Keep a Headache Diary to Figure Out Your Headache Triggers

A headache diary can be valuable in helping you and your doctor diagnose and treat your headaches. You can use it to map out the characteristics of your headaches, including their frequency, duration, and intensity. A diary can also help identify possible triggers and related symptoms, as well as track the dosage and effectiveness of any medications you’re taking.

Source: Keeping a headache diary

This would be a good template to follow for any chronic symptom like stomach issues, migraines, or inflammation.

I’ve met people who complain about things like recurring nausea or dizziness, yet refuse to take steps to track events leading up to these symptoms. Yeah, it can be a pain sometimes, but that data can go a long way with regards to making lifestyle choices, and it can certainly help your physician determine a better treatment plan if comes to that.

Why We Get Headaches From Exercise

Headaches happen for myriad reasons: dehydration, eyestrain, drinking a wee bit much the previous night, and exercising. Yes, exercise too, and they’re just as annoying as any other headache. Here’s the difference between exercise headaches and regular head pains, and how you can best treat or avoid them.

Source: Why We Get Headaches From Exercise

Mild Concussion? Simple Blood Test Might Detect Injury Up to a Week After

A barely bruised brain can send out molecular SOS signals in the blood for days after an injury, researchers report this week in JAMA Neurology.

The finding suggests that new blood tests, already in development to detect those signals, may be able to identify even the mildest concussions well after a knock to the head.

Source: Mild concussion? Simple blood test can detect injury up to a week after

Concussions are a clinical diagnosis, and not determined by imaging such as a CT scan of the brain.  Most people who have a concussion have a normal CT. From reading the abstract, it appears that the CT was performed to rule out an intracranial lesion (such as a subdural hematoma) which is a related but different issue from a concussion. The utility of the blood test would be to detect evidence of a recent concussive event without the need to perform neurologic testing.

This is an interesting assessment of the news: http://www.healthnewsreview.org/review/new-blood-test-detect-concussions/

Warfarin/Coumadin = Concussion?

Being on warfarin/coumadin does not make us at more risk for concussions – it increases the risk for intracranial bleeding, most often [when it happens] is a subdural hematoma (SDH). Patients with even mild head injuries who are on warfarin/coumadin who come to the emergency department almost always receive a CT scan to check for a SDH. Some recommendations even say that they should all received a second CT in 12-24 hours to check for any delayed bleeding. But this is entirely different than a concussion.

There is a chance that this would help reduce the number of CTs though. The article indicates that the blood tests are elevated in people with SDH as well as other intracranial bleeding types. Therefore it may be possible to derive a guideline that if a patient on warfarin/coumadin with a head injury has a negative blood test, then a scan wouldn’t be necessary. That would definitely be helpful.

Pedialyte May Help Your Hangover, But It Won’t “Cure” It

It was the early morning hours of July 5, and after a day of drinking and greasy food, Patricia Ochoa was sufficiently hungover. She had all of the classic symptoms: dry mouth, headache, exhaustion, and an upset stomach. Then, her brother appeared at her bedroom door like the hangover tooth fairy with a bottle of grape Pedialyte. She tore off the “kid-approved taste” sticker on the cap and started gulping it down.

Yes, Ochoa was using an over-the-counter remedy intended for dehydrated children (think: bad bouts of diarrhea) as a hangover cure. And the crazy thing is it worked. After drinking half the bottle, her headache and nausea disappeared.

Source: Is Pedialyte Truly the Miracle Hangover Cure People Say It Is?

Kids these days just don’t take enough responsibility for dragging themselves to the store and buying their own medications when they’re sick! When I was their age, I crawled to the grocery store! Uphill! In the snow!

Adults “make up a third of the market” or “are a third of the buyers” or constitute “a third of the sales”. So, perhaps the youth of today really are spending their allowance on their own diarrhea treatment? 😉

What to Do If You Think You Have a Sports-Related Concussion

Concussions aren’t just for NFL players. They can happen while playing in a weekend sports league or even from an unlucky slip and fall. If you know how to spot a concussion and where to find good treatment, you can avoid the risk of further injury.

Source: What to Do If You Think You Have a Sports-Related Concussion

I’d check the recovery plan with a actual medical professionals.  There’s a big risk that sleeping or loosing consciousness can lead to death from a concussion, so it’s best to be monitored by someone for the first 24 hours or so.

I remember first seeing the signs of a concussion in a high school rugby player.  They kept repeating the same questions, over and over, while still participating in the game.  Only the coach seemed to know what was going on, called the player off and as I understand – the guy never played rugby ever again.  I don’t know that the referee knew what was happening.

“Cycle” Your Caffeine Intake to Reduce Your Tolerance

Caffeine has a wide variety of effects in the body. Mechanistically, some of the effects are direct (such as Caffeine acting as an Adenosine Antagonist, the molecule literally blocks the receptor) and others are indirect (any effects on dopamine are ‘downstream’ of the reaction with adenosine, like the latter aspects of a Domino cascade). When tolerance develops to caffeine

Source: Do I need to cycle caffeine?

If you have “brutal” headaches when you don’t get your regular dose of caffeine, that’s when you need to cycle it down.

Sleepwalkers Have Painful Lives by Day, Painless Misadventures by Night

Many sleepwalkers suffer an enigmatic existence. Their waking hours are plagued by pain that can dull their physical activity levels. Yet their lively nocturnal adventures can cause pain-free injury.

That’s the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Sleep by a group of French researchers. The team studied 100 patients who sleepwalk at least once a year but have no other sleep disorders. Compared to 100 non-sleepwalking participants, the sleepwalkers were more likely to suffer headaches, migraines, and chronic pain, as well as symptoms of depression and insomnia. But, of the 47 participants that reported being injured at one point during a sleep-like stupor, nearly 80 percent said the trauma was painless.

Source: Sleepwalkers have painful lives by day, painless misadventures by night

These results make me wonder if the partial arousal state associated with sleepwalking can be picked up by any wearable sleep monitors, or even any of the fitness trackers with sleep tracking functionality. If so, it would be then be theoretically possible to trigger a mitigation response of some sort, whether that be by waking up the person or some other mechanism that could protect the person from harmful actions.

How Altitude Sickness Affects Your Body And How You Can Beat It

Altitude sickness can make you dizzy, nauseous, and, in extreme cases, can even kill you. All of us at IndefinitelyWild have experienced it. Here’s what we’ve learned and how you can minimize its symptoms.

Source: How Altitude Sickness Affects Your Body And How You Can Beat It

Definitely something I wanted to learn about, but give the risk factors for high altitude edema (pulmonary and cerebral) – I don’t think anyone’s doctor will condone such activity for those of us on blood thinners.  Stick to GoPro footage 😉

India’s Air Pollution Is So Bad It’s Causing Lung Damage in Kids

We gradually learned that Delhi’s true menace came from its air, water, food and flies. These perils sicken, disable and kill millions in India annually, making for one of the worst public health disasters in the world. Delhi, we discovered, is quietly suffering from a dire pediatric respiratory crisis, with a recent study showing that nearly half of the city’s 4.4 million schoolchildren have irreversible lung damage from the poisonous air.

Source: Holding Your Breath in India

The horrors of Charles Dickens didn’t go away, they just moved to other countries.  Inhaling exhaust will change the expression of your DNA