Chronic daily headache is a common problem reported by children and adults. The causes are multiple. Treatment with dugs can make the problem worse rather than better. The best approach is to locate and remove the cause.
There are two common patterns of headache:
Migraine headaches are particularly severe "sick headaches."
Tension headaches are associated with increased neck, scalp, and facial muscle tone and tenderness. The muscle tension and soreness is an effect of the underlying biochemical cause of the pain and not a cause of it. Many patients have mixed headache patterns, with "tension" headaches occurring more often than their sick, migraine headaches.
Migraines can begin in children and affect females more than males. The average age of onset is 20 and most people have 15 to 20 years of headaches before they disappear. Estimates of migraine prevalence vary from a low of 18% in women and 6% of men in the US to 23% of women and 9% of men in Canada. The peak age for migraines is 35-45. It is likely that prevalence estimates are very low, are based on limited information and misdiagnosis of headache causes. New headaches starting after the age of 45 should not be considered migraine until all other causes have been ruled out. Some women have "premenstrual migraine" and only experience headaches days before and during their periods. In the past, fewer than half of migraine suffers sought help from their physicians. In Canada, it is estimated that 27 of 100 lost work days is due to migraine headaches at an annual cost of $500 million per year. (Family Practice Jan 12 1998;36)
71% of 75 neurologists reported having at least one migraine headache at some point in their life. This rate is much higher than the 12% lifetime prevalence reported in the general population, suggesting that migraines are being missed or wrongly diagnosed. One of the most common misdiagnoses appears to be sinus headache. Gladstone stated that: "Billions of dollars are spent in North America each year on over-the-counter (OTC) medications, sinus remedies, and alternative treatments for headaches, but for many, these treatments are ineffective or unsatisfactory. This is probably because most individuals don't know what type of headaches they have… There is very little education on headache in medical school, despite the fact that it is such a common condition." 65% of the neurologists reported tension-type headache in the preceding year, followed by migraine at 51%. When the authors surveyed medical students and family practice doctors, the prevalence of migraine in the past year did not exceed 32%. Conversely, medical students and family physicians were much more likely than neurologists to report sinus headache. Ninety-five percent of neurologists with migraines reported using OTC drugs. NSAIDs were the favored first choice agent for migraines. ( Anthony Brown. Migraines May Be More Common Than Previously Thought. Reporting from the 46th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in Vancouver, British Columbia, June 2004. The study was reported by J. Gladstone, from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.)
Kossoff suggested that over 50% of chronic daily headache is thought to be secondary to overuse of analgesics such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, ergotamine, triptans, and caffeine. Withdrawal of the offending analgesic is a well-established treatment for medication-overuse headache.
Better than drugs... why not remove the original food causes of headaches?
Headache Solution = Remove the Cause: The Alpha Nutrition Program is a standard method of diet revision that can resolve chronic headaches. The first phase of the program is an attempt to clear symptoms. This is home science. You start with the hypothesis that your food intake is causing or contributing to your illness and you do an experiment to find out if it is true. When you read Alpha Nutrition Program instructions, you will realize that there are three tracks through the program - fast, medium and slow. You need to decide the best track for you. To help you decide what strategy is best for you, we suggest rating the severity of your existing illness: You can retreat to Phase 1 foods and replace one or two meals per day with Alpha ENF. This is the medium track on Alpha Nutrition- rehearsal mode. If the problem is prolonged headaches, especially a mixed pattern with daily pain punctuated by attacks of migraine, recovery involves a period of reduced food intake or fasting. The most definitive experiment is to take a food holiday. We recommend Alpha ENF to replace food. The best way to begin is to order the Rescue Starter Pack that includes the Program book and a 500 gram jar of Alpha ENF to try.
The Allergy Center is devoted to explaining a complicated subject. We offer rich resource online and encourage our readers to further pursue their interest by reading our books. Managing Food Allergy written by Stephen Gislason MD describes in detail this import topic with discussions of chronic ill-defined diseases, autoimmune diseases and gluten allergy. The book, Gluten Problems and Solutions describes the best know pattern of food allergy triggered by the proteins in cereal grains. The book, Air and Breathing discusses airborne and food allergy as causes of respiratory disease. Immunology Notes explains in more detail how the immune system works and how immune mediated diseases develop. Many Alpha Education books refer to the Alpha Nutrition Program, a standard method of diet revision originally designed to solve the problems of food allergy. Starter Packs bundle the Alpha Nutrition Program, other books and formulas to help you get started solving your medical problems.
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