Tag Archives: Headaches

Brain activity increases with cell phone use

A study recently published revealed that cell phone signals increased brain activity.  It was actually a very interesting study, in which participants held a cell phone to each ear, unaware if turned on or off.  After 50 minutes, brain activity was increased in the area of the brain in closest proximity to the antenna. 

So, do cell phones cause cancer?  It’s way to early to say that, in fact, and it’s not clear how increasing the brain’s activity would effect one’s health.  It may be, for instance, that increases in brain activity would be helpful in certain conditions in the right area of the brain.  It could also be that the increase in activity for sustained periods over many years, could have a detrimental effect.  It’s just too early to say.  We also don’t know how these signals may affect the brains of developing children and teens, who can expect to be exposed for prolonged periods over decades.

Many studies have looked for correlations between cell phone use and brain cancer, and long story short, the evidence in it’s entirety does not support that claim.  Of course, all studies have their problems, but despite looking, the connection has not been found in any convincing way.

This study is very interesting, that radio signals affect brain function, but what it means no one really knows.  There is also a small amount of evidence that using cell phones, especially within a couple of hours of bedtime, impairs sleep, and may cause headaches.  Hmmmm.

 So… what to do with your cell phone?  If you’re an average adult user, and don’t spend prolonged periods of time on the phone, there’s probably nothing to worry about.  If you use your phone more often, or for prolonged periods, you can wear a wired earpiece that transmits the sound with out adding any electromagnetic waves and keep the antenna further from your brain.  As for you kids?  Well, they don’t really need cell phones, do they?

Botox for Migraines!!!!

The FDA recently approved onabotulinum toxin A (more commonly known as “Botox”) for the treatment of chronic migraines.  Chronic migraines are defined as occurring on 15 days or more per month.  Headache specialists have been injecting onabotulinum toxin A for migraine prevention for many years.  It is a generally safe treatment, although safety and effectiveness should be discussed with your doctor.  One of the nice things about Botox injections for migraine prevention is that if it works, it usually has none of the potential side effects that some of the prescription medications have.  For people who have tried other medications and modalities, it is a great option to discuss with your doctor.

Injections are done in the office, and take the same time as a regular office visit.  No special preparation is needed, and afterwards you can go about your day as your normally would with little restrictions.

Botox can be used for several other neurological conditions as well, in addition to cosmetic uses.

Do Children Cause Headaches?

Children can cause headaches in so many ways, that so many parents can attest to.  The good news is, they grow up.  The bad news is, the bigger they get, the bigger the headaches.  That’s what my mom would say, anyway.  Headaches can be aggravated by pregnancy and childbirth, as well as changes throughout parenthood.

Lots of changes in headaches can occur during pregnancy.  Hormonal fluctuations during the pregnancy can tend to worsen headaches in the earlier stages of pregnancy, and tend to protect against headaches during mid and later stages of pregnancy.  Childbirth itself is a whirlwind of hormones, stress, sleep disruption and metabolic changes in the body that certainly can bring on a migraine, but often the migraine will wait a few weeks to rear it’s very ugly head.  Watch out, though, it could be a bad one!

 Newborns and infants disrupt sleep patterns, and if it’s a first, the stress of being a new parent doubles the danger.  During this time, many women breastfeed their babies and can’t take medications for headaches to worsen the problem.  There are methods that can help, though.  You will have to put yourself first, occasionally, taking time to meditate or relax, do some exercises to help ward off those headaches.

As kids grow up, the headaches they induce mostly stem from stress, but there can be some other situations that are less obvious.  Having a sick child not only stresses a parent, but often disrupts sleep, and can change many lifestyle habits that contribute to headaches such as dietary changes or changes in exercise habits.  Holidays  may bring lots of obvious stressors, but the family vacation?  To some, a smooth sail.  To many, not so much.  Take a vacation on your own, or with your adult partner, for a couple of days when you get back! 

How ’bout those college applications?  Exciting?  Yup.  Watching your child’s hopes and dreams expand and materialize?  Yup.  Pressure?  Yup.  You may think the pressure is all on the kid, but in my experience, the parent is feeling it, sometimes even more.  Does your child’s success reflect on you as a parent?  Well, if you’re feelin’ that a little too much, the headaches are likely to be a sign to back off and take time to reflect on the stuff that really matters. 

So, kids can cause headaches, for sure.  But always remember the joy and hope they bring to our lives.  There has to be some sacrifice, doesn’t there?