines worse.
I am not saying that you should discount every report, but rather you need to think about what you read before acting on it. Last week I read several stories on migraines that illustrate what I am talking about.
Overweight Migraineurs. This report stated if you started having migraines as a child you will gain an inordinate amount of weight as an adult. Is this true? The claim of this type of study can be misleading if they only selected overweight adults suffering from migraines and asked them if their migraines started when they were children.
Double Jointedness and Migraines. Who would think you could find an association between double jointedness and migraines? A recent study of 28 patients at a genetics clinic showed that there was a 75% probability they also suffered from migraines. There are many factors that could account for this, including the fact that both conditions are considered to be genetic familial disorders. Another possibility is that changes in connective tissue resulting from the double jointedness may lead to abnormality in blood vessels associated with migraine headaches. In any case, how does this study affect you?
Brain Freeze Remedy. Last week I read a news report of a lady who ate ice cream too fast and got "brain freeze" after which her migraine disappeared. I have no idea if it will actually work for anyone else. Has this ever helped you?
TMJ and Migraines. This is a reoccurring story on TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) causing migraines. Be extremely cautious about this type of report as it is very misleading and may cost you unnecessary treatments or even surgery. The fact is a migraine follows the line of the trigeminal nerve which extends down into the jaw line and for some people the pain of a migraine can be felt in the jaw; however, the migraine is NOT caused by the pain in the jaw. Migraines are not cured by resolution of TMJ.
Almonds and Migraines. Migraine question and answer sessions are very popular on news websites. Much of the advice is fine and does little harm, but occasionally I come across one that could result in more migraineurs. Take for example a news story about eating almonds to reduce migraines. The theory is because almonds contain salicin that when consumed, forms salicylic acid which is the primary byproduct of aspirin metabolization, they may ease the pain of a migraine headache.
While it is possible that almonds could help with a common headache for a non-migraine person, when eaten by a migraineur they can spell trouble. Almonds contain one of the highest levels of L-tyrosine is one of the top triggers for migraines. I recommend avoiding almonds all together. See migraine triggers list.
Be Aware. I encourage you to read more about migraines and stay abreast of new discoveries, while at the same time using caution about relying on information from ordinary health advisers. Having studied more than 3,000 migraine cases in nearly ten years of migraine research, I can tell you that although we can find solid consistencies, there are still as many nuances to be discovered because there are no two people exactly alike.
Seek the Truth. Be your own best advocate. Learn all you can about migraines and seek real answers to your questions. Always believe you will find the answer to a migraine-free life. Call on us to help you.