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Migraine is normally the term used to describe a throbbing headache, that usually affects one side of the head often just above or behind the eye. It can be accompanied by a feeling of nausea or actual vomiting, which can sometimes relieve the headache.

Sometimes visual disturbances are noted preceding the headache e.g. sensitivity to bright light, or feeling of tunnel vision or it is simply painful to see and focus. These unpleasant headaches can be quite disabling lasting from a few hours to sometimes days. It has been found that in some people certain foods or rather the chemical in that food can trigger off a migraine attack.

The linings of the blood vessels are very sensitive to increased levels of certain chemicals in the blood stream and may spasm as a result, leading to the throbbing headache. These trigger foods should be recognized and avoided. If however they are consumed and early signs of a migraine commence, sometimes drinking plenty of water to dilute the chemicals in the blood stream can halt a full -blown attack.

It has been discovered recently that occasionally we take too many painkillers at the early stages of a headache and this leads to a raised blood level of similar chemicals that triggered the migraine in the first instance. However it is usually quite helpful to take a mild painkiller, such as aspirin or paracetamol, with plenty of water, and to perhaps rest your head for a short while to allow recovery to take place.

There are now several forms of prophylactics that can be taken on a regular basis to help prevent repeated attacks, these can be discussed with your G. P. Further information can be obtained from Migraine Action 01932 352468

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