Different Ways to Improve Migraine Care

Although you may think that regular migraines overwhelm your life, there are always effective ways to be more proactive in terms of your migraine care. They allow you to feel empowered and stop being so vulnerable to painful and debilitating attacks. Basically, there are 5 important strategies that can help you improve migraine care:

• Seeing primary care physicians;
• Engaging in all kinds of healthy habits;
• Keeping your personal migraine diary;
• Taking preventive migraine meds;
• Using acute migraine pills properly.

Seeing Primary Care Physicians

It’s advisable to see primary care physicians, just like a qualified neurologist and a headache specialist, to ensure that all underlying conditions are addressed properly. You’ll be surprised how other health aspects can impact migraine disorders. For instance, discuss different sleeping issues with doctors, because such symptoms as morning headaches, snoring, difficulty staying and falling asleep and urges to move legs can indicate underlying sleeping disorders, including depression, sleep apnea, anxiety and restless leg syndrome.

You also need to discuss all mood symptoms and physical changes with doctors even if you aren’t sure that they’re pertinent. As an example, such signs as loss of interest in daily activities, weight loss or feeling hopeless and guilty often indicate depression. According to studies, treating depression helps patients relieve their migraines. Besides, there are other major points that should be reported to primary care physicians:

• Caffeine and alcohol use;
• A list of other meds that you’re using, such as vitamins, herbals and over-the-counter supplements;
• Other factors that cause pain in the body, because they may indicate processes along your migraines, such as fibromyalgia.

Engaging in Different Health Habits

Although coping and avoidance are important elements of effective migraine management, there are other things to be focused on while improving your health. Start with the main basics and switch to the daily routine that will improve your mental and physical health:

• Selecting meal-times that are consistent on a regular basis and without being too spaced out to lead to hunger;

• Choosing a healthy diet plan rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and whole grains;

• Maintaining your regular sleep schedule, which means going to sleep and walking up at the same time;

• Staying hydrated, so you need to consider alkaline and flavored water or putting some lemon in it to improve its appeal and taste;

• Exercising about 150 minutes each week and picking moderately-intense exercises, such as walking briskly, jogging, doubles tennis and ballroom dancing;

• Engaging in different regular relaxation activities, like mindful meditation, yoga, listening to your favorite music and reading.

Keeping a Personal Diary

Although the idea of keeping a migraine diary seems tedious, you’ll be surprised to learn how useful it is. A diary is effective in helping doctors confirm a certain migraine diagnosis. It’s possible that you have a different disorder than you think or what other healthcare providers diagnosed in the past. Sometimes, patients have a few migraine disorders and headaches simultaneously, so a detailed personal diary can help doctors sort everything out.

When it comes to identifying triggers, a diary enlightens you to specific exposures, habits, stresses and foods linked to migraines. Complete a simple task of writing, because it’s also therapeutic. Use it as a form of relaxation. If this strategy doesn’t seem appealing to you, type notes in your phone, ask your friends or other dear ones for writing help, or use a tape recorder.

Taking Preventive Migraine Meds

Their main purpose is decreasing duration, severity and number of migraines while reducing the use of acute migraine drugs. It’s surprising that preventing migraine meds are effective, because they decrease the number of migraine attacks by half within 3 months. You shouldn’t stop taking them only because your migraines continue. They must be managed effectively, because they can’t be cured. If you don’t like your current preventive medication due to its side effects, effectiveness and other things, you should talk to doctors. There are different reasons why they may recommend it, which means that this treatment option is not only for patients with chronic migraines. For example, if people have 4 or more attacks each month, they should consider the intake of preventive medications.

Besides, migraine attacks can have a negative impact on their quality of life and ability to function normally, and it’s another reason why the intake of these meds is important. Some patients can’t tolerate acute migraine meds or they end up with certain contraindications, and that’s why they switch to preventive solutions. However, you need to understand that their intake is not your life-long commitment, because it shouldn’t last longer than 6-9 months. These meds offer a great option to gain more control over migraine attacks until specific triggers are sorted out and effective therapies are chosen.

Nowadays, there are many preventive migraine pills to choose from, and they all come with certain mechanisms of action, side effects and dosing requirements. It may take some time to find the right one that works for your unique situation. The most popular examples include Inderal, Topamax, Toprol and others.

Using Acute Migraine Pills Correctly

Many patients who have migraines aren’t sure when to use special medications. It’s not surprising, especially for people who have chromic migraines, because it can be quite challenging to delineate between chronic headaches and the ones that erupt on their background. Another interesting factor is that some of them are at a risk or already have medication overuse headaches. What does it mean? People start developing another headache disorder type on top of their pre-existing ones, and they can further make things complicated.

Don’t be surprised when doctors ask you to stop taking your acute migraine meds at the very beginning of your new treatment plan. This step is necessary to help you even if you think that it’s brutal. It helps doctors determine whether medication overuse headaches play any role in your regular migraines.

The above-mentioned are common reasons why it’s necessary to get help for migraines from qualified doctors, such as neurologists, if migraines are chronic. With such medical specialists, it becomes possible to understand how to distinguish between migraines off and on days and treat attacks fast when pain is still mild.

Experienced doctors can teach you how to take acute migraine medications correctly, because there are certain tricks involved. As an example, many patients don’t take the right dose at the onset of migraine attacks, while others are simply unaware that their therapies should and can be taken again after a certain interval after the first dosage before calling them ineffective. Some people still don’t understand that there are many unique medication formulas, including triptans that come as nasal sprays or injections.

Final Words

It’s important to stay persistent in your efforts to gain the right knowledge about your migraines or if your beloved ones experience the same problem. Although there are many effective therapies available out there, it takes patience and hard work to find out how to uniquely and effectively care for your migraines and headaches.

Are Antioxidant Supplements Effective?

Walking along the aisles in the grocery store or pharmacy, you will definitely notice vitamin and antioxidant supplements claiming an ultimate health benefit. Such advertisements reinforce the common idea that vitamin and antioxidant supplements can produce an advantageous impact on the health state. In fact, the proposition makes sense. Generally, a diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and certain cancer types.

Nevertheless, the study suggests that antioxidant and vitamin supplements used by people without nutrient deficiency have no health benefits. It means that if you are healthy and have a sufficient level of minerals and vitamins within the organism, vitamin and antioxidant supplements will do little.

Mechanism of Antioxidant Effect

Antioxidants are classified as vitamins, such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E that protect the body cells against free radicals related damage or oxidative stress. It is known that free radicals are highly reactive molecules that mess around with different cellular structures, such as nucleic acids, plasma lipoproteins and cell membranes. Free radicals are naturally produced by the body during the metabolism. Free radicals can interact with antioxidants, turning into stable radicals and bearing no potential damage.

Do Antioxidant Supplements Work?

In recent years there has been a research, concerning relation between mineral and vitamin supplements to cardiovascular disease and cancer in patients with nutritional deficiency. The researchers reviewed over 26 studies and found no proof of the supplements improving the symptoms of cardiovascular disorders, cancer or other severe health conditions. Additionally, they have noticed that beta-carotene supplements can advance the risk of lung cancer development.

While the results of certain investigations show no effects from vitamin E supplements, several other studies claimed that vitamin E advances the death rate.

Finally, vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements became not advised for use in order to prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer or other conditions. Nevertheless, due to several high-quality researches that examined preventive reactions of other multivitamins and vitamin supplements, their status of “against recommended” was discontinued.

In other words, the investigation suggesting no beneficial influence from exogenous supplements of minerals and vitamins in healthy patients is one of multiple studies. For instance, a meta-analysis, which was conducted by a group of researchers claimed that antioxidants and similar nutrients failed to warn cardiovascular abnormalities. The results of other studies have shown that nutrient supplements have nothing to do with cancer prevention.

Conclusion

Therefore, irrespective of the good sense in mechanistic terms, in medical terms, antioxidant and vitamin supplements can do little to warn any diseases in patients without nutrient deficiency.

Researchers suppose that the cause of little effect is a complex physiologic system that cannot be affected by a single vitamin or combination of a few. The hypothesis was supported by specific evidence from multiple trials, involving physiologic multivitamin doses, which contain several agents that demonstrate decreased cancer incidence in men.

With the exception being the studies on beta-carotene and vitamin E supplements in healthy patients, a considerable part of the research dose examining preventive features of vitamins is deficient. However, viewed together, it becomes obvious that supplements do not lead to a considerable positive influence on cancer or heart disorders. Therefore, if you have no nutrient deficiency and are completely healthy, save your time and money and avoid buying vitamin and antioxidant supplements.

Relieving Throat Pain with Natural Remedies

Throat pain can have many causes, though mostly it appears because of a common cold. While cold will usually clear up after several days, serious respiratory infections may require a medical examination and treatment. Whereas natural remedies cannot cure severe infections and conditions, they can relieve mild throat pain without having to resort to chemicals. Scientific evidence also shows that natural treatment can provide notable health benefits when dealing with sore throat.

You may follow these tried-and-true methods, which were used for generations to relieve throat pain and other symptoms of respiratory diseases:

• soak your feet in warm water;
• use a warm neck wrap;
• prepare warm drinks like honey milk, milk tea, herbal tea, etc;
• steam your troubles away with a steam inhalation.

While you might be familiar with the above remedies, here are some great recipes to sooth throat soreness.

1. Add a teaspoon of honey into a glass of warm milk and stir well. You can also add a teaspoon of butter if you wish. Drink slowly in the evening before going to bed.

2. Prepare a honey lemon drink, which is known for its delicious taste and high vitamin C content. Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey into a cup of warm water. You can also add grated ginger or a small pinch of cayenne pepper, both of which are natural painkillers. Note that cayenne pepper in bigger amount can irritate the throat and worsen the pain.

3. Put a small piece of bee propolis under the tongue and wait until it fully dissolves. Propolis is a 100%-natural remedy with antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. This bee product is also rich in amino acids and bioflavonoids that are vital for a healthy immune system. Take a small piece of propolis (1/5 inch) 2-3 times a day.

4. Gargle with warm salt water or herbal infusions such as chamomile, mint, calendula, sage, or eucalyptus. You can prepare herbal infusions in the following way: add 1 tablespoon of herbs into a glass of boiling water, let infuse for 30 minutes, filter and gargle 3-4 times a day. When using a ready-made pharmacy tincture (propolis, calendula, wormwood), add 1 teaspoon into a glass of warm water. Before gargling, rinse your mouth with the same solution to kill the bacteria.

5. Steam inhalation is one of the most effective home remedies against cold and cough. It improves blood circulation, raises immunity, and clears blocked nose, allowing you to breathe more easily. Steam inhalation can also relieve throat pain and cure respiratory ailments.

Some people wonder if essential oils are suitable to use for inhalation. Yes, if you have an essential oil inhaler bought from a pharmacy. For inhalation, adding essential oils to a bowl with boiling water is ineffective and sometimes dangerous. However, you can use these tried-and-true recipes instead.

Boil some potatoes and bend over the pot. Cover the head with a towel forming a tent around you. Maintaining a distance of 12 inches, inhale the steam through your nose. After 1 or 2 minutes take a short break and repeat again. Since the steam can be very hot, you may feel discomfort and a strong burning sensation. In this case, take of the towel to release the steam.

Herbs like mint, calendula, eucalyptus, chamomile, and sage are also great for steam inhalation. Feel free to use several kinds at a time. Pour boiling water over a handful of dried herbs, cover yourself with a towel and inhale for 7-15 minutes. Alternatively, make a paper cone with a hole in the narrow part; add some herbs to a mug and pour with boiling water; place the paper cone over the mug, insert the narrow part into the mouth and inhale the steam, exhaling through the nose. You also can replace the paper cone with a conventional plastic funnel.

Additional Tips

Having a sore throat, follow these simple advices to prevent further irritation:
• avoid foods that are too hot or too cold;
• drink enough water to prevent dehydration;
• avoid stress and get plenty of rest;
• limit smoking.

While natural remedies like honey and lemon were used for generations to relieve cough and sore throat, more severe cases require timely medical treatment to avoid complications. Consult a physician if symptoms like cough and throat soreness persist and worsen.

Acne Remedies To Try At Home

Everyone has probably experienced a problem of acne at least once in their life. And it seems like everyone knows some home acne remedies they’ve heard about from friends, family members, or just read about on the internet or elsewhere.

Acne home treatments remain popular, no matter how effective they are. More than that, there are lots of people who believe that their favorite DIY acne remedy works — even if it’s not so.

Taking into account that there are literally thousands of different acne home treatments, we decided to make a list of some of the most interesting of them (both in a good and in a bad sense). But remember that trying any of them without seeing your doctor first makes sense only if you have an occasional pimple — not severe acne or other similar skin diseases that won’t go away without proper treatment.

So, here are some of the best (and worst) acne remedies to try yourself and a few words about each of them.

Alternative Acne Remedies

Many people believe that natural remedies are the best. So, you are probably interested in natural acne remedies and, most likely, you have even heard about a bunch of them.

The first thing to say on the matter is that natural substances that are really effective in skin condition improvement are already well-studied and used in skin care products and even medicines. But some of them, on the other hand, have not been studied enough to make any claims as for their benefits. Moreover, most of unstudied anti-acne alternative products marketed as “miracle” are no more than placebo. In the worst case, they may be even harmful and provoke allergies.

As for effective anti-acne substances used as alternative treatment, they include tea tree essential oil, green tea extract, and zinc. These substances are studied enough and proven to be effective (and their effectiveness is scientifically grounded) as a complementary treatment or as a primary treatment of a single occasional pimple.

DIY Kitchen Remedies

Many people enjoy making handmade face masks from ingredients, found in the kitchen. Some of the recipes are described as potential acne treatments (like masks, based on lemon juice, cucumbers, or tomatoes).

So, are they really helpful? Most likely, they are not (at least as a primary acne treatment). However, “kitchen” face masks may still improve your skin condition by soothing irritation, removing excess fat, and moisturizing skin. Also, they are just fun to do. But when experimenting with different recipes, do not forget that not all of them are harmless. Some ingredients may cause allergies and contact dermatitis, while the other may even lead to a chemical burn.

Remedies You Can Buy Without Prescription

The so-called over-the-counter treatments are not what are typically called acne home remedies. Still, basically, they are. What is more, of all acne home treatments, they are the most effective.

OTC remedies are found in beauty stores, drug stores, beauty treatment salons, and even in department stores. They are usually inexpensive, so it won’t be problematic to try several types and pick the one that helps you the most.

There are also special anti-acne devices available. They are not cheap but many people find them effective against inflamed pimples.

Toothpaste

Many people claim that ordinary toothpaste, applied on the pimple for a while, works for them.

Despite toothpaste is just unable to treat severe acne, some types may be really helpful against single pimples.

This is because of the substance called triclosan, which kills some bacteria. It is found in some toothpaste types and also in some anti-acne products.

The thing is that apart from triclosan, toothpaste also contains other substances that may cause skin irritation, especially when they stay on the skin for a long period of time (mention that many people who find this treatment beneficial advice to leave toothpaste on for a night). And this may make your pimple look even worse.

Urine

And here is the last and the weirdest of all DIY acne remedies. You have probably heard of it in this or that version (for example, treat acne with baby urine or your own morning one). Some people swear it works. But the truth is that it is not only useless and disgusting but it may be harmful as well. After all, it is obvious that urine contains substances that our body aims to get rid of.