Sunday, 9 May 2010

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer, a common kind of cancer in women, is a disease in which cells are cancerous (malignant) in the tissues of the cervix. The cervix is the opening of the uterus, the body pear-shaped hollow where the fetus develops, and connects with the vagina (birth canal).

Cervical cancer usually grows slowly over a period of time. Before they find cancer cells in the cervix and other tissues undergo changes and abnormal cells begin to appear (known as dysplasia). The Pap test is usually these cells. Later, cancer cells start to grow and spread more deeply into the cervix and surrounding areas.

Since there is generally no symptoms associated with cervical cancer, the doctor must make a series of tests to find cancer. The first is the Pap test, carried out using a piece of cotton, a brush or a small wooden spatula to gently scrape the outside of the cervix to collect cells. The patient may feel some pressure, but usually do not feel pain.

If abnormal cells are found, the doctor will remove a tissue sample (this procedure is known as a biopsy) of the cervix and observe through a microscope to check for cancer cells. To perform a biopsy only need a small amount of tissue and can be done in the doctor's office. Whether to do a biopsy, a doctor needs to remove a larger sample in the form of cone (cone), the patient may have to go to hospital.

The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment selection depends on the stage of the cancer (whether it is in the cervix or has spread to other places) and general health status in the patient.
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Sunday, 11 April 2010

Youthful And Vibrant Skin

Billions are spent each year on cosmetic products that promise to delete wrinkles, lighten age spots, and eliminate itching, flaking, or redness. But the simplest and cheapest way to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking is to stay out of the sun.

Sunlight is a major cause of wrinkles, dryness, and age spots. Your skin does change with age. For instance, you sweat less which leads to increased dryness. Aging skin becomes thinner and loses fat, so it looks less plump and smooth. Underlying structures, veins and bones in particular, become more prominent. Your skin can also take longer to recover when injured.

These changes can be drastically delayed by staying out of the sun. Although nothing can totally undo sun damage, the skin sometimes can restore itself. So, it's never too late to protect yourself from the harmful results of the sun.

5 Ways to Slow the Aging Process:

1. Wear protective clothing. A hat with a wide brim shades your neck, ears, eyes, and head. Look for sunglasses with a label saying the glasses block 99 to 100 percent of the sun's rays. Wear loose, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants or long skirts when in the sun.

2. Check your skin often. Look for changes in the size, shape, color, or feel of birthmarks, moles, and spots. If you find any changes that worry you, see a doctor. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that older, fair-skinned people have a yearly skin check by a doctor as part of a regular physical exam.

3. Avoid artificial tanning. Don't use sunlamps and tanning beds, as well as tanning pills and tanning makeup. Tanning pills have a color additive that turns your skin orange after you take them. The FDA has approved this color additive for coloring foods but not for tanning the skin. The large amount of color additive in tanning pills may be harmful. Tanning make-up products are not suntan lotions and will not protect your skin from the sun.

4. Use sunscreen. Sunscreens are rated in strength according to a sun protection factor (SPF), which ranges from 2 to 30 or higher. A higher number means longer protection. Buy products with an SPF number of 15 or higher. Also look for products whose label says: broad spectrum (meaning they protect against both types of harmful sun rays(UVA and UVB) and water resistant (meaning they stay on your skin longer, even if you get wet or sweat a lot). Remember to reapply the lotion as needed.

5. Stay out of the sun. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. This is when the sun?s UV rays are strongest. Don?t be fooled by cloudy skies. Harmful rays pass through clouds. UV radiation also can pass through water, so don't assume you?re safe if you?re in the water and feeling cool.
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Saturday, 10 April 2010


The acne is an affection of the skin in which obstructed pores (black points and white points), inflamed granites (pustules) and deeper bulks appear (nodules). The acne is pronounced mainly in the face, but also it takes place in the neck, the chest, the back, shoulders and the part superior of the arms. Although the majority of the adolescents suffers some form of acne, the adults among 20 and 40 years, and even more, they can also suffer it.
Often, the acne disappears after some years, even without treatment. The acne can disfigure and disturb the patient. The acne without trying can leave scars permanent, although the same could later be treated by their dermatologist. In order to avoid the scars, it is fundamental to try to the acne.

How the acne forms
Hormones that are present in men and women, increase their activity during the adolescence (puberty). These hormones cause that the sebaceous glands of the skin enlarge and produce more tallow (grasitud). The sebaceous glands are in the face, the part superior of the back and in the chest. The acne is not caused by the dirt. The dark part of the black point (shinbone) consists of dry tallow and epithelial cells that have turned upside down to the openings of the pilar follicles.

The acne does not appear as a result of not washing its face. Nevertheless, he is recommendable that daily washes with lukewarm water and a smooth soap to it. Washing itself quite often or in too vigorous form can get to make worse its acne.

The acne is not caused by foods. Nevertheless, if some foods seem to make worse their acne, it tries to avoid them.

It uses the smaller possible amount of cosmetics. It would have to use maquillaje and humectantes with water, nongreasy. It chooses products that are " not comedogenic" (that they do not bring about white points or black points) or " not acnegenic" (that they do not cause acne). Every night, clears its make up with water and a soap or smooth cleaner. A lotion that contains medication against the acne and is of a color similar to the one of the skin can alleviate and disguise the symptoms. A little dust of make up combined with a nongreasy base, also turns out a good solution to disguise the effects of the acne.

The control of the acne is a continuous process. All the treatments against the acne are based on preventing new appearances with the same. The existing spots and imperfections must heal by themselves, therefore, the improvement has been time. If its acne has not improved in a lapse of two to three months, will need to change of treatment. The treatment that will recommend its dermatologist to him will vary according to the type of its acne. Sometimes, an eruption similar to the one of the acne can be due to another cause: a reaction to the maquillaje, a lotion, or an oral medication. It is important to help to his dermatologist, offering an up-to-date detail than it is using on his skin, or ingesting. slight vulgar acne Many of the lotions and creams of free sale are used for the slight cases of acne. Nevertheless, many also will dry out their skin. It follows the instructions carefully.

- Its dermatologist can prescribe topical creams, gel, or acidulous lotions with vitamin To, drugs to him, peroxide of benzoyl, or antibiotics, to help to unblock pores and to reduce the bacteria. These products could cause to dryness or moulting of the skin. His dermatologist will advise to him on the correct use and how handling the indirect effect.
- Before beginning to use any medication, still the topics, report to its doctor if she is pregnant or in period of lactancia, or if it is trying to be pregnant.
Special treatments
- His dermatologist can appeal to the surgery to remove the black points and the white points. He does not tweak, scratch or he tightens granites same you. When they tighten themselves the granites, can appear a greater reddening, swelling, inflammation and scars.
- The microdermoabration can be used to clear the layers superiors of the skin, to correct the irregularities in its surface and contours, and to generate new layers of skin.
- " peelings" smooth chemicals, with salicylic or glycolic acid, help to unblock pores, abrir to the black points or the white points, and to stimulate the growth of new skin.
- The injections of corticoesteroids can be used to treat the great reddened bulks (nodules). these can help to that they disappear quickly.

Often antibiotics of by oral route are prescribed, such as the tetracycline, the doxiciclina, the minociclina or the eritromicina.

Contraceptive pills
The contraceptive pills can improve the acne significantly, and can be used specifically for the treatment of the same. Also it is important to know that the oral antibiotics can diminish the effectiveness of contraceptive pills. This is not the common thing, but it is possible, especially if it notices important bleedings. Like precaution measurement, it uses a second method of birth control.

Other treatments
- In cases that the acne does not respond to the mentioned treatments, other medecines are due to use. Isotretinoin is used for the severe cases of acne. The patients who use isotretinoin must understand the indirect effect that she causes. In order to control them, they are necessary frequent visits of pursuit. The prevention of the pregnancy is necessary, since it brings about birth defects.
- In order to fight the acne, the women also will be able to use feminine hormones or medecines that reduce the effects of masculine hormones.
- Also, I could be tried to the acne by means of a fotodinamic therapy that uses the blue wavelength of the light. Treatment of the scars caused by the acne The dermatologist can deal with the scars the acne by means of a series of methods. The depressed scars can be flattened by means of the restoration with laser, the skin abrasion, peelings chemical, or electrosurgery. The elevation of the soft weave by means of the application of colagen or greasy products of filling, can lift the scars. The revision of the scars by means of a microexcisión and the technique of application of grafts can correct the pricked scars, and the combinations of these dermatological surgical treatments can obtain appreciable differences in the appearance.

A suitable attention is necessary
- It does not matter what special treatment uses its dermatologist, remembers that you must continue offering to his skin a suitable attention. The acne is not curable, but it is possible to be controlled; a suitable treatment him aid to feel and to see themselves better, and will be able to prevent the scars.
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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Medical benefits of honey bees

Bees collect pollen from flowers and mix it with their nectar, which transforms it into a nutrient-dense super food with bioactive ingredients numbering in the thousands including enzymes, bioflavonoids, essential fatty acids, free amino acids, natural chelated minerals, and whole vitamin complexes.
People have eaten honey for many years for its superb taste. It is a natural sweetener from bees that is beneficial for you and is good in taste. However the health benefits of honeyseem to have been forgotten so a simple reminder of the health benefits of honey is needed.

Let’s find out how Medical benefits of honey bees is saving lives:

* For many years, the health benefits of honey has been used for topical purposes to help avoid infection, due to natural antiseptic and antibacterial benefits that it has.

* Bee pollen is packed with many different nutrients including amino acids, antibiotic factors, DNA/RNA, enzymes, glucosides, hormones, minerals, vitamins, and other ingredients that have not yet been determined. There are a total of 22 amino acids in bee pollen, including all of the essential ones, which makes it an extremely usable and complete source of protein. It is higher in protein than steak, eggs or cheese weight for weight, without large amounts of fat.

* Honey has benefits to help maintain blood sugar levels, which are helpful to people suffering from diabetes. If one is a diabetic, one can ask the doctor about the benefits of honey for you. Athletes often eat honey to help maintain their blood sugar levels after they workout. Honey also helps with muscle recovery and glycogen reinstatement.

* Honey can be easily digested and converts into glucose. It is beneficial for your intestinal tract and kidneys, and it also promotes rehydration. It can be very helpful to treat diarrhoea and vomiting.

* Honey has been used for many years as an antiseptic which is helpful in healing wounds. Honey contains antimicrobial agents, thus it helps prevent infections when applied to wounds.

* Glucosides, which are natural sugars, are involved in the creation of energy within the body, can be found in bee pollen, as they promote better healing and coagulation and also control hypertension by regulating blood flow. Bee pollen contains plant hormones which activate and assist the body’s own endocrine glands, allowing them to function better, which can lead to an increased sperm count for men.

* It is a fact that honey contains more calories than sugar, but it is also true that the calories from honey can be easily converted into glucose. It is proven that when honey is consumed with warm water, it can help in digesting the fat stored in your body. You will surely benefit if you add a little honey to your morning tea.

Honey has always remained one of the most outstanding wonders of nature known to man and the health benefits of honey, this sweet smelling substance as an elixir in treating various ailments pervading to the human body. The never ending uses of honey in medical parlance goes to show the potential health benefits of honey in treating various health disorders.
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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Become Vegetarian Lifestyle

There are many reasons for adapting a vegetarian lifestyle. Some do not eat meat due to religious dietary restrictions. Many people become vegetarian out of concern for the environment, since meat production is so destructive and inefficient. Others do not like the thought of animals suffering, while many do it for health purposes. You must be thinking there will be so much temptations and distractions and you are right. But it will be all worth it in the end. It’s your health that is more important than anything else that may look tempting.Here's some ways to get started, or at least start you thinking... Think about the animals. Think about your body. Think about the Earth. And if you're not tired from all that thinking, consider how your food choices impact the people around you and the world. No need to make any decisions. Just allow yourself time to ponder.

Many people want to become a vegetarian but don't know how to plan to succeed. Eating a healthy vegetarian diet takes more than simply not eating meat. If you fail to eat enough protein, you can experience a form of protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). PEM leads to muscle loss and subsequent feelings of weakness that are often accompanied by head and muscle aches.

This problem can be avoided by dietary changes. If you are experiencing PEM, you should either:

* find out what foods contain what amino chains, so you can combine them to form complete proteins
* Start consuming larger amounts and more diversified sources of protein, such as nuts, soy milk, and yogurt.

If you're protein deficient, you're often iron-deficient as well. Vegetarians can only consume non-heme iron which is more sensitive to iron inhibitors. You may not consume enough to maintain healthy blood-iron levels. This can cause pervasive weakness and even anemia.

Many people just stop eating meats without knowing what to replace them with, let alone how to prepare the things in ways that actually taste good to them. Make sure that you get all of your nutrient requirements: fats; proteins; carbohydrates; fiber; enzymes; vitamins; minerals; beneficial bacteria & soil based organisms [to help your body breakdown and use the nutrients you take in].
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Sunday, 28 March 2010

About Herbal Suplement

Some people argue that since they eat well and they feel well, then, they do not need herbal supplements. This is however untrue.
You can use herbal health supplements to correct deficiencies and cure ailments caused by erratic diet and sleep patterns. Herbal supplements contain herbs with active ingredient compounds that offer beneficial effects on certain tissues and organs in your body – you could think of them as herbal vitamins.

To reduce health risks when choosing and using herbal supplements:

* Always tell your doctor if you are taking herbs. Herbs can interact with other medications causing serious side effects.
* Do not self-treat serious medical conditions with medicinal herbs.
* Do not take herbal supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. There is no way to determine what level of herbs may harm a fetus or nursing infant.
* Do not give herbal products to children under 3 years of age. Always check with your child’s pediatrician first.
* Only purchase herbal supplements that display an expiration (or use-by) date, as well as a lot or batch number.
* The herbal supplement should state which part of the plant was used to make the product, such as root, leaf, or blossom.
* If a blend of ingredients is used in the herbal supplement, the label should list the individual ingredients as well as the amount of each.
* Although not required, the supplement should indicate the type of solvent used when processing the herb.

To help you understand what you are missing, let us discuss some herbs that our body needs. By knowing the benefits of these herbs, you will know why taking herbal supplements are necessary.

Garlic supplements (2-5 grams daily) have been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as fight infection and reduce platelet aggregation. Garlic may cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some and increased bleeding. Therefore, avoid garlic seven days prior to surgery; if you take blood-thinning drugs, talk to your physician first.

Kava Kava lacks controlled studies to back claims of inducing a deep, restful sleep and relieving insomnia and nervousness. More data is needed about safe usage (since it may cause liver toxicity) but it shouldn’t be used for more than three months. Kava Kava may affect motor reflexes (so use caution when driving or operating machinery), compound the effects of substances that depress the central nervous system, and bring on tremors, muscle spasm, and decrease the effectiveness of Parkinson’s medication.

Ginseng is the most frequently purchased herb in the United States. There are three different species of ginseng: American, Asian, and Siberian. Each has 20 or more active compounds in varying amounts. Marketing claims boast improved exercise performance, energy, and cognitive function, mood elevation, diabetes control, increased immunity, heart health, and cancer prevention. However, there is not much reliable research or evidence to support any of these claims. Ginseng may also decrease the efficacy of warfarin (coumadin) medication by reversing the drug’s effects.

Sitawari This herb is used to cure debility and other conditions, including infertility, impotence, menopause, stomach ulcers, hyperacidity, hormonal imbalance, diarrhoea and lung abscesses. Decoction of Sitawari tends to soothe dry and irritated membranes, thus making the herb useful in curing bronchitis and several other respiratory ailments. This herb is considered a tonic and adaptogenic, restoring balance in many conditions. Sitawari can be utilized on a daily basis without fear of side effects.

Drinking cranberry juice (about 10 ounces daily) may reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections. However, more research is needed to determine the efficacy of cranberry extract supplements. There is no evidence that cranberry juice or pills can treat an existing urinary tract infection, so consult your health care provider for treatment.

Agnus Castus (Chaste Tree) is a plant common to the mediterrenean region. Agnus Castus Powder prepared from the berries of the Agnus Castus Plant. Agnus Castus has been traditionally used throughout Europe. Do not take Agnus Castus if pregnant. If taking hormone medication, please consult your doctor before using Agnus Castus.

Green Tea Extracts. Green tea comes from leaves of tea plants. It has catechins that help lower bad cholesterol and likewise aid in weight loss. Green tee are likewise antioxidants that will help you avoid cell damage from free radical oxidation. While you can drink green tea, you cannot take it in large quantities to reach an effective level of health promoting catechins. This is why you need to take green tea extract herbal supplements.

Aloe Vera is another important herb your body needs. The benefits of taking aloe vera would be to help fight infection and skin problems. It is also good treatment for hair loss. If you have skin problems, aloe vera is going to be your best defense. However, it may be impossible for you to eat or drink the fresh aloe vera leaves. Thus, you have to take aloe vera herbal supplements.

Echinacea is also known as the purple coneflower. Studies suggest Echinacea enhances the immune system and may reduce upper respiratory infections, but it should be taken intermittently (not permanently) and only when ill. Individuals with autoimmune disorders should avoid Echinacea (it may offset the effects of drugs that suppress the immune system), and those with asthma or sensitivity to grass or pollen may experience allergic reaction.

Ginkgo Biloba improves blood flow in areas of decreased circulation and may help with memory loss that is due to decreased blood flow. Several studies suggest that ginkgo may slow the progression of dementia, particularly in Alzheimer’s disease. However, not all studies report improvement—it does not improve memory and concentration in healthy individuals. It may also be used for diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular diseases. Since ginkgo acts as a blood thinner, taking it with other blood-thinning agents could increase one’s risk for excessive bleeding and even stroke.
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Saturday, 20 March 2010

Breastfeeding and smoking risk

Smoking and breastfeeding are harmful because when a nursing mother smokes a cigarette, the nicotine levels in her blood and milk increase and then decrease over time. If a mother smokes a cigarette just before or during feeding, the risk to the baby is high.

Many people are concerned about the effects on the breastfeeding infant when the mother smokes. As well they should be - there is credible evidence that it can cause serious harm to the infant. Physicians and researchers alike agree that the warnings against smoking during pregnancy should be extended after the baby's birth--particularly if the mother chooses to breastfeed.

Approximately 25% of American women of reproductive age smoke tobacco, and many continue to smoke during and after pregnancy despite the known potential harm to their own health and to their child’s health. These health threats remain after the child’s birth as the baby is exposed to nicotine and other toxins in both ambient air and breast milk.

Researchers tested the urine of two-week-old infants for levels of cotinine, the form of nicotine when it is broken down in the body. Extremely high levels of cotinine were found in infants that were breastfed by mothers who also smoke.

Women who smoke may reap the benefits of breastfeeding, but babies of heavy smokers generally can expect a decreased milk supply with a lower fat content. and lower levels of vitamin C.

Babies need a high-fat diet to grow properly, smoking reduces the amount of milk produced and impairs its nutritional advantages--making it harder for babies to get their daily requirements.

In addition, because smoking is associated with sleep disturbances in adolescents and adults, researchers have begun to look at the sleeping patterns of babies breastfed by mothers who smoke. They found that the infants of mothers who smoke just before nursing have shorter sleep times and altered sleep architecture.

In addition, the infants are exposed to second hand smoke which can increase their risk of allergies, pneumonia, bronchitis and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

When it comes to breastfeeding and smoking, maternal smoking has been linked to early weaning, lowered milk production, and inhibition of the milk ejection or the let down reflex. It can also lower prolactin levels in the blood. Mothers who smoke have higher metabolic rates and may be leaner than non-smoking mothers.

If a mother smokes cigarettes, she is advised to quit. However, she is still advised to breastfeed her baby as many experts agree that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the consequences of smoking. A mother can still enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding, even if she smokes.
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Alzheimer's disease is one of the most serious and progressive forms of mental deterioration known as dementia, and the most common type of dementia to affect older people in America. Alzheimer's impacts a part of the brain that controls cognitive function, including memory, comprehension, thought processing, and language capabilities. All people who develop Alzheimer's disease become unable to care for themselves once the condition reaches its final stages.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and mental functioning, including the ability to reason, learn, and communicate. It may also be marked by changes in personality and behavior, including increasing anxiety, agitation, and delusion.

The vast majority of cases of Alzheimer's disease are sporadic, meaning that they are not genetically inherited although some genes may act as risk factors. On the other hand around 0.1% of the cases are familial forms of autosomal-dominant inheritance, which usually have an onset before age 65.

What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease? Experts are not sure exactly how Alzheimer’s develops, but there is evidence that it may be linked to the deposit of beta-amyloid protein plaques (abnormal patches of material) in the brain. Post-mortem, these plaques have been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients in the areas of the brain related to memory.

Although the course of Alzheimer's disease is unique for every individual, there are many common symptoms. The earliest observable symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be 'age-related' concerns, or manifestations of stress. In the early stages, the most commonly recognised symptom is memory loss, such as difficulty in remembering recently learned facts. When a doctor or physician has been notified, and Alzheimer's disease is suspected, the diagnosis is usually confirmed with behavioural assessments and cognitive tests, often followed by a brain scan if available.
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Friday, 19 March 2010


Migraine is a neurological syndrome characterized by altered bodily perceptions, severe headaches, and nausea. Physiologically, the migraine headache is a neurological condition more common to women than to men. The word migraine was borrowed from Old French migraigne (originally as "megrim", but respelled in 1777 on a contemporary French model). The French term derived from a vulgar pronunciation of the Late Latin word hemicrania, itself based on Greek hemikrania, from Greek roots for "half" and "skull".
The typical migraine headache is unilateral (affecting one half of the head) and pulsating, lasting from 4 to 72 hours; symptoms include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to light), and phonophobia (increased sensitivity to sound). Approximately one-third of people who suffer migraine headache perceive an auraunusual visual, olfactory, or other sensory experiences that are a sign that the migraine will soon occur.
Initial treatment is with analgesics for the headache, an antiemetic for the nausea, and the avoidance of triggering conditions. The cause of migraine headache is unknown; the most common theory is a disorder of the serotonergic control system.
There are migraine headache variants, some originate in the brainstem (featuring intercellular transport dysfunction of calcium and potassium ions) and some are genetically disposed. Studies of twins indicate a 60 to 65 percent genetic influence upon their propensity to develop migraine headache. Moreover, fluctuating hormone levels indicate a migraine relation: 75 percent of adult patients are women, although migraine affects approximately equal numbers of prepubescent boys and girls; propensity to migraine headache is known to disappear during pregnancy, although in some women migraines may become more frequent during pregnancy.


The International Headache Society (IHS) offers guidelines for the classification and diagnosis of migraine headaches, in a document called "The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edition" (ICHD-2).
According to ICHD-2, there are seven subclasses of migraines (some of which include further subdivisions):

• Migraine without aura, or common migraine, involves migraine headaches that are not accompanied by an aura (visual disturbance, see below).
• Migraine with aura usually involves migraine headaches accompanied by an aura. Less commonly, an aura can occur without a headache, or with a non-migraine headache. Two other varieties are Familial hemiplegic migraine and Sporadic hemiplegic migraine, in which a patient has migraines with aura and with accompanying motor weakness. If a close relative has had the same condition, it is called "familial", otherwise it is called "sporadic". Another variety is basilar-type migraine, where a headache and aura are accompanied by difficulty speaking, vertigo, ringing in ears, or a number of other brainstem-related symptoms, but not motor weakness.
• Childhood periodic syndromes that are commonly precursors of migraine include cyclical vomiting (occasional intense periods of vomiting), abdominal migraine (abdominal pain, usually accompanied by nausea), and benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood (occasional attacks of vertigo).
• Retinal migraine involves migraine headaches accompanied by visual disturbances or even blindness in one eye.
• Complications of migraine describe migraine headaches and/or auras that are unusually long or unusually frequent, or associated with a seizure or brain lesion.
• Probable migraine describes conditions that have some characteristics of migraines but where there is not enough evidence to diagnose it as a migraine with certainty.


Migraines are underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed. The diagnosis of migraine without aura, according to the International Headache Society, can be made according to the following criteria, the "5, 4, 3, 2, 1 criteria":
• 5 or more attacks
• 4 hours to 3 days in duration
• 2 or more of - unilateral location, pulsating quality, moderate to severe pain, aggravation by or avoidance of routine physical activity
• 1 or more accompanying symptoms - nausea and/or vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia

For migraine with aura, only two attacks are required to justify the diagnosis.

The mnemonic POUNDing (Pulsating, duration of 4–72 hOurs, Unilateral, Nausea, Disabling) can help diagnose migraine. If 4 of the 5 criteria are met, then the positive likelihood ratio for diagnosing migraine is 24.

The presence of either disability, nausea or sensitivity, can diagnose migraine with:
• sensitivity of 81%
• specificity of 75%

Migraine should be differentiated from other causes of headaches such as cluster headaches. These are extremely painful, unilateral headaches of a piercing quality. The duration of the common attack is 15 minutes to three hours. Onset of an attack is rapid, and most often without the preliminary signs that are characteristic of a migraine.


A migraine trigger is any factor that, on exposure or withdrawal, leads to the development of an acute migraine headache. Triggers may be categorized as behavioral, environmental, infectious, dietary, chemical, or hormonal. In the medical literature, these factors are known as 'precipitants.'

The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, for example, offers the following list of migraine triggers:
Migraine attacks may be triggered by:

• Allergic reactions
• Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes
• Physical or emotional stress
• Changes in sleep patterns
• Smoking or exposure to smoke
• Skipping meals
• Alcohol
• Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone fluctuations during the menopause transition
• Tension headaches
• Foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG) or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)
• Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods.


Preventive (also called prophylactic) treatment of migraines can be an important component of migraine management. Such treatments can take many forms, including everything from taking certain drugs or nutritional supplements, to lifestyle alterations such as increased exercise and avoidance of migraine triggers.

The goals of preventive therapy are to reduce the frequency, painfulness, and/or duration of migraines, and to increase the effectiveness of abortive therapy. Another reason to pursue these goals is to avoid medication overuse headache (MOH), otherwise known as rebound headache, which is a common problem among migraneurs. This is believed to occur in part due to overuse of pain medications, and can result in chronic daily headache.

Many of the preventive treatments are quite effective: Even with a placebo, one-quarter of patients find that their migraine frequency is reduced by half or more, and actual treatments often far exceed this figure. There are many medicines available to prevent or reduce frequency, duration and severity of migraine attacks. They may also prevent complications of migraine. Propranolol, atenolol, metoprolol, flunarizine, sodium valproate, topiramate are some of the commonly used drugs. But they need to be taken for about 3 months or more.


Conventional treatment focuses on three areas: trigger avoidance, symptomatic control, and prophylactic pharmacological drugs. Patients who experience migraines often find that the recommended migraine treatments are not 100% effective at preventing migraines, and sometimes may not be effective at all. Pharmacological treatments are considered effective if they reduce the frequency or severity of migraine attacks by 50%. Children and adolescents are often first given drug treatment, but the value of diet modification should not be overlooked. The simple task of starting a diet journal to help modify the intake of trigger foods like hot dogs, chocolate, cheese and ice cream could help alleviate symptoms.

For patients who have been diagnosed with recurring migraines, migraine abortive medications can be used to treat the attack, and may be more effective if taken early, losing effectiveness once the attack has begun. Treating the attack at the onset can often abort it before it becomes serious, and can reduce the near-term frequency of subsequent attacks.
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