You scraped your knee a few days ago. Now your cut is surrounded by angry, red skin that’s sore, warm to the touch, and emitting a gross amount of pus. Are you suffering from an infected wound? Chances are the answer is “yes.” Here’s what to … Read More
Migraines are more than just a headache. They cause intense pain, which may be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances.
Researchers aren?t sure exactly what causes migraines, but factors such as brain chemical imbalances may be involved. Certain foods, drinks, smells, sounds, and environmental changes (such as the weather) can set off a migraine attack.
Migraine symptoms sometimes start a day or two before the actual headache hits. This is called prodrome. These pre-migraine symptoms can include depression, food cravings, irritability, and a stiff neck.
An actual migraine produces a throbbing or pulsing sensation, rather than the typical pain of a headache. Often the pain is in just one part of the head. Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness are other possible migraine symptoms. Some people become so sensitive to light and sound from a migraine that they have to lie down in a dark, quiet room until the headache passes.
Aura is another hallmark migraine symptom. People who experience auras with their migraines describe seeing flashes or spots of light. They may also feel strange sensations, or have trouble speaking.
Migraines typically last for a few hours, but some can continue for a day or two. Triptans are a class of drugs that constrict blood vessels to relieve migraine pain, but they must be taken immediately after the migraine starts to be effective. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help with less severe migraine pain. Medicines such as metoclopramide (Reglan) and prochlorperazine (Compro) help with nausea and vomiting. Beta-blockers, antidepressants, Botox, and anti-seizure drugs can help prevent migraines before they start.
Lifestyle measures like avoiding food triggers, getting enough sleep, and using relaxation techniques may also help prevent migraines. Some people find that keeping a headache diary helps them pinpoint their triggers.
Fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and low-fat/fat-free dairy products, are cornerstones of the heart- and blood-pressure-friendly DASH diet. Not only are they generally low in sodium, but many of them are good sources of other nutrients that are associated with lower blood pressure:
- Potassium: Good dietary sources include … Read More
The sensation of twitching while sleeping is a common occurrence, but many people who experience sudden but brief muscle movements at night aren’t even aware that they’re happening. Sometimes, however, the twitching or jerking of your hand or foot—a condition known as sleep myoclonus—is enough to … Read More
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating system that measures how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood-sugar levels. The lower a food is on the GI, the lower the effect on your blood sugar. Low-glycemic foods also can reduce your risk … Read More
Alternative treatment options can be a good adjunct to medication when it comes to managing arthritis symptoms. Some of the options address physical causes of pain, but don’t forget that chronic pain is complicated.
In arthritis, tissue inflammation, bone erosion, and nerve impingement can combine to “rewire” your nervous system, making … Read More
Have you ever been warned that you should cut bread out of your diet because it's full of carbohydrates, makes you gain weight, and is bad for your health? If you’re a bread lover, sourdough bread may be a great option.
Sourdough bread's health benefits make it an … Read More
Close your eyes and sit up straight. Take a deep breath while you count to five, then count to five again as you exhale. Go ahead and try it right now for six breaths. It feels good, doesn’t it? Here’s what happens when you do easy breathing exercises:
- First, you … Read More
There are several reasons why certain foods are good for your cholesterol and your heart health. Some have direct effects on reducing LDL and/or triglycerides. Others are more filling and, if they’re low in calories, will help with weight loss. Plus, by filling up on these healthier options, you’re not … Read More
The “abs” get most of the attention in advertisements for strength devices, and a big waist is something almost everyone tries to avoid. But the first sign of weak core muscles is poor posture—both standing and sitting. Other signs are back pain and muscle weakness.
The American Physical Therapy Association … Read More
SIBO treatment (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is often needed for many people with chronic gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. (Find a full discussion of SIBO symptoms by clicking here.)
An increasingly recognized problem, SIBO occurs when bacteria that normally occupy the colon migrate to the Read More