10 Types of Headaches and How to Combat Them


Migraines are probably the most infamous -- and dreaded -- of all types of headaches. Nearly one in 10 Americans suffers from migraine headaches and most of those sufferers are female [source: Stoppler]. These head crushers are caused by inflammation of the blood vessels and arteries that wrap around the brain, which literally squeezes your brain until it hurts.

Your body's nervous system may respond with an exaggerated "fight or flight" response, albeit one that predicts you've lost the fight or your bid to escape. You'll feel nausea, slowed intestinal absorption, increased blood pressure and heightened sensitivity to sensory stimuli. Because of the slowing down of your digestion process, pain relief medications (cruelly) aren't absorbed as quickly, delaying your relief.

Migraines cause intense throbbing pains, usually around the temple areas. The agony may last several hours or even days. Some people see auras, usually flashes of light that serve as warnings that a migraine is on its way. Currently, there's no easy fix for migraines, but a variety of options does exist. Treatments include preventive and curative medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), triptans (drugs that reduce the swelling of blood vessels on the brain), opiates, beta-blockers and antidepressants. Though people react in different ways to each treatment option, keep hope that your doctor will help you find a combination of approaches to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches.

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