Common Myths about Headaches - On Caffeine, Chocolate, Botox, and Migraines

June is Migraine awareness month in the US. Do you know someone who suffers from migraines or bad headaches? Read on for some useful facts, courtesy of Neurology specialist Dr. Emily Rubenstein Engel; who shared these facts during a talk put on by the National Headache Foundation. 

  • On Chocolate: It turns out that when we start to get a headache, our bodies try to feel better by craving Seratonin boosting foods like chocolate. Chocolate doesn't actually cause the headache, people just reported having had chocolate before the headache, and assumed that the chocolate was the culprit
  • On Caffeine: It seems that caffeine in moderate amounts is actually good for you, as it is associated with reduced risks of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's; but if you have migraines, Dr Engel says that you need to have the same amount of coffee, at the same time, every day.
  • On Botox: It turns out that botox was originally developed to treat conditions of the eyes. Scientists then noticed that it reduces wrinkles. Women who were being treated for botox began to report that their headaches were gone, and the FDA eventually approved botox for certain types of chronic headaches in 2010. Did you know this?

  • A number of other changes are known to cause headaches:
    • Changes in stress: Not just an increase, but even a sudden drop in stress.  These are called "let down" migraines.
    • Changes in hormones: These are the changes that happen around period, ovulation, or menopause
    • Changes in sleep and lack of sleep: Not just lack of sleep, but even pattern changes. In other words, it's best to keep every day's living and sleeping routine about the same. Don't shoot the messenger, that's what the doctor said :)
    • Changes in weather: Yes, it's real, and we might as well acknowledge it.
    • Skipping meals: Eat a healthy diet and don't go hungry

See the full talk below for more triggers and myths. If you know someone who has this problem, please encourage them to see a doctor and discuss preventative medicine.

That's all for today. Be well, and remember... You are Incomparable.

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