Migraine Headaches In Children: Types, Symptoms & Treatments

migraine headaches in children
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Migraine headaches are quite common. If fact, more than 3 million cases are reported each year in the United States. Migraines include a host of neurological symptoms. They tend to run in families and are often debilitating. Consequently, the symptoms often incapacitate sufferers, causing loss of work and time spent missing out on life.

For example, when I get a migraine I’m so out of it from the intense pain, nausea and blindness caused by the aura that literally all I can do is treat it and lie down until it subsides, which is usually hours later. And after that, I typically don’t feel like myself again until two or three days later. Can you relate?

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 10% of school-age children suffer from migraine headaches. It’s hard enough for adults who get migraines, but for children, it can be especially difficult and scary.

So what else do we know about these excruciating headaches? Specifically, there are several types of migraines.

7 Types Of Migraines

  • migraine with aura
  • migraine without headache (or typical aura without headache)
  • chronic migraine
  • migraine without aura
  • hemiplegic migraine (a type of migraine with aura)
  • migraine with brainstem aura (formerly basilar migraine)
  • retinal migraine (also called ocular or ophthalmic migraine)
migraine headaches in children
Artificial colors and flavors can trigger a migraine.

Next, there are many common migraine triggers.

Migraine Triggers

  • changes in sleep patterns, such as sleeping too much or too little
  • stress and anxiety
  • changes in caffeine consumption, such as drinking too much or too little
  • teeth grinding
  • changes in routines
  • red wine
  • cheese
  • changes in exercise routines, such as a lack of exercise or working out too intensely when you’re not used to it
  • hunger
  • oral contraceptives
  • artificial colors and flavorings in foods
  • environmental changes such as weather, loud noises, strong smells, flickering lights
  • computer screens
  • additives in food, such as aspartame and nitrates found in processed meats
  • dehydration from not drinking enough water

Related: 9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon Water

Migraine Headaches In Children

Now that we know the different types of migraines as well as migraine triggers, let’s take a look at the SlideShare presentation below to learn more about migraine headaches in children.

Presentation provided by Diamond Headache Clinic

The Takeaway

In short, as you can see from the slide presentation above there are many special considerations concerning children and migraines. I hope this post helped you better understand the types, symptoms and triggers of migraine headaches.

For more information about migraines you may want to read:

Do you or your child get migraines? What treatments (natural or medical) help?

Please share your comments in the comment section below. I love to hear from you and will respond to you as soon as possible!

The information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.

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5 Impressive Health Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth

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I recently purchased a big bag of organic, food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) online.

To the human eye, it looks like a fine powder, much like baking flour. But under a microscope, it resembles Chex cereal.

It looks and sounds kinda strange I’ll admit.

diatomaceous earth
diatomaceous earth, magnified (photo courtesy www.earthworkshealth.com)

But let’s dig a little deeper to learn why so many people are raving about diatomaceous earth and find out what it can do for you.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is made up of the fossilized remains of diatoms, an ancient type of algae. Over time, these microscopic shells accumulated in freshwater lakes and formed large silica deposits.

The deposits are ground into a fine, chalk-like powder which becomes the diatomaceous earth.

Under a microscope, you can see DE has sharp, course edges. And this makes it effective for a variety of uses.

Different Grades Of Diatomaceous Earth

  1. Food Grade–As the name implies, organic food grade DE is safe for humans and animals to eat. Due to its high silica and trace mineral content, it is often taken as a supplement, as well as a variety of other uses.
  2. Pool Grade–This purpose of this type of DE is only to be used as a filter aid for swimming pools. It can be toxic if inhaled and even cause cancer, so caution must be used when handling.
  3. Pest Control Grade–Pest control grade DE is used specifically to get rid of, you guessed it, pests! DE is a great natural insecticide. It’s especially effective for getting rid of fleas, ants, and bed bugs.

5 Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth

1. Healthy Skin And Nails

The silica in DE strengthens nails. (1)

Also, DE is a great facial exfoliator, ridding the skin’s surface of dead skin cells.

2. Healthy Teeth

Because DE is naturally abrasive, it’s used in many kinds of toothpaste and is effective at polishing teeth. Furthermore, it draws stains out of teeth, making them whiter. Plus, the silica in DE strengthens the enamel of our teeth. (2)

3. Gets Rid Of Parasites And Detox

One study in The Oxford Journal Of Poultry Science found DE to be an effective parasite cleanse. (3)

Estimates of the percentage of Americans infected by parasites vary, some as high as 80%. But, the bottom line is that you don’t have to visit a foreign country or drink “bad” water to get parasites. Many people report DE helping them get rid of parasites.

It’s also great at binding to bacteria, viruses and heavy metals which gives the body a good detoxification. And it makes sense because supplementing with DE daily gives your digestive tract a good scrub.

4. Improved Bone and Joint Health

Supplementing your diet with silicon has been proven to increase bone mineral density and proper joint formation. (4)

So, this makes DE perfect for anyone wanting to prevent osteoporosis and grow strong bones, joints and healthy ligaments.

5. Kills Insects Without Harmful Chemicals

DE is an excellent natural choice for eliminating bed bugs, fleas, dust mites and cockroaches. According to pctonline.com:

Both silica gel and diatomaceous earth kill insects by removing a portion of the razor-thin, waxy outer coating that helps them conserve moisture. As a result, they desiccate and die from dehydration.

Popular Uses For Diatomaceous Earth

  • toothpastes

    diatomaceous earth
    Diatomaceous earth is used in many products, including toothpaste.
  • water filters
  • products to kill fleas on pets
  • facial scrub
  • treatments to kill bedbugs
  • nutritional supplements
  • rodent-killing products
  • cleaning products
  • deodorant
  • stain remover
  • fridge deodorizer

How To Take Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Most people start by taking 1 teaspoon one time per day for several days in liquid or food. After your body adjusts you may want to gradually increase this amount up to 1 tablespoon.

It’s important to mention that the DE will not completely dissolve, so you’ll have to keep stirring it until you drink the entire glass of liquid down. Or you can incorporate it into a smoothie.

Just make sure to drink plenty of water.

I’ve found that it doesn’t have much flavor at all. And I can get it down easily in some Spicy V-8, lemon water or one of my protein smoothies.

Diatomaceous Earth Precautions

Please note that DE is not recommended for people who have Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis. (6)

Also, be careful not to inhale the powder into your lungs when measuring your dose.

For more great safety tips about diatomaceous earth check out the infographic below.

diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth infographic (courtesy www.peststrategies.com)

The Takeaway

As you can see, DE is used for many purposes, such as cleaning, deodorizing and killing unwanted bugs.

Consequently, taken internally, food grade diatomaceous earth has some amazing health benefits including healthier teeth and gums, skin and hair, getting rid of parasites and improved joint and bone health.

Have you tried DE? What’s your favorite use for diatomaceous earth? 

Please share your comments in the comment section below. I love to hear from you and will respond to you as soon as possible!

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How To Do Oil Pulling For Better Health

how to do oil pulling

What’s Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic Indian tradition of swishing or “pulling” oil in the mouth. It cleanses and pulls harmful toxins out of the body.

Did you know that bad bacteria can enter the bloodstream through our mouths and cause illness and disease?  Oil pulling kills Streptococcus mutans bacteria which cause tooth decay (1). It is affordable, and is also a great teeth whitener!

Oil Pulling Can Help If You Have Mercury Fillings

In recent years oil pulling has reemerged in the field of holistic health. In the midst of my battle with Lyme disease, two different doctors recommended I start oil pulling daily because of my struggle with detoxing and the fact that I had mercury fillings in my mouth. Mercury is highly toxic, and after hearing this suggestion a few times, I finally had them removed a couple of months ago.

If you’re interested in getting your fillings replaced with natural fillings like I did you can search online for a “holistic dentist”. Dr. Robert Sexauer is the dentist who was recommended to me and he did a great job! He’s a very kind and intelligent man who cares about his patient’s total health and is great to explain the process.  Because of what I’ve learned if our kids ever need to get a filling I will make sure the fillings are natural and not made of mercury.

Each day I do oil pulling for 20 minutes. This may sound like a long time, but once you get used to the process it’s not bad at all. I actually look forward to it because I know I’m doing something that can improve my health (and having a brighter smile isn’t bad either).

I like to use organic coconut oil, but you can also use sesame or olive oil. Many sources say to use one tablespoon, but I’ve found that taking a couple of teaspoons is plenty.

How To Do Oil Pulling:

  • Put 1 or 2 teaspoons (or up to 1 tablespoon) of oil in your mouth. If you use coconut oil, because it is solid at room temperature, you may need to chew it a bit at first to help to get it in a liquid form.
  • Swish the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. I set the timer on my phone so that I don’t have to keep checking the clock. This way I’m able to get other things done while I’m swishing. The swishing needs to be hard enough to pull the oil through your teeth, but not so hard that it causes you stress or jaw pain. Using a gentle swishing movement is perfect! While you’re swishing make sure not to gargle or swallow any of the oil! Doing so would put the harmful toxins back into your body.
  • Spit the oil out in the trash. Do not spit in the sink because this could cause your plumbing to become clogged (and that would not be good!).
  • Rinse your mouth out with water, swishing well. Repeat until oil is gone.
  • Brush your teeth well.
  • Look in the mirror and enjoy your clean, white smile!

how to do oil pulling

Oil pulling has many benefits and is a great practice to add to your healthy living regimen. I want to encourage you to give a try and see what you think. I’d love to from you about your experiences with oil pulling too!

You might like to check out these related articles about coconut oil and oil pulling:

Have you tried oil pulling?

Please let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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9 Impressive Health Benefits Of Drinking Kombucha Tea

health benefits of drinking kombucha

Have you ever tried kombucha tea? Next to drinking water with lemon kombucha is my new favorite drink!

The health benefits associated with drinking kombucha are quite impressive. Rich in probiotics it is highly beneficial for the digestive system. It also boosts the immune system, increases energy, kills cancer cells and helps prevent many diseases.

What Is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented sweet tea that has been around for 2,000 years. The Chinese refer to it as “The Immortal Health Elixir.” It is made by combining sugar and black or green tea. Most of the sugar is eaten up during the fermentation process resulting in an end product with very little sugar.

Unpasteurized, organic kombucha contains a large number of probiotics or healthy bacteria. It is also rich in a variety of antioxidants.

You may have heard it called kombucha mushroom, however, there are no mushrooms in kombucha. This is a fairly common misconception due to the SCOBY, or Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. The SCOBY is added to tea and sugar to transform the tea into a healthful probiotic drink.

The SCOBY resembles a flat disc. It floats at the top of the sweet tea container, sealing air out from the tea. You can get a SCOBY from someone who makes homemade kombucha, or you can also buy them online.

Kombucha tastes a little sweet with a bit of tang due to the acidity created by the fermentation process. There are many flavors available depending on the fruit and natural flavors added during a second fermentation. This second fermentation gives the tea a bubbly fizz, much like soda.

You can buy the tea at most health food stores and many supermarkets for about $3 to $4. You can also make it at home. I make a batch of homemade kombucha weekly. Personally, my favorite flavors are strawberry, mango and peach, or different combinations of these three fruits.

(Look for an upcoming article about how I make my homemade kombucha.)

Related: 7 Reasons To Take Probiotics

Kombucha Nutrition Facts

Many people have concerns about the sugar content, but as noted above, the end product has minimal sugar due to fermentation. Here is a nutritional breakdown of one 8-ounce serving of kombucha:

  • 30 calories
  • 7 grams carbohydrate
  • 2 grams sugar
  • 10 milligrams sodium
  • 20% DV of vitamins B2, B6, B12, thiamine and niacin
  • 25% DV of Folic Acid
  • 10 mg Glucuronic Acid
  • 25 mg Lactic Acid
  • 30 mg acetic acid
  • 100 mg EGCG

Health Benefits Of Drinking Kombucha

1. Boosts The Immune System

A large number of bacteria found in probiotic-rich kombucha line the digestive tract (1). An impressive 80% of our immune system is located in the gut, otherwise known as the second brain.

2. Can Kill Harmful Bacteria

Kombucha has powerful antibacterial properties against Candida yeasts and unhealthy bacteria which cause infection (2).

3. May Protect Against Cancer

Studies found that kombucha has properties, such as tea polyphenols, that block cancer cell growth and even cause cancer cell death (3).

4. May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

A 2012 study showed kombucha improves LDL and HDL cholesterol, both markers of heart disease (4 ). Also, people who drink green tea, found in kombucha made with green tea, lower their risk for heart disease up to 31% (5).

5. Rich In Antioxidants

Antioxidants combat free radicals which damage cells (6).

6. May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Research suggests kombucha may reduce diabetes symptoms, especially related to liver and kidney function (7).

7. Provides Detoxification

Kombucha is rich in Glucaric acid which helps the liver detox the body naturally (8).

8. Improves The Gut And Digestion

Not only does the high probiotic count improve gut health, but Kombucha was also shown to heal and prevent stomach ulcers (9).

9. May Improve Joint Health

Kombucha is rich in glucosamines which are compounds found to lubricate and protect the joints. More specifically, Glucosamine causes hyaluronic acid production which can reduce joint pain associated with arthritis (10).

health benefits of drinking kombucha

Kombucha Precautions

Most people who drink kombucha don’t have any issues and enjoy the health benefits mentioned above. Still, it is important to note some precautions.

  • Due to the acid in kombucha, it is best to drink it one sitting and swish with fresh water after drinking.
  • Pregnant or nursing moms are advised not to drink kombucha.
  • The fermentation process used to make kombucha produces alcohol in very small amounts (0.5% to 1.0% for store-bought brands, and slightly more in homemade kombucha). To put this in perspective this amount is comparable to the alcohol content of an over-ripe banana.
  • It contains small amounts of caffeine and sugar.
  • If you make homemade kombucha be extremely careful because when it is not made correctly the bacteria can get contaminated causing serious health problems. If you’re concerned you may want to stick with the store-bought variety. (Look for an upcoming post about how to safely make kombucha.)

Have you tried Kombucha? What did you think?

Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

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