Cluster Headache - More Severe Than Migraine

You do not hear about cluster headaches near as often as migraines but they can be much more severe. They occur in cycles and normally have a pattern to them.

They happen at about the same time each day and this cycle can keep going on for weeks or months.
Unlike migraines, cluster headaches are short (lasting fifteen minutes to three hours).

These headaches are severe enough that they can wake a person up from a deep sleep at precisely the same time every night, while the cycle lasts. For this reason, they have been given the nickname "alarm clock" headaches. Most of the time these headaches occur just after midnight and noon.Many times, they also occur at 9 pm.

Most people who suffer with cluster headaches get a break after the cycle ends. Others continue to get the headaches for a year or more. For these people the diagnosis is chronic cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches occur suddenly; with no warning at all. The pain is usually on one side of the head and is very sharp. These type of headaches can really affect the quality of life and cause a lot of anxiety. They have a tendency to make sleep extremely hard to come by. This causes fatigue and only adds to the problem. Eventually, depression can set in.

f you are dealing with cluster headaches then you should get into the doctor because tylenol will just not suffice. A physical exam and many questions about how severe the headaches will be necessary to give an accurate diagnosis. Prior to your doctors appointment you should keep a journal of when the headaches are occuring so that you can show this to him/her. To be on the safe side, the doctor might want to perform a CT scan or MRI to rule out other conditions.

Migraines are often caused by certain food, stress or changes in the hormones. This is not the case with cluster headaches. They can be triggered by tobacco and drinking alcohol. If you are in the middle of a cycle it is best that you stop drinking and smoking. Other suspected triggers are medicine, perfume, heat, chocolate and changes in sleep patterns.

There has been no cure found for cluster headaches. Dealing with the pain symptoms and decreasing the duration of them is the best that can be done. Herbs can also help you to deal with cluster headaches. It is commonly agreed on that the liver can be a cause of headaches.

Milk Thistle can help because of it's strong liver support qualities. Passiflora Incarnata can also help by soothing the nerves and lowering your anxiety during a cycle. Be sure to let your doctor know that you are supplementing with herbs, should you choose to do so.

By Dee Braun
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