Migraines

An intermittent, severe headache may be a migraine, which usually occurs on one side of the head, and is associated with nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or other visual disturbances such as zigzags, light intolerance, and sometimes tingling or numb arms. Symptoms are caused by the alternate constriction and swelling of arteries supplying the brain. Stress, low blood sugar, and food allergy are common triggers. Migraine affects women more than men, especially premenstrually.

SELF-HELP Avoid stress and learn relaxation techniques (see page 217). Consult a dietician, or eliminate trigger foods such as chocolate, citrus fruits, and cheese from the diet for about four weeks. Reintroduce them and observe any changes in symptoms. If you smoke, stop. If you feel a migraine coming on, splash your face with cold water and lie down quietly for an hour.

CAUTION Follow the same cautionary advice as for a headache (above).

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