Article in the Daily Mail by Dr Andrew Dowson
First things first: a migraine is NOT just a headache. Attacks involve far more than the characteristic one-sided head pain – they can include hallucinations, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light or sound, and muscular problems.
And as the Christmas party season gets into swing, the 18 per cent of women and eight per cent of men who suffer migraine might find they are struck down more often: typical triggers include red wine, interrupted sleep patterns and everyday stress.
The array of treatment options can be bewildering, so here DR ANDREW DOWSON, of the East Kent Headache PCT Service, gives an expert guide to what is worth trying…
THE HERBAL ROUTE
HOW IT WORKS: A member of the sunflower family, feverfew contains a range of biochemicals – but the pain-easing effect is thought to be via one called parthenolides, which combats the widening of blood vessels that occurs in migraine.
PROOF: A UK survey of 270 people with migraines found that more than 70 per cent felt much better after taking an average of two to three fresh feverfew leaves daily. Several studies suggest taking dried leaf capsules of feverfew every day may reduce migraines in people who have chronic attacks.
EXPERT VERDICT: Dr Dowson also advises considering Vitamin B complex taken with riboflavin, magnesium and coenzyme Q10. ‘Taken regularly, they have been shown to work on half of patients to reduce their rate of attack by half,’ he says.
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