Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Headaches in the news

My interest is usually piqued whenever I see something in the Health News section of the news wires about headaches.

Stopping overused pain drugs may improve migraine

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients with transformed migraine, also known as chronic daily headache, may revert back to the more tolerable, common type if they stop taking overused pain medications, Korean researchers report. Exercise and taking medications to prevent, rather than treat, headaches may also help.

Dr. Chin-Sang Chung and colleagues at the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul followed 136 patients diagnosed with transformed migraine for a year. Each patient had been experiencing more than 15 headaches per month for over 6 months when the study began.

The researchers' strategy for patients with transformed migraine consists of abrupt discontinuation of overused pain medications and other drugs, according to the report in the journal Headache. The patients are also advised to use preventive medication, to participate in regular exercise and stop the use of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

Chung's team reports that 70 percent of patients were relieved of their chronic headaches and reverted back to common migraines, while the remainder of patients failed to improve.

As noted, stopping overused pain drugs, using preventive drugs, and regular exercise were associated with reversion to common migraines. By contrast, smoking cessation and avoiding caffeine and alcohol did not seem to help.

The 10 patients who did not stop taking their overused pain drugs failed to revert to common migraines, the report indicates.

SOURCE: Headache, August 2006.

Oh, gee whiz... I can go back to enjoying a little caffeine again? I swear, it's enough to make you just eat and drink whatever you want and tell the medical establishment to leave you alone, because they tell you one thing and then turn right around and say something different.

That being said, I'm not likely to get in the way of this kind of research because it's bound to be more complicated than just a cuppa joe or a pack o' Luckys... crippling headaches just have to be a symptom of something more, and I'm hoping they figure it out soon.

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