December 12, 2012
How To Relieve Cluster Headaches
So I am one of the lucky .01% that suffers from a neurological disease called Cluster Headaches (aka suicide headaches). This is literally the most painful medical condition known to modern medicine. Many professionals have stated that performing an amputation on someone with no anesthetic or going through child labor would be less painful.
The cause of this disease is still unknown as there aren’t a lot of studies that go into this horrendous condition. The pain that occurs is located behind one of the eyes, never both, and the only way to describe this acute pain is if you could imagine a hot poker going through your eye. There are other uncomfortable situations that occur during a cluster headache episode, but none worse than that of what I just described.
Cluster headaches (CH) are often misdiagnosed as sinus issues, although anyone who has them will tell you that this is no sinus issue. People who suffer from CH, often called Cluster Heads, are either episodic or chronic. Episodic victims often go through a remission period sometimes lasting years, chronic sufferers, like myself, experience no remission periods often having these headaches two to three times a day. The headaches can last anywhere from a few minutes to hours on end. I once had one that lasted one week, so you can see why this topic is near and dear to my heart.
A few things to understand; CH are not migraines and should not be treated as one, a person who suffers from CH never gets just one so if you have only had one of these headaches it’s most likely something else, most suffers are males and the episodes start in their late 20s and depending on the individual, can last their whole life.
There is no cure for CH as of yet but there are some treatments. The most effective treatment is that of psilocybin which is found in psychedelic mushrooms. I strongly suggest looking into this method of treatment to anyone out there that suffers from CH, as it will give you the longest amount of time between the headaches, sometimes even months.
For those that suffer from this and are offended by this notion, which very few reported having issues trying this method; there are other ways to help a CH.
Pure oxygen is also a great remedy for CH, and some professionals recommend victims to take anti-histamines as we tend to have a higher amount of histamine in our bodies than those who don’t suffer from CH. Also, we tend to be low on magnesium, so taking a dosage of magnesium a day may help this SOB disease stay away (but it always comes back).
During an attack itself there are some things you can do that I have found useful. Try steaming hot water, from a shower or on a cloth, and place it on the eye that hurts, if that doesn’t work try icy cold water. Cluster Heads often say this helps relieve some of the pressure or pain, it just depends on the individual if cold or hot works on them.
Place your thumbs on the base of your skull on the top of your neck, apply a great amount of pressure, and release slowly. This will help ease the intensity of the pain through the duration of the episode. Distract yourself the best you can, as earlier stated, this is not a migraine so light and noise will not make this worse and any distraction is welcome. Studies have shown the best distraction is sex, woo-hoo, and that an orgasm can even help relieve some of the pain.
Do not give up hope, there are many treatments out there and I will be sharing them throughout the upcoming weeks. Cluster Headaches have lead to suicide, PTSD, depression, have cost people marriages, friendships, jobs; it’s horrific really. But do not give up hope and look for any comfort at all during a headache. The best advice I can give; is to not dread the next headache when you are in-between them, that is not living. Take advantage of the time you have with that freedom and just deal with the next one when it comes.
Image Credit: Photos.com