MIGRAINE: Recognizing an Aura

(HealthDay News) — March 25, 2010 – About one in five migraine sufferers experiences an aura that warns of a pending migraine, the National Headache Society says.

Scientists believe aura results when nerves in the brain are activated just before a migraine and become super “excited.”

 The society says aura may be characterized by:

  • Seeing lights that flash.
  • Seeing lights that appear in a zigzag pattern.
  • Developing blind spots.
  • Having distorted vision.
  • Sensing a tingling or “pins-and-needles” feeling in one arm or leg.

http://health.yahoo.com/news/healthday/healthtiprecognizinganaura.html

Therapy Via Teleconference?

Therapy Via Teleconference? Professor Studies Remote Psychotherapy

ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2010) — Obtaining therapy via teleconference is just as effective as face-to-face sessions, according to a new research by Stéphane Guay, a psychiatry professor at the Université de Montréal.

“Previous studies have shown that phobia therapy via teleconferencing was just as efficient as face to face contact,” says Dr. Guay, who is also director of the Trauma Studies Centre at the Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital’s Fernand-Seguin Research Centre. “We wanted to see if the process could also be used for post-traumatic stress treatment.”

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Fibromyalgia

Introduction

You hurt all over, and you frequently feel exhausted. Even after numerous tests, your doctor can’t find anything specifically wrong with you. If this sounds familiar, you may have fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain. Fibromyalgia is more common in women than in men. Previously, fibromyalgia was known by other names such as fibrositis, chronic muscle pain syndrome, psychogenic rheumatism and tension myalgias.

Although the intensity of your symptoms may vary, they’ll probably never disappear completely. It may be reassuring to know, however, that fibromyalgia isn’t progressive or life-threatening. Treatments and self-care steps can improve fibromyalgia symptoms and your general health.

More on this topic can be found at Mayo Clinic which will also describe the: signs & symptoms, causes, risk factors, when to seek medical advice etc.  Hope this helps anyone coping with this painful condition.

www.mayoclinic.com

Abused Children More Likely to Suffer Unexplained Abdominal Pain, Nausea or Vomiting

ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2010) — Children who have been abused psychologically, physically or sexually are more likely to suffer unexplained abdominal pain and nausea or vomiting than children who have not been abused, a study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers concludes.

“Therefore, when young patients complain about unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms, their doctors should ask questions to determine if they might have been abused,” said Miranda van Tilburg, Ph.D., lead author of the study, an assistant professor of gastroenterology and hepatology in the UNC School of Medicine and a member of UNC’s Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders.

Continue reading “Abused Children More Likely to Suffer Unexplained Abdominal Pain, Nausea or Vomiting”

Only The Beautiful Need Apply

(Medical News Today) – March 2010 – New study flags damaging effect of joining a sorority on body image and eating behaviors.

Undergraduate women who join a sorority* are more likely to judge their own bodies from an outsider’s perspective (known as self-objectification) and display higher levels of bulimic attitudes and behaviors than those who do not take part in the sorority’s recruitment process. Over time, those women who join the group also show higher levels of body shame. These findings¹, part of Ashley Marie Rolnik’s senior honors thesis² at Northwestern University in the US, are published online in Springer’s journal Sex Roles.

On college campuses across the US, thousands of women join sororities every year through a structured recruitment process – the sorority rush. Although these sisterhoods provide college women with opportunities for personal growth and enrichment, they have been criticized for their potential to lead their members to focus excessively and unhealthily on their appearance.

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MIGRAINE

A Primer on Migraine Headaches

ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 2010)Migraine headache affects many people and a number of different preventative strategies should be considered, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The article, a primer for physicians, outlines various treatments and approaches for migraine headaches.

Migraine headache is a common, disabling condition. When migraine headaches become frequent, therapy can be challenging. Preventative therapy for migraines remains one of the more difficult aspects, as while there are valid randomized controlled trials to aid decision making, no drug is completely effective, and most have side effects.

Medications used for migraine can be divided into two broad categories: symptomatic or acute medications to treat individual migraine attacks, or preventative medications which are used to reduce headache frequency. Symptomatic migraine therapy alone, although helpful for many patients, is not adequate treatment for all. Patients with frequent migraine attacks may still have pain despite treating symptoms, and when symptomatic medications are used too often, they can increase headache frequency and may lead to medication overuse headache.

Physicians need to educate patients about migraine triggers and lifestyle factors. Common headache triggers include caffeine withdrawal, alcohol, sunlight, menstruation and changes in barometric pressure. Lifestyle factors such as stress, erratic sleep and work schedules, skipping meals, and obesity are associated with increased migraine attacks.

Overuse of symptomatic headache medications is considered by headache specialists to make migraine therapy less effective, and stopping medication overuse is recommended to improve the chance of success when initiating physician prescribed therapy.

When preventative therapy is initiated, 1 of 3 outcomes can be anticipated. Patients may show improvement, with 50% or more a reduction in headache frequency which can be assessed using a headache diary. People may develop side effects such as nausea or weight gain, or the drug may be ineffective in some individuals.

An adequate trial of medication takes 8 to 12 weeks, and more than one medication may need to be tried. There is little evidence about how long successful migraine treatment should be continued but recent studies suggest that most patients relapse to some extent after stopping medication.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216140140.htm