Headache Free Headache Center

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  • Headache Overview

    Chronic daily headache is a common problem reported by children and adults. The causes are multiple. Treatment with dugs can make the problem worse rather than better. The best approach is to locate and remove the cause.

    There are two common patterns of headache:

    1. Tension headaches
    2. Migraine headaches

    Tension headaches are associated with increased neck, scalp, and facial muscle tone and tenderness. The muscle tension and soreness is an effect of the underlying biochemical cause of the pain and not a cause of it. Many patients have mixed headache patterns, with "tension" headaches occurring more often than their sick, migraine headaches.

    It has been estimated that over 20% of the population consult physicians with headache as their primary symptom. Migraine headaches are particularly severe "sick headaches." 71% of 75 neurologists reported having at least one migraine headache at some point in their life. This rate is much higher than the 12% lifetime prevalence reported in the general population, suggesting that migraines are wrongly diagnosed in the general population; 65% of the neurologists reported tension-type headache in the preceding year, followed by migraine at 51%. When the authors surveyed medical students and family practice doctors, the prevalence of migraine in the past year did not exceed 32%. Conversely, medical students and family physicians were much more likely than neurologists to report sinus headache. Ninety-five percent of neurologists with migraines reported using OTC drugs. NSAIDs were the favored first choice agent for migraines. [i] One of the most common misdiagnoses appears to be sinus headache. Gladstone stated that: "Billions of dollars are spent in North America each year on over-the-counter (OTC) medications, sinus remedies, and alternative treatments for headaches, but for many, these treatments are ineffective or unsatisfactory. This is probably because most individuals don't know what type of headaches they have… There is very little education on headache in medical school, despite the fact that it is such a common condition."

    Almost everyone with a chronic, persistent headache fears a brain tumor. Physicians are generally alert to the patterns and physical signs associated with serious problems; they try to sort common, benign headaches from the more sinister variety. Fortunately, brain tumors are uncommon and headaches, even severe disabling ones, are common. To make a complicated problem simpler, we assume that the cause of two thirds of migraine headaches comes through the mouth.

    Among the chemical causes which are familiar to us as headache triggers, we must consider a range of substances which are native to foods, as well as additives, coloring agents, and contaminants. From an allergy point of view, any headache response is seen as part of a complex of untoward events following the food ingestion. Most of the allergic mechanisms which produce headache are not of the immediate type and, therefore, are not immediately obvious. When a headache is thought to be of the tension or migraine diet revision can be tried as the first and principal mode of therapy. A practical method of approaching the problem of diagnosing and treating a headache is to begin with a symptom clearing strategy. If the headache does not go away, further investigation of its cause should be undertaken. Headache is a withdrawal symptom for the first several days of any clearing effort, so that 14 days is an appropriate decision point. Regular ingestion of coffee produces tolerance not only to the drug effects of caffeine, but also to the toxic effects of the numerous other chemicals in coffee. The sudden cessation of regular coffee intake is followed by a typical withdrawal headache, which may be severe. The coffee drinker is caught in a vicious cycle, where continuing ingestion of coffee is necessary to prevent a withdrawal headache.

    In addition to ingested substances, there are also a variety of airborne or environmental causes that trigger headaches. Some people report that aromatic substances in the air, such as ceiling and paint solvents trigger headaches. Other inhaled toxins which typically produce headache include nitrites, formaldehyde cigarette smoke, carbon monoxide, propane and natural gas (methane). Formaldehyde evaporates from plywood, pressboard furniture, carpets, and is found in air contaminated by cigarette smoke. Patients who have typical airborne allergies react to pollens, dust and molds, often experience headaches. These problems are easier to diagnose because they are associated with nose and sinus congestion, sore throat, cough, and irritated eyes.

    [i] Anthony Brown. Migraines May Be More Common Than Previously Thought. Reporting from the 46th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in Vancouver, British Columbia, June 2004. The study was reported by J. Gladstone, from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    Analgesic Headaches

    Kossoff suggested that over 50% of chronic daily headache is thought to be secondary to overuse of analgesics such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, ergotamine, triptans, and caffeine. Withdrawal of the offending analgesic is a well-established treatment for medication-overuse headache.

    Better than drugs... why not remove the original food causes of headaches?

    • Headache Solution = Remove the Cause: The Alpha Nutrition Program is a standard method of diet revision that can resolve chronic headaches. The first phase of the program is an attempt to clear symptoms. This is home science. You start with the hypothesis that your food intake is causing or contributing to your illness and you do an experiment to find out if it is true. When you read Alpha Nutrition Program instructions, you will realize that there are three tracks through the program - fast, medium and slow. You need to decide the best track for you. To help you decide what strategy is best for you, we suggest rating the severity of your existing illness: You can retreat to Phase 1 foods and replace one or two meals per day with Alpha ENF. This is the medium track on Alpha Nutrition- rehearsal mode. If the problem is prolonged headaches, especially a mixed pattern with daily pain punctuated by attacks of migraine, recovery involves a period of reduced food intake or fasting. The most definitive experiment is to take a food holiday. We recommend Alpha ENF to replace food. The best way to begin is to order the Rescue Starter Pack that includes the Program book and a 500 gram jar of Alpha ENF to try.

      The Allergy Center is devoted to explaining a complicated subject. We offer rich resource online and encourage our readers to further pursue their interest by reading our books. Managing Food Allergy written by Stephen Gislason MD describes in detail this import topic with discussions of chronic ill-defined diseases, autoimmune diseases and gluten allergy. The book, Gluten Problems and Solutions describes the best know pattern of food allergy triggered by the proteins in cereal grains. The book, Air and Breathing discusses airborne and food allergy as causes of respiratory disease. Immunology Notes explains in more detail how the immune system works and how immune mediated diseases develop. Many Alpha Education books refer to the Alpha Nutrition Program, a standard method of diet revision originally designed to solve the problems of food allergy. Starter Packs bundle the Alpha Nutrition Program, other books and formulas to help you get started solving your medical problems.

      Order Alpha Education Books

      Alpha Education printed books, Alpha Nutrition formulas and Starter packs are ordered at Alpha Online. Click the Add to Cart buttons to order printed books. Physical shipments by the Post Office to all destinations in Canada and USA. Click the Download buttons to order eBooks. as PDF files for Download

      Print Books Read Topics Download
      Alpha Nutrition Program
      Aching and Fatigue
      Air and Breathing
      Alpha Cooking
      Alcohol Problems & Solutions
      Gluten Problems & Solutions
      Managing Diabetes 2
      Eating and Weight Management
      Skin in Health and Disease
      Feeding Children
      Human Brain in Health and Disease
      Managing Food Allergy
      Food & Digestive Disorders
      Food Choices
      Heart and Arterial Disease
      Immunology Notes
      Managing Inflammatory Arthritis
      Nutrition Notes
      Skin in Health and Disease

      Alpha Nutrition Formulas are gluten free and do not contain cows milk, soya, or egg ingredients. They do not contain food dyes or other additives. They are suitable for vegetarians. Alpha Nutrition ® is a registered trademark and a division of Environmed Research Inc., Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada. In business since 1984. Online since 1995.