Cindy Santa Ana of Northern Virginia grew up like a lot of kids in the 70s, eating canned Campbell’s soups and Pop Tarts and school lunches that resembled fast food more than they did home-cooked meals. She also had an affinity for popsicles and candy, which all snowballed into a pattern of unhealthy eating. The only commitments that kept her slim through high school were going without soda, dancing and staying active with social engagements.
Despite any unhealthy habits she developed early on in life, Cindy always had an interest in health and fitness and even majored in physical education and health in college. As a result she followed the nutrition advice she learned in the process, following the USDA recommendation of 6-11 servings of carbohydrates per day.
Items like breads, pasta and cereal filled her daily diet, but all along she thought that was a healthy choice.
“At one point in college I had 11 boxes of cereal in my dorm room,” Cindy recalled. “I was also eating everything fat free because the fat-free mantra was on.”
Believing the basic assumption that fat was bad, everything she ate was either low fat or fat free, which meant it usually had ample amounts of added sugar and high fructose corn syrup. This pattern of eating led to a slow and steady weight gain throughout college – at least 10 pounds every year. And Cindy’s health only continued to decline.
At the age of 25 she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and the migraines she frequently experienced as a kid only grew worse. Then in 2005 and again in 2007 kids came along, which left Cindy heavier and more unhappy with her body than ever. (more…)
Tune in October 11 to The Doctors to see how your feelings of pain can be lessened not by medication, but by the foods you find in your fridge. Dr. Travis Stork promises that you can reduce pain, fight inflammation, and feel better without drugs. Could fighting chronic pain be a bite away?
First, The Doctors tell viewers about muffins created to fight the duration, frequency, and intensity of migraines, then they move on to a loaded baked potato with each layer strategically designed to fight PMS symptoms. Also on the menu are dill pickles that could ease arthritis and snacks to avoid because they may make migraines and earaches worse. (more…)
Last weekend, my husband and I went to Sonic and we swore to tell no one. Well, here I am three days later breaking our vow, writing an article about our shameful, secret stop. But I promise the story is relevant.
We both ordered a little ice cream and my husband, a strawberry slush. And about three seconds into his first big slurp, he slapped his hand against his head and called ‘brain freeze!’
It was kind of cute, but it’s also the pits when it happens to you. But have you ever wondered what causes that? Is it from simply sucking too fast? Is it strictly relevant to the temperature of the beverage or dessert? Or does it have more to do with personal sensitivities?
I don’t get brain freezes, only what I call ‘throat freezes.’ And I also don’t get headaches. But my husband on the other hand? Brain freezes and migraines. Is there a connection between the two? That’s what researchers are trying to find out.
According to an article in CNN, a group of researchers presented a study they’d conducted on the topic of the dreaded brain freeze at the Experimental Biology conference in San Diego this week. (more…)
I’m one of those people who never gets headaches. I know – how annoying.
But though this seems like a good thing – as it is – sometimes I wish I knew what a headache felt like. Then I could better sympathize with headache sufferers around me, like my mother and husband, who frequently endure painful migraines. Watching them agonize is almost as painful as having a headache myself.
While much is still unknown about the cause of headaches, progress is being made, especially in the way of why migraines affect three times more woman than men, and why one in four women has experienced a migraine.
In a recent article from NPR, Dr. Andrew Charles of the Headache Research and Treatment Program at UCLA, explained exactly what happens inside a person’s brain when they experience a headache. (more…)
Is your diet the cause of your killer migraines? Can changing what you eat really make a difference in the intensity and frequency of your headaches? Join DietsInReview.com’s Migraines & Diet Twitter chat (#DIRMigraine) on Monday, January 30 to find out how changing what you eat may – or may not – help ease migraine pain.
Our hosts are Harvard Medical School headache specialists Paul Rizzoli, MD and Elizabeth Loder, MD plus health writer Liz Neporent. As authors of the brand new book, Harvard Medical School’s The Migraine Solution, they’ll answer all of your questions about food triggers and migraine management.
DIR’s Migraine & Diet Twitter Chat
Where: Twitter.com/DietsInReview, @DietsInReview
When: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 8:00p EST / 7:00p CST
No RSVP is necessary! (more…)
It’s hard to imagine fearing an orange. Or a teaspoon of vinegar. Or a banana. But that’s exactly how many people feel. They’re convinced that eating certain foods will bring on a major whopper of a headache. Is this a legit concern?
“Although many people believe that some foods may trigger a migraine, the evidence remains a bit fuzzy,” says Elizabeth Loder, MD, MPH, the chief of the Division of Headache and Pain at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and who along with Paul Rizzoli MD wrote the just-released The Migraine Solution.
Loder points out that it’s especially challenging to track food triggers because different foods may affect different people in different ways. There’s also no consensus about how long it might take a dietary culprit to set off a headache so it’s difficult to pin down which foods are the real trouble makers.
For example, chocolate is one food in particular where the research is mixed. You may believe that chocolate sets off a migraine, but Loder notes that a craving for chocolate could be an early warning sign that a migraine is about to strike rather than its cause. “You have to be cautious and not jump to conclusions about how the two things are linked,” she points out. (more…)
The laundry list of ailments associated with obesity continue to grow. A few days ago I wrote about how obesity has health effects beyond the more famous (heart problems, diabetes, etc.), such as causing chronic low back pain. Add headaches to the list.
U.S. researchers say obesity may raise the risk of getting migraines. In a study, 37 percent of women with abdominal obesity (determined by waist circumference) reported experiencing migraines, compared to 29 percent of women who were not obese. For men, 20 percent with abdominal obesity reported migraines as opposed to 16 percent who who weren’t obese.
An important piece of the puzzle is still missing, however. (more…)