What is Biofeedback Therapy? for Migraine and Chronic Pain etc.

I was never aware of this type of therapy so thought an interesting topic to include for information. It especially received my attention when it mentioned chronic pain such as migraine/headache treatment. 

Biofeedback therapy involves training patients to control physiological processes such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.

These processes usually occur involuntarily, however, patients who receive help from a biofeedback therapist can learn how to completely manipulate them at will.

Biofeedback is typically used to treat chronic pain, urinary incontinence, high blood pressure, tension headache, and migraine headache.

The three most common types of biofeedback therapy are:

  • Thermal biofeedback – which measures skin temperature
  • Electromyography – measures muscle tension
  • Neurofeedback – measures brain wave activity

Biofeedback is particularly effective at treating conditions brought on by severe stress. When a person is stressed, their internal processes such as blood pressure can become irregular. Biofeedback therapy teaches these patients certain relaxation and mental exercises which can alleviate their symptoms.

Therapists can measure a patient’s performance by attaching electrodes to their skin and displaying the processes on a monitor. Eventually patients learn how to control these processes without the need to be monitored.

During a biofeedback session, electrodes will be attached to the patient’s skin, which sends information to a monitoring box. The biofeedback therapist reads the measurements and through trial and error singles out mental activities that help regulate the patient’s bodily processes.

Sessions are typically less than an hour long – most people will begin to see positive results after 8 sessions. However, some patients may need a as many as 50 sessions.

The remainder of this post @

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265802.php

 

11 Pressure Points for Headache Relief

This short video is helpful for people who are unaware of pressure points for the possible relief of headaches or migraines.  In my case with chronic migraines, every pressure point shown in the video is usually so horribly tender and painful to touch.

Have you ever heard about Silent Migraines?

How migraines without headache pain can wreak havoc on your health

Did you know you could have what’s called a ‘silent migraine‘ without actually having a headache?  Surprisingly, migraines can occur without the classic pulsing head pain. In fact, about 3 to 5% of people with chronic migraines experience such headache-free migraines, known as “silent migraines.” But how can you know when you’re having one if you’re not in pain?

Silent Migraine Sufferers’ Profile

Silent migraines occur in older adults who have previously suffered full migraine symptoms, headache and all.

In other cases, adults over age 40 develop these headache-less migraines out of the blue. Here are six names associated with silent migraines:

  • Acephalgic migraine: Acephalgic is the Latin word for “without head pain”
  • Isolated visual migraine
  • Late-onset migraine accompaniment: Occurs when the condition first strikes someone over the age of 40
  • Migraine dissocié: The French name for a migraine that is dissociated from (that is, not related to) headache
  • Migraine equivalent or migraine variant
  • Typical aura without headache

MigraineS

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Welcome – Connecting With Everyone Struggling With All Invisible Illnesses

“Living in Stigma” connects with everyone coping with chronic pain, mental illness, and all invisible illnesses.

My blog Living in Stigma was launched in 2007 and originally dedicated to all of us struggling with mental illness.  I felt as if I was living in stigma with my own major depression.

Many forms of mental illness comprise of DepressionBipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, PTSD, Eating Disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and much more.

I struggle with both mental illness and chronic migraines, and with news articles, social media, research and valued readers sharing comments and opinions on my blog, it’s a reality that invisible illnesses such as fibromyalgia, lupus, headaches, recurring back and leg pain, and so many more are also a vast portion of invisible illness stigma.  Continue reading

Avoid these 10 foods for Killer Migraines

Image: Living in Stigma cherished79.com

Every day, millions of people across the world suffer from migraine headaches. They come on quickly and viciously and invariably ruin your day. Often, these headaches are caused by certain foods. Knowing which foods are most likely to cause your migraine headaches can provide a vital step in determining what your headache triggers are, and help you avoid these unpleasant episodes in the future.

Alcohol

Red wine is a famous headache trigger, but many people don’t realize that all alcohols, particularly dark liquors, have the potential to be headache triggers. While the causative agents for migraines are not well known, it is postulated that the histamines and tyramines present in alcohol may act to promote headaches. Added to this is the dehydrating effect of drinking alcohol, which, as we all know, can be a surefire way to get a splitting headache.

Caffeine

Headaches are caused not by caffeine itself, but by the withdrawal symptoms experienced afterward. Research indicates that a withdrawal headache can result after ingesting approximately 200 milligrams of caffeine, which amounts to around 2–3 cups of coffee. Stick to just one cup of coffee a day and lay off the cans of coke to avoid these withdrawal headaches.

Cheese

While the research regarding cheese as a migraine precursor is limited, it is thought that aged cheeses such as Swiss, cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan and blue cheese are more likely to give you a headache. This is due to the greater concentrations of tyramine in these cheeses, which forms as the proteins in cheese break down over time.

Monosodium glutamate

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Best ways to cope with Panic Attacks

image: pinterest.com consonantlyspeaking.com

A panic attack is a sudden rush of physical symptoms — like shortness of breath, muscle spasms, and nausea — coupled with uncontrollable anxiety and sometimes a sense of impending doom. Visits to the emergency room and desperate late-night phone calls to doctors often result, as do test results that often reveal nothing. If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you can probably empathize with the frustration and hopelessness of not knowing exactly what happened.

By educating yourself about panic attacks, you can begin to gain control of the problem. You don’t have to live in fear and uncertainty any longer. We’ll get you started on your journey toward well-being.

Accepting a panic attack for what it is can help to lessen its effect. To start feeling in control of your anxiety, make an appointment with your doctor and get a full physical exam. This will help you focus your approach, as you’ll find out for certain that you’re coping with panic attacks and not some other ailment. A clean bill of health can also help alleviate irrational fears of dying and doom, which can surface during a panic attack.

Also, your doctor can differentiate between occasional panic attacks and a more serious panic disorder, which may require professional treatment and possibly medication. Working with your doctor, you can also determine if you have a genetic susceptibility to panic attacks and if your episodes are triggered in part by other conditions, such as a thyroid disorder or lactose sensitivity.

Recognize the Symptoms of a Panic Attack

Familiarizing yourself with panic attack symptoms can help you feel more in control while one’s happening. Once you realize you’re experiencing a panic attack and not a heart attack, allergic reaction, or some other serious ailment, you can focus on techniques for calming yourself.

Being able to recognize it for what it is will help you decide what action to take to overcome it.

Although symptoms differ from person to person, and only a trained professional can provide a definite diagnosis, some common ones include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Choking sensations and nausea
  • Shaking and sweating
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Chest pain and heartburn
  • Muscle spasms
  • Hot flashes or sudden chills
  • Tingling sensations in your extremities
  • A fear that you’re going crazy
  • A fear that you might die or be seriously ill

Source: Tips to Cope with a Panic Attack

 

Insomnia connection with Fibromyalgia Pain Explored

Life with Fibromyalgia:

Patients coping with the complex (pain disorder) fibromyalgia often have difficulty sleeping, and a new study published in The Journal of Pain reports that despite the negative quality of life implications, poor sleep is not a significant predictor of fibromyalgia pain intensity and duration.

The complexity of fibromyalgia as a pain disorder is rooted in the variable, patient-to-patient, influence of physical, psychological, social factors that contribute to clinical pain, and their influence often is difficult to understand. Previous research has shown that variables such as negative mood and the number of localized pain areas are significant predictors of clinical pain in fibromyalgia patients.

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It’s not just a ‘headache’ ~ It’s ‘CHRONIC MIGRAINE’

These chronic migraines are not “pop 2 aspirin and call me in the morning” headaches……

Image Source: “Making Migraines Visible” image included in a slideshow by: Teri Robert on HealthCentral.com

Chronic Migraines

That’s me, that’s what I suffer with.   Winter has been unkind to me, especially January through March, where very few days did I escape not having a migraine headache.   The pulsating, throbbing head and face agony had me bedridden most days, and other times unable to wear my glasses due to tenderness over the bridge of my nose.

Since thoughts of jumping over the balcony crossed my mind to end this crap and a trip to the emergency isn’t an option anymore (wait times approx. 10-14 hrs. and their refusal to use narcotics), I had to ‘suck it up’.

My neurologist suggested Botox treatments, but I’m unsure of this method for chronic migraines, and the research I’ve done has shown some people were worse off with the treatment due to constant stiff necks and even more pain + medications.  I am considering chiropractic or acupuncture methods, but for this past week, I’m experimenting with a natural herbal medication which has shown good progress so far.  Fingers crossed!

This wonderful link provides a more in-depth look at migraines @ HealthCentral.com http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/cf/slideshows/migraines-visible#slide=1

(updated and reposted)

Why doesn’t she just leave him?

Really?  And women should just up and leave an abusive relationship; as if it were that easy.

‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ is a timeworn question about women trapped in relationships that are physically and/or emotionally abusive to them.  Economic dependence is clearly part of the story — many women lack the financial means to leave and find themselves trapped by both poverty and abuse.

Of the women who do attempt to escape the abuse, some opt to petition a judge for a civil restraining order, also called a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, for protection from abuse, harassment, threats, or intimidation. Research shows that PFAs can promote women’s safety and help women manage the threat of abuse.

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A ‘NERVOUS BREAKDOWN’? what exactly is that?

WHAT IS A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN? WHAT CAUSES PEOPLE TO HAVE THEM?

When I was first diagnosed with depression my mother-in-law termed my illness as a “bad case of the nerves”.  I always shook my head at that one, and questioned, what does depression have to do with bad nerves; an incredibly old belief or judgment perhaps?

The term “nervous breakdown” is used by the public to characterize a wide range of mental illnesses. Nervous breakdown is not a medical term and doesn’t indicate a specific mental illness. Generally, the term describes a person who is severely and persistently emotionally distraught and unable to function at his or her normal level.

Continue reading

Depression: How are you Coping With Pregnancy Loss?

Symptomfind.com includes an article on: “6 Important Steps for Coping with Pregnancy Loss’.

A miscarriage, or other forms of pregnancy loss, is a devastating and difficult process.  It is important to surround yourself with your family and loved ones, and take steps to take care of yourself in a healthy manner emotionally, mentally and physically.  Even though it may feel like you will never be the same again, healing will come with time.

Step #1 – It Is Okay To Grieve

~This includes: Denial, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance

Step #2 – Get Support

Step #3 – Communicate With Your Significant Other

Step #4 – Take Care Of And Protect Yourself

Step #5 – Make a Memorial

Step #6 – Moving On

Have you ever heard of ‘Thunderclap’ Headaches?

Picture this….You’re relaxing in your favorite chair, or out with friends for coffee or perhaps enjoying a delightful soothing bath, when unexpectedly, BAM!!, you’re struck with this horrendous pain in your head; the worst headache pain you’ve ever felt.  It’s different from a migraine, and termed a “THUNDERCLAP” headache.

During the warmer weather, two years ago, for a couple of hellish months, I’d been lucky to dodge migraines for a few days here and there.  But, no time for celebration, as I was suddenly contending with these sudden ‘BAM!’ headaches as well.  The pain was directed in the middle of my forehead, top of my head and covering my entire face, not a typical migraine for me, which are bilateral.

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What is Vertigo?

What is Vertigo?

It’s that dizzy, wobbly or off-balance feeling which is awfully worrying.

A colleague of mine in her early 20’s experienced these ‘dizzy’ episodes, completely puzzled as to the cause. She immediately thought the worst, that being a brain tumor, Parkinson’s disease or any other dreaded illness. Her mind was to put to rest when it was discovered she was diagnosed with Vertigo (which is a condition).

Common most in the elderly, both sexes at any age can be affected also by vertigo resulting in a temporary or permanent condition.

Causes

After some research, it was discovered that the vestibular system is the organ of balance in the ear, a tiny network of fluid-filled tubes and sacs. In each inner ear, there are two identical vestibular systems found in the labyrinth of each inner ear. As your body shifts so do the liquid in the tubes where levels are read by nerve cells, sending information to the brain, which in turn calculates which direction is down and what should be the horizontal level.

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9 Things only you will understand living with Chronic Pain

Wow, I identify with all nine of these with my chronic migraines

As many as a third of Americans suffer from chronic pain—a full third! If you’re one of those people for whom low back pain, headaches, arthritis, or one of a long list of other conditions make your daily life a struggle, these nine experiences probably ring way too true.

http://www.prevention.com/health/symptoms-chronic-pain  provides details.

Want to know the history of Fibromyalgia?

I was intrigued by this article found on Flipboard.com about the history of Fibromyalgia.

Important Developments of More than 400 Years

By Adrienne Dellwo

You sometimes hear fibromyalgia referred to as a “fad diagnosis” or “new disease,” but the truth is that fibromyalgia is far from new. It has centuries of history, with multiple name changes and discarded theories along the way.

While it hasn’t always been accepted by the medical community, and today its acceptance isn’t universal, fibromyalgia has come a long way and current research continues to offer proof that it’s a very real physiological illness.

This article is lengthy and continues @ Health Care Guide

 

Chronic Pain: 16 Things We Want You To Know

It’s not just in our head. The pain is there and always would be even if there is no apparent reason for it. Our pain is real and will not just go away after we take some pills for a week or two. It would always be there and we have learned to live with it. Here are 16 more things we wish you knew about us!

1. We Don’t Make a Mountain out of a Molehill

You think you can imagine our pain? Now multiply that amount by 10. No matter how sympathetic you are, studies have proved that people tend to underestimate other people’s pain. Chronic pain by default is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it in your life. It’s invisible, but it is always there. We urge health care not out of hypochondria or the need for attention, but because of our severe physical state.

2. We Need to Balance Actions Carefully

We use the Spoon Theory.  We have a limited amount of spoons each day we could use for different actions. Getting up, getting dressed, taking a shower, driving, walking, picking up the phone — each action requires us to use one of our precious spoons. On good days, we finish with a few spoons left so we can do something fun. On bad days, we borrow spoons from the next day and need extra recovery afterward. So if we suddenly cancel our plans with you or tell we can’t do it now — it’s just because we ran out of spoons today. Try to understand this.

3. We Struggle to Find a Good Doctor

Sadly, a lot of health care pros lack knowledge in pain management because it is rarely part of their training. We often visit numerous specialists before receiving a proper diagnosis and wait months to years to see a real pain specialist for treatment. Doctors often fall victim to the cognitive error of underestimating another’s pain and a small number of doctors are willing to take the legal risks involved in prescribing powerful pain pills.

Same goes with the nurses. Finding a good one who can really understand and help us relieve the pain is hard! Luckily, there are some online schools like Sacred Heart University that are training future nurse leaders to overcome these issues in the future and provide better care for patients.

While you may think it’s crazy, we’re willing to travel further to find a good nurse with this kind of training and rave about it when we find one.

4. We Are Not Lazy

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Depression and Caregiving

Could the sadness, loneliness or anger you feel today be a warning sign of depression? It’s possible. It is not unusual for caregivers to develop mild or more serious depression as a result of the constant demands they face in providing care.

Caregiving does not cause depression, nor will everyone who provides care experience the negative feelings that go with depression. But in an effort to provide the best possible care for a family member or friend, caregivers often sacrifice their own physical and emotional needs and the emotional and physical experiences involved with providing care can strain even the most capable person. The resulting feelings of anger, anxiety, sadness, isolation, exhaustion—and then guilt for having these feelings—can exact a heavy toll.

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How does Depression and Lack of Appetite Affect People?

This article was found on HealthyPlace.com (Coping & Depression blog) by

One of the most common symptoms of depression is a change in appetite. People who have depression either lose their appetite and eat less than they did before, or else their appetite increases and they eat more than they did before their depression started. For me, my appetite has lessened but it’s affected me a lot more than a simple reduction of hunger pangs. Depression and lack of hunger can be distressing.

How Depression and Lack of Appetite Affects Me

Depression affects my eating habits mostly by making me apathetic about food. Flavours feel dulled so I never really enjoy anything that I eat. I opt for really sour candy, ice cream or whatever seems tastiest. I fill up on junk food and then don’t care about fruits and vegetables.

A Depressed Brain is Still Part of Your Body

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A ‘NERVOUS BREAKDOWN’? what exactly is that?

WHAT IS A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN? WHAT CAUSES PEOPLE TO HAVE THEM?

When I was first diagnosed with depression my mother-in-law termed my illness as a “bad case of the nerves”.  I always shook my head at that one, and questioned, what does depression have to do with bad nerves; an incredibly old belief or judgment perhaps?

The term “nervous breakdown” is used by the public to characterize a wide range of mental illnesses. Nervous breakdown is not a medical term and doesn’t indicate a specific mental illness. Generally, the term describes a person who is severely and persistently emotionally distraught and unable to function at his or her normal level.

Continue reading

What is TRICHOTILLOMANIA (hair-pulling disorder)?

Several people have emailed me inquiring about Trichotillomania disorder (better known as ‘hair pulling’) and requesting information. I located the easiest to comprehend and provided the best info on mayoclinic.com.  There isn’t an extensive amount out there about this disorder, however, countless people are afflicted by this.  Hope this helps.

DEFINATION

Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh) is a disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop.

Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which causes significant distress and can interfere with social or work functioning. People with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise the loss of hair.

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Blister Packs for Medications

As far as medication goes, remembering to take the required doses morning, noon or bedtime was causing chaos.  I would forget to take this med or that med, refilling prescriptions in time, and each med had it’s own pill bottle. Filling that 7-day plastic organizer every week was a pain in the neck.

My doctor suggested a Blister Pack – pure bliss!  My pharmacy fills them bi-weekly without a fee, and he calls the doctor for refills (saving me a trip to the doctor), I pick them up, all sorted, neat and tidy.  I still have to remember to take them!

Image source: google.ca
More on blister pack usage @
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blister_pack

I’m cranky and I have a migraine…

Existing with chronic migraines in February, March and April are normally unkind to me, lasting 24/7 at times.  No cures for migraines, but I am used to the pounding pain which is mostly caused by changes in the barometric pressure.

I was up during the night watching TV, my migraine unbearable, and up pops an infomercial for the “cure-all” for migraines and back problems.  My exhilaration quickly sunk when what appeared was……wires with small black pads, fastened to one’s forehead, then connecting to a “powerful” machine.  The woman “patient” was amazed at how her migraine just “disappeared” in no time.

Hmmmm, wouldn’t that be magnificent! NOT! I’m somehow skeptical.  I believe they were giving away 2 for the price of 1 for a limited time only.  Gotta go, phone right now, 4 payments of just $49.99 + S&H.

So, bottom line….I will be posting a bit slower for the next few days.

Painkiller rip-off: Pills for Migraine, period pain, backache ‘are identical’

image: capecodpainrelief.com

If this research is accurate, well then I am pissed off.  For me this really isn’t new news, I’ve heard this before with painkillers, but for all of us who struggle with chronic pain on a daily basis, just searching for a moment of relief we encounter yet another rip-off with a pricey medication.

This article appeared in Telegraph.co.UK News  By , Consumer Affairs Editor

Research suggests patients are paying three times too much, as Nurofen is banned in Australia for selling identical painkillers for specific ailments

One of Britain’s biggest painkiller brands, Nurofen, uses identical ingredients in pills that claim to tackle different ailments, a court has found, prompting experts to warn that patients are overpaying for so-called “targeted” medicines.

Nurofen offers different packs of branded drugs depending on whether the buyer is suffering from migraines, period pains, tension headaches or back pain.

It’s targeted pills are different to standard Nurofen as they contain salts that break down more quickly in the digestive system, providing faster pain relief. They are also more expensive.

But a court in Australia ruled that the products should be removed from the shelves there after finding that, apart from the packaging, all the targeted pills were identical to each other.

Each contains exactly the same amount of ibuprofen, is put together with the same ingredients – and even has the same drug licensing code.

Separately an investigation by the consumer group found that the Nurofen “targeted” tablets contained the same drugs, in the same quantities, as pharmacy and supermarket own-brand versions that were a third of the price.

Richard Headland, editor of consumer group Which?, said: “You might think Nurofen Migraine Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache caplets would target your migraine and tension headaches respectively, but you’d be wrong: ibuprofen can’t target pain in specific body parts.”

arthritis-treatment-and-relief.topfoodnews.info

With the fast-acting Nurofen painkiller range due to will stay on sale in Britain, he advised shoppers to opt for cheaper versions in pharmacies and supermarkets.

Each caplet of Nurofen Migraine Pain contains 342mg of ibuprofen lysine – a fast-acting version of ordinary ibuprofen – and costs 22p. Nurofen Tension Headache caplets contain the same ingredients but cost 23p.

By contrast, Asda Migraine Relief also contains 342mg of Ibuprofen Lysine, but costs 11p. Wilko Express Pain Relief containing the same quantity of ibuprofen lysine cost just 8p – around a third of the price for the Nurofen version.

‘Risks outweigh benefits of painkillers’

Researchers at consumer group Which? said the ingredient list in Nurofen was slightly different to own-brand painkillers, due to different binding ingredients that make up the pill. But crucially they contained the same amount of “active” ingredients to dull pain.

Mr Headland said: “It’s a waste of money to buy so-called targeted painkillers, and potentially dangerous as you might be misled into taking a double dose, thinking that they’re different medicines.”

See complete article @
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/12050638/Painkiller-rip-off-Pills-for-migraine-period-pain-backache-are-identical.html

Migraines ~ Appropriate Treatment

image: pinterest.com

I found this article on Migraine.com showing a research study which included people who met the criteria of chronic migraine for appropriate treatments.

There are three vital components for appropriate treatment of migraine:  1. consultation with a health care professional, 2. accurate diagnosis, and 3. adequate treatment. If any one of these areas is not fulfilled, a person’s chance of treatment success is diminished. A study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual conference in April found that only 4.5% of people with chronic migraine receive minimally appropriate treatment. Researchers considered a person to be receiving minimally appropriate treatment if they used at least one recommended acute migraine treatment and one preventive treatment.

The study included 1,254 people who met the criteria of chronic migraine. Of those, 512 (40.8%) reported currently seeing a health care professional for migraine treatment. Of those, only a quarter (126 participants) had been diagnosed with chronic migraine or transformed migraine. In people who had been diagnosed, 44.4% were receiving minimally appropriate treatment. Only 4.5% met all three vital components for appropriate migraine treatment.

In the study, the likelihood that a person had seen a health care professional for migraine increased with age, frequency/number of migraine symptoms, degree of disability, and having health insurance. Getting a diagnosis was more likely for women, for those with multiple migraine symptoms, and for those who saw a headache specialist.

Another study presented at the same conference showed that only 28% of primary care providers were aware of the American Academy of Neurology’s guidelines for migraine preventive treatments and 40% knew of the Institutes of Medicine’s Choosing Wisely campaign, which provides migraine treatment recommendations. Medication overuse headache was known to 79% of primary care providers, but only 54% knew that products containing butalbital (Fioricet) can cause MOH and only 34% knew narcotics/opioids can. All this translates into fewer diagnoses and suboptimal care for migraine.

image: tumblr

The findings of these studies are deeply disturbing, but they’re also helpful. With this knowledge, doctors can help fill the gaps in treatment and find ways to improve patient care. Patients can act on this information to take charge of their own care by learning about migraine (which you’re doing by reading this article) and advocating for themselves. In her article on the headache specialist shortage, Tammy outlines excellent strategies for getting the best care possible. I recommend taking all her suggestions to heart. All I would add is to take an ally with you to your appointments, if possible. A partner, family member, or friend can help you get your questions answered, can clarify your doctor’s recommendations if you’re too brain-fogged to do so yourself, and can advocate for you if you’re too sick to advocate for yourself.

The research findings are dismal, but that doesn’t mean that people with chronic migraine are out of luck. Instead, it means we have to take and active and proactive role in our care. This can seem daunting and can be exhausting at times, but it’s the only way to ensure that you’re trying the treatments that are best for you and are managing your migraine attacks most effectively.

Tips ~ Coping with a Panic Attack

image: pinterest.com consonantlyspeaking.com

A panic attack is a sudden rush of physical symptoms — like shortness of breath, muscle spasms, and nausea — coupled with uncontrollable anxiety and sometimes a sense of impending doom. Visits to the emergency room and desperate late night phone calls to doctors often result, as do test results that often reveal nothing. If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you can probably empathize with the frustration and hopelessness of not knowing exactly what happened.

By educating yourself about panic attacks, you can begin to gain control of the problem. You don’t have to live in fear and uncertainty any longer. We’ll get you started on your journey toward well-being.

Accepting a panic attack for what it is can help to lessen its effect. To start feeling in control of your anxiety, make an appointment with your doctor and get a full physical exam. This will help you focus your approach, as you’ll find out for certain that you’re coping with panic attacks and not some other ailment. A clean bill of health can also help alleviate irrational fears of dying and doom, which can surface during a panic attack.

Also, your doctor can differentiate between occasional panic attacks and a more serious panic disorder, which may require professional treatment and possibly medication. Working with your doctor, you can also determine if you have a genetic susceptibility to panic attacks, and if your episodes are triggered in part by other conditions, such as a thyroid disorder or lactose sensitivity.

Recognize the Symptoms of a Panic Attack

Continue reading

Does Diabetes Complicate Bipolar Disorder?

People with bipolar disorder are three times more likely than the general population to develop type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes typically occurs in adulthood and is associated with insulin resistance, as opposed to type 1, which is usually diagnosed in childhood and is associated with insulin deficiency.

In a talk at the 2015 meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, researcher Tomas Hajek reported that in a large group of bipolar patients, 13% reported a history of type 2 diabetes, 21% were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes upon laboratory evaluation, and 32.2% had pre-diabetes without realizing it. Thus, about half of these patients with bipolar disorder were either affected by diabetes or at risk for it, many without knowing it.

The Bad News

Diabetes complicates the course of bipolar illness. Type 2 diabetes is associated with poorer response to treatment, atrophy of the hippocampus, cognitive impairment, and higher rates of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to full-blown dementia.

The main effect of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. The body produces enough insulin, but insulin’s effects at its receptors are impaired. Diabetes also causes deficits in growth factors, increases in the enzyme GSK3B, decreases in mitochondria and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, which protects neurons), and glucose toxicity.
Recent research by Hajek and colleagues shows that diabetes has several other detrimental effects on the brain in bipolar disorder.

On magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) scans, people with type 2 diabetes had lower levels of NAA, a marker of neuronal integrity, in the prefrontal cortex. This can indicate impaired functioning. People with type 2 diabetes also had lower levels of creatine, indicating impaired energy metabolism. In addition, hippocampal volume decreases with aging, and type 2 diabetes accelerated this age-related decline.

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31 Honest Answers to ‘How Are You?’

I was hoping an article about this very subject would appear.  Whenever meeting someone for lunch, a colleague that I haven’t seen since 2011 or a gathering, I’m usually fumbling around for words.

This article appeared in The Mighty.com written by 

When someone asks, “How are you?” do you answer honestly?

This question is often thrown around as a casual greeting, so much so that we default to “I’m good!” or “I’m fine!” — even with our closest friends and family. And while we’re maybe less hesitant to open up about a stomach ache or that we’ve come down with the flu, our true emotional state can feel like a dirty secret — we don’t want to give it up.

So we asked our Mighty community — people who experience disability, disease, mental illness, parent children with special needs and more —  how they’re really doing. What we got was a collection of honest, inspiring and heartbreaking answers.

How are you? This lovely article continues @
http://themighty.com/2015/11/31-honest-answers-to-how-are-you/

Migraine Relief? ‘Daith piercing’ is becoming popular for migraine and headache relief.

I’ve included two articles on the subject of ‘Daith Piercing’, a positive and negative. Personally, I have never heard of this procedure before now, however, upon reading these articles, I’ve decided this wouldn’t be for me.

fourstateshomepage – by Kheslleen Dimanche ~ According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are an extraordinarily common disease that affects 38 million people in the United States. After several people posted their social media accounts that daith piercing has brought them relief, others are jumping for the fix.

“I’ve had a constant migraine for two and half to three years, and I heard it helps,” said Jenny Wagner, received daith piercing.

Wagner says since struggling with migraines, she and her mother felt piercing the daith was worth a try.

“Spending over a thousand dollars a month on doctors and then spending $40 on a piercing is way better,” said Wagner. She says prior to getting the piercing, she tried almost everything to get relief and nothing seemed to work.

“Some medication didn’t do anything, some made me like end up in the ER,” Wagner explained.

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