Life is peaceful, you’re having a good day then suddenly you feel a migraine coming on. Pain, pain and more pain! If you’ve ever had them before, you can empathize as to how unpleasant they can truly be.
Approximately 24 million American suffer from migraine headaches. They are more common in women than in men and can occur at any age, although more commonly between ages 10 to 40.
Unfortunately, the cause is unknown.
Migraines are very painful headaches that last between 4 to 72 hours. These headaches are throbbing, moderate to severe in intensity and are usually located on one side of the head. Once a migraine has arrived, patients often experience nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light, sound or smells.
People who experience migraines often talk about the prodrome—or warning—symptoms before the migraine kicks in. Prodrome symptoms may include depression, irritability, restlessness, loss of appetite and a characteristic “aura” such as flashing lights, color distortions or a localized area of blindness.
There are a number of methods to help with migraine relief. In the case of an acute migraine, intravenous magnesium and acupuncture are very effective in relieving migraine symptoms. In terms of prevention, the herb fever few has had some success in reducing the severity, duration and frequency of migraine headaches as well as treatment with intravenous magnesium. Recent studies now show that coenzyme Q10 can also help prevent migraine occurrences.
CoQ10 and migraines
A study was conducted at Jefferson Headache Center, Thomas Jefferson University on the effectiveness of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as a preventive treatment for migraine headaches. Thirty-two patients with a history of episodic migraine with or without aura were treated with CoQ10 at a dose of 150mg per day. Of
the patients treated with CoQ10, 2/3 experienced a greater than 50% reduction in number of days with migraine headache.
After three months of treatment, the number of days with migraines per month went from 7.34 to 2.95 per month and the frequency of attacks was reduced by 55.3%. The researchers found that there were no side-effects noted with CoQ10. They concluded that CoQ10 was a safe and effective therapy for preventing migraine headaches.
Another study found similar results. Taking CoQ-10 orally reduced the frequency of migraine attacks by about a third in chronic migraine sufferers.
Dr. Jean-Jacques Dugoua, or Dr. JJ, as he is affectionately known, is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND), the Director of the Liberty Clinic and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. He is also a researcher at Sick Kids Hospital (Toronto) and a published author.
You can read more of his work at www.askdrjj.com.
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