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 Migraine Headache
North Carolina Charlotte NC Dentist

Migraine Headache Dentist Charlotte NC North Carolina Holistic Biological Biocompatible 

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Migraine is a neurological syndrome characterized by altered bodily perceptions, severe headaches and nausea. The typical migraine affects one side of the head and lasts 4-72 hours. Migraine symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, photophobia (sensitivity to light) and phonophobia (sensitivity to sound). Approximately one-third of people who suffer migraine headache perceive an aura before the migraine occurs. An aura is an unusual visual (sight), olfactory (smell) or other sensory experiences. Migraines were thought to be initiated exclusively by problems with blood vessels. Presently the blood vessel theory is considered secondary to brain dysfunction.

Present theories for the cause of Migraine:

    •Depolarization Theory: In a phenomenon known as cortical spreading depression neurological activity is depressed over an area of the brain. This results in the release of inflammatory mediators which leads to irritation to the cranial nerves. The trigeminal nerve is the nerve most affected.
    •Vascular Theory: Migraine begins when blood vessels in the brain contract and expand inappropriately. When the blood vessels dilate they become more permeable and leak fluid out into the surrounding tissue. In response the body supplies chemicals to the tissue which causes inflammation. 
    •Serotonin Theory: Low serotonin levels in the brain leads to constriction and dilation of blood vessels which triggers a migraine. 
    •Neural Theory: When certain nerves in the brain stem become irritated, a migraine begins. When the nerves become irritated, the body releases chemicals that cause inflammation of the blood vessels. 
    •Unifying Theory: Both vascular and neural influences cause migraines. 
            1. Stress triggers changes in the brain
            2. These changes cause serotonin release
            3. Blood vessels constrict and dilate
            4. Chemicals irritate nerves and blood vessels causing pain

Triggers: A migraine trigger is any factor that on exposure or withdrawal, leads to the development of an acute migraine headache. Triggers may be behavioral, environmental, infectious, dietary, chemical, or hormonal. Migraine attacks may be triggered by:

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

Migraines are treated using various drugs including:

    • Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Analgesics combined with antiemetics
    • Serotonin Agonists
    • Antidepressants
    • Ergot alkaloids
    • Steroids
    • Other drugs
    • Herbal treatment