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HeadWay, Issue #021 -- Migraine's nasty Relatives
April 21, 2005

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In this month's issue:

Migraine's nasty relatives

the Spring Away From Headaches Contest!

Say what?!  Neurotoxins

HeadWay subscribers - remember that you can contact the author any time with ideas for topics or general feedback! Just visit the HeadWay Mailroom and enter your passoword - nomoache. This is a subscribers-only service.

Migraine's nasty relatives

Migraine by itself is bad enough.  But often it doesn't come visiting by itself - it comes with other disorders that can make life even more miserable.  Understanding the relationship migraine has with other diseases may help researchers pinpoint the underlying causes of migraine itself.  Often these other problems relate to chemicals and neurons in the body, just like migraine.

It's time to test yourself!  If you're a migraineur, are you dealing with any of migraine's nasty relatives?  Here are some of the most common:

Anxiety and depression
Don't get me wrong - most migraineurs aren't depressed.  It's a common misconception that all migraine sufferers are actually a little on edge emotionally.  However, there does seem to be a relationship - if you have clinical depression, you are more likely to have migraine also, for example.
Patients suffering from this disorder have tenderness and pain in various parts of the body.  It may be the hyperexcitability of the pain system as a whole that leads to the triggering of migraine.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
This painful condition of cramping, constipation and diarrhea has also been linked to migraine.  This is another issue that is little understood, although researchers do see a connection.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Do you ever feel restelss at night, especially in your legs or arms?  Do you feel like you just have to walk around?  It makes sleep difficult, to say the least.  RLS has been linked to migraine and fibromyalgia, and it can be worse if you're taking antidepressants for migraine.
Raynaud's Phenomenon
This is a disorder affecting the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears, and nose.  An attack can cause your hands to turn white, then blue or purple, and be very sensitive to cold.  Often migraine and Raynaud's Phenomenon go together.  As with migraine, more women than men are sufferers.

If you have migraine and one or more of the above, be sure to talk to your doctor so that your treatment will help you and not make one thing worse.  Maybe you can be a part of wiping these conditions off the map all together!

Special thanks to Drs Young and Silberstein for this list in their book Migraine and Other Headaches.

the Spring Away From Headaches Contest!

Those of you that read the announcement on the 14th of April at the Headache & Migraine News Blog have been waiting with great excitement - yes, it's the first ever contest at!  And finally, you can enter to win!

I'll make you visit the website to find out what you'll win, but I'll tell you this.  There will only be one winner, and the prize includes a new book about migraine (just released in March), and a special bonus.  The contest is open to everyone.  However, you don't just slip your name into the slot - you actually have to do some work for this!

There are 5 questions on the entry page that you must answer correctly to win.  4 of them are multiple choice.  The answers can all be found in past items in the Headache & Migraine News Blog, so you don't even have to search throughout the whole site.  Hey, it's not as hard as you thought is it?

The winner will be announced in the May 2005 issue of HeadWay.  So, now's your moment!

Enter the Spring Away From Headaches Contest!

Say what?!  Neurotoxins

Sounds a little scary, doesn't it?  Well, as soon as I give you the name of a neurotoxin, you'll know what I'm talking about - Botox.  A neurotoxin inhibits the function of neurons.  For example, Botox weakens muscles around the area of the injection, easing the wrinkles in your face.  When patients on Botox began to discover that they were getting fewer migraine attacks, researchers began to investigate Botox as a migraine treatment.  So neurotoxins are not considered to be all bad, even though, in general, they're poisonous.  Lead is another neurotoxin.

For more on the neurotoxin Botox, read this article.
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