16-million Americans suffer from migraine headaches so intense they can’t function at home or work. 75-percent are women. Researchers believe they finally understand the root of the migraine problem.
Three years ago, Patricia suffered from migraines so painful she couldn’t drive. For six months she was a prisoner in her bedroom, living in total darkness. “I would get tachycardia where my heart would start to race and I’d become nauseous, dizzy, and quite often faint with the pain”, she said.
Patricia’s condition baffled her doctors — then she went to Dr. Diamond. He charted her pain and found she had tension headaches and migraines made worse by her menstrual cycle. “70 percent of migraine sufferers are women and the fluctuation of the hormones acts as a trigger for the migraine headaches.”
Dr. Diamond says all migraines are triggered by body hormones that control growth, digestion, development and reproduction. When the hormones are jarred during menstruation, the body reacts by sending pain to the head. But the pain can be controlled.
“We work on diet, we work on relaxation, we use biofeedback and we use drugs…we use a multiple approach to the patient”, he said.
Biofeedback taught Patricia how to relax. Drugs stop the headaches when she feels them coming on. She avoids foods that trigger migraines — such as caffeine, chocolate, citrus, nuts, aged cheeses, smoked meats and the food additive, MSG. Patricia says she now has an occasional headache, but she knows how to control it.
90 percent of migraine patients can be successfully treated. Dr. Diamond says the way to treat a migraine is to properly identify what type of headache it is.