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HeadWay, Issue #050 -- Art: it's your turn!
September 21, 2007

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In this month's issue:

The last three secondary headaches...

Your votes and comments needed!

Say what?!  Premonitory

The 50th issue!

Can you believe it?  This is the 50th issue of HeadWay!  HeadWay came into being back in August 2003, with an article on Topamax and the "off labels", a recipe to "cool your brain", and an introduction to the trigeminal nerve.

Today thousands of subscribers read HeadWay, and offer their input into the website and future issues.

Because HeadWay back issues are available online, they continue to be popular.  Here are some of the most popular issues of the past:
  • Issue 005 - Neck pain, stiff neck and Acephalgic Migraine
  • Issue 027 - doctor troubles, the Migraine Quiz, and Norontin (Neurontin)
  • Issue 040 - butterbur and Osmophobia
  • Issue 043 - fish oil, Trileptal, and Interictal

  • You can tell me what to write about next - just leave your comments and suggestions in the HeadWay MailRoom - your password is nomoache.

    The last three secondary headaches...

    Today we're finishing our look at secondary headaches! There's one more category of headaches to cover, which we'll get to in next month's issue. Then we'll be done our survey of headache types from The International Classification of Headache Disorders, second edition (ICHD-II).

    Headache attributed to disorder of homoeostasis

    Homoeostasis is the natural, automatic regulation in your body of balance. These are physiological things like body temperature and chemical balance.

    This type of headache comes from a host of related disorders - hypoxia (problems with oxygen in the blood), altitude headaches and diving headaches, headaches from sleep apnoea, headache when on haemodialysis, headache due to eclampsia or pre-eclampsia, fasting headache, hypothyroidism headache, a headache during or after acute myocardial ischaemia, and others.

    Headache or facial pain attributed to disorder of cranium, neck, eyes, ears, nose, sinuses, teeth, mouth, or other facial or cranial structures

    The definition kind of says it all on this one!  This is actually a tricky category, because so many people suffer from these kinds of problems, and these problems do influence headache, and even migraine attacks.  Degeneration in the spine is almost universal as people grow older.  But is that really the root problem?

    For example, I personally had surgery in this department, but it didn't take away my symptoms - I have migraine, so I don't actually fit in this category.

    Headache attributed to psychiatric disorder

    This is a fairly rare type of headache, and no one is sure how often it exists.  There is some evidence that a psychiatric disorder may actually lead to headache, though you can really only be sure if the headache clears up after the disorder is dealt with.

    More often, the headache is a comorbid condition - meaning that there's a biological problem that is causing the disorder and the headache.  In other words, if someone is suffering from clinical depression, there's more of a chance they may suffer from headache, and vice versa.  It doesn't seem that one is causing the other - more likely there's a root cause of both.

    This category isn't talking about comorbid conditions, but headache as a result of disorders.  The two types are somatisation disorder (there's apparent medical cause for the pain, but an emotional, mental, or psychosocial problem is converted to a physical problem), and psychotic disorder (where the patient has lost contact with reality in some way.  This has been called delusional headache).

    Again, these are very rare and come with very severe emotional and mental illness.

    Your votes and comments needed!

    Due to the increasingly popular photography and art based on migraine, headaches and clusters, we now have a new page on the site, and a new way for you to be involved!  Visit our Migraine, headache, and art page, scroll down, and there are two things you can do:

  • Share your own photo or drawing - you can share a photo, drawing, or painting that can help the world understand.  Something that illustrates your symptoms, challenges, or even how you overcame those challenges.
  • Vote and leave comments - there are already a few pictures!  How many stars will you give them?  Do you have an opinion?

  • The links to the photos already online are at the very bottom of the page - scroll down and check them out!

    Say what?!  Premonitory

    People living with migraine sometimes experience a premonitory phase to the attack. That basically means that they have some "warning signs" that the main part of the migraine attack is coming (usually accompanied by headache). This could happen hours, even days before, and could include things like food cravings, depression, hyperactivity, and repetitive yawning. This stage of migraine is sometimes called the prodromal stage.
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