Tag Archives: advice

Dealing with migraine headaches in children

As a doctor, I get a lot of health questions both in my practice and in my e-mail inbox. Today, I found one from a mom whose 8-year-old child suffers from migraines. How do you deal with an “adult” illness that affects a young child? Read on for my advice. I have an 8 year old son who is suffering from migraines. One time, his migraine was so intense, he cried all the way to the ER, after we tried unsuccessfully to treat it at home. I have been told that there are adult medications for migraines that can be used on children in a smaller dosage. However, according to my pediatrician, they have not been tested on children and because such a small percentage of children get migraines, they will probably never be tested on children. My son has a migraine at least once a week, sometimes more. Is it worth putting him on one of these medications, and if not, what can I do to ease the discomfort without ending up at the local emergency room? – Carla Carla, I understand your frustration. It is very hard to watch and deal with a young child grappling with migraine headaches. Because there are so many factors that could trigger a migraine, it can be difficult to pin down the exact root of the problem. The first thing that I would say is that I hope your child has been seen by board certified pediatric neurologist who has properly diagnosed him with migraines. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to get a proper medical history from children. It can be especially confusing for them to try to describe the location and timing of migraine headaches. However, remember there are many other conditions that could mimic a migraine in a child, such as sinusitis or dental problems, which can both result in head pain. If migraine is in fact the actual diagnosis, then the treatment becomes multi-faceted. Key components of treatment include making sure the child gets enough rest and sleep, as well as utilizing the over-the-counter medications that your physician recommends. Most likely, a physician will prescribe a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Prevention, of course, is even more effective than treatment. There usually tend to be two culprits in pediatric migraines. One is nitrates, which is found in many foods that kids eat such as packaged foods, processed lunch meats and hot dogs. The other culprit is monosodium glutamate, or MSG. MSG is a flavor enhancer that is found in baking mixtures, chips and gelatins, among other products. It is highly toxic for many people that suffer from migraines. So while working with your physician, it is key that you also focus on nutritional aspect of children’s health. In doing so, your child may suffer from fewer migraines and require less drugs, which, as you state in question, have not been clinically tested in children. Send me your health questions on Facebook and Twitter.  And remember to join me for my weekly health live chat every Wednesday from 2-3 pm ET.  source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/02/08/dealing-with-migraine-headaches-in-children/

8 healthy ways to cope with your emotions

Some days you’re so sleep deprived, stressed out and overwhelmed that you feel like you might just lose your cool. But instead of having your own meltdown, read on for eight simple and effective ways you can deal with your feelings and find your inner Zen. 1. Realize that emotions are natural. As a child, you probably learned that expressing emotions wasn’t acceptable behavior with messages like “big girls don’t cry,” or “I’ll give you something to cry about.”  Yet “emotions are just pure physiology in the body,” said Jude Bijou, a licensed marriage and family therapist, educator, and author of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.  And all feelings are rooted in just three emotions: anger, sadness and fear. Expressing them is perfectly normal, even healthy, Bijou said. 2. Have a Plan B. Tantrums, meltdowns and sibling fights are inevitable, but if you anticipate and plan ahead, you’ll be more equipped to handle tough situations, according to Nicole Knepper, a licensed clinical professional counselor and author of Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind. Some ideas: throw your tantruming tot into the bath and let him or her play while you take your own time out or take a trip to the park during the witching hour. 3. Adjust your expectations. If you’re trying to be the perfect mom and follow every piece of advice you hear, you’ll only set yourself up for frustration and disappointment. Instead, reevaluate and do what’s realistic for your family.  “Don’t think about how it should be; look at how it is,” Knepper said. 4. Check out. Stuck at home with the kids on a rainy day? Set the kids up with any activity and take a 20 minute break to read a magazine, take a bath or call a friend. “Any way that you find brings you comfort and support, take it,” Knepper said.   5. Laugh it off. According to a recent Oxford University study, a good belly laugh releases mood-boosting endorphins and can even help relieve pain. “It’s OK to see the fun in the dysfunction,” Knepper said, “because if you don’t, you will set yourself up for an absolute crack up.” 6. Release the energy. Counting to 10 or taking deep breaths are surprisingly ineffective ways to deal with emotions, but moving the energy out of the body in a physical way—much like a child does—is. “It breaks that grip that the emotions have on you,” Bijou said. So if you’re angry, push your hand against the door jam, stomp your feet on the floor, pound your fist into the mattress or just say, “Ughh!” If you’re feeling blue, have a good cry. For fear, instead of tightening up your body, shake and shiver it out. Are the kids around?  Go into another room or explain that you’re upset and that it will pass in a minute. 7. Learn acceptance. It’s hard to discipline your child when your emotions are running high, but if you accept his or her behavior in the moment, it will be much easier to communicate the way you want him or her to act.  “Rather [than saying] ‘She should be different,’ say, ‘That’s the way she is.’ Re-orient your thinking into acceptance rather than expectation,” Bijou said.   8. Get help. Twenty-eight percent of stay at home moms and 17 percent of working moms say they’re depressed, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. If you feel like you just can’t get a handle on your emotions, reach out to family or friends for support or seek professional help.Julie Revelant is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, health, food and women's issues and a mom. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/12/8-healthy-ways-to-cope-with-your-emotions/

Sunshine could benefit health and prolong life, study suggests

Researchers have shown that when our skin is exposed to the sun’s rays, a compound is released in our blood vessels that helps lower blood pressure. The findings suggest that exposure to sunlight improves health overall, because the benefits of reducing blood pressure far outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer. …