The Mayo Clinic issued the following news release:

Migraine: Many Options To Prevent And Treat

Article Date: 11 Apr 2010

A migraine is not your average headache.  The pain of a migraine may
feel dull, deep, intense or throbbing.  That pain often sends migraine
sufferers in search of a dark, quiet place to lie down.  Untreated,
migraines can last from four to 72 hours.

The April issue of Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource provides an overview
of migraine prevalence, causes, triggers, treatments and prevention.

Highlights include:

Prevalence: An estimated 30 million Americans cope with migraine. Women
outnumber men by 2 or 3 to 1.

Causes: The cause of migraine isn’t fully understood, but both genetic
and environmental factors play a role. Migraines often run in families.

Triggers: Many factors or events may trigger an attack, including
stress; menstruation; use of oral contraceptives; changes in weather;
going too long without eating; lack of sleep or too much sleep; bright
lights, glare, loud noises or strong odors; alcohol; caffeine (too much
or withdrawal); and certain foods (aged cheese, cured meats, chocolate,
fried foods, others).

Medication: For mild to moderate migraine attacks, over-the-counter
medications work well. They are most effective when taken as soon as
symptoms begin. Options include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin,
others), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve,
others), and combination pain relievers such as Excedrin Migraine. For
severe headaches, several prescription medications are options, too.

Other treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback training and
relaxation techniques may make migraine medication more effective or
reduce the need for it. Getting enough sleep, sticking with a regular
schedule, eating regular meals, staying physically active, limiting
alcohol and caffeine and managing stress also are important.

Prevention: Preventive treatment can reduce the headache burden by one-
third to one-half or more. A doctor can discuss preventive medications
that may be helpful, such as blood pressure medications, antidepressants
and anti-seizure drugs. In addition, injections of botulinum toxin type
A (Botox) into the scalp muscles can help prevent migraine. Injections
need to be repeated every three months. The herbal products feverfew and
butterbur may prevent migraine, through the benefits haven’t been
proved. Supplements of coenzyme Q10 may also be useful for some people.

Migraine is a chronic condition. Episodes can occur anywhere from one or
twice a year to once or twice a week. Symptoms can be controlled by
working with a primary health care provider.

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