Knowledge Base

How to evaluate health-related research

Did you ever hear about the possibility that some childhood vaccines might cause autism? This claim was based on a study that was published in The Lancet – a reliable British medical journal – in 1998. Unfortunately, it took until 2010 before The Lancet finally removed the study from the medical literature, saying that the author’s results were based… Read more »

Alcohol and chronic pain

People have been using alcohol to help cope with chronic pain for many years. Many people also may use alcohol as a way to manage stress, and chronic pain often can be a significant stressor. Research studies have found that as many as 28% of people with chronic pain use alcohol as a pain management… Read more »

‘Off-label’ use of medication

What is a medication label? Before a new medication can be sold on the market, the law requires that the manufacturer prove to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the medication is an effective and safe treatment for a particular medical condition. This is done through months, and sometimes years, of costly scientific research,… Read more »

Migraine treatment and pregnancy

Women with chronic migraine headaches often find that their symptoms and headache patterns change during pregnancy. Most women who suffer from migraines experience changes in their headaches depending on the hormone changes that occur with their monthly menstrual cycle. This can continue until menopause. Estrogen is one of the hormones responsible for these changes. Since… Read more »

Migraines at menopause

Hormones and migraines Changes in hormone levels occur throughout the course of a woman’s life, associated with the onset of menstruation, oral contraceptive use, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. These hormone level changes frequently are accompanied by changes in the patterns and frequency of migraines. The sexual hormones, primarily estrogen and progesterone, often play a key… Read more »

Clinical trials: What you need to know

A clinical trial is a research study that is designed to answer health questions. The research study is performed on human volunteers. This article explains some basics of clinical trials and gives you the pros and cons of participating. There are several types of clinical trials Treatment trials, test possible new treatments, including medications Prevention… Read more »

Hypoglycemia and migraines

Very often people who get frequent headaches are labeled as having migraines. Sometimes they are migraines, and sometimes, they are not. One common cause of frequent headaches is hypoglycemia. Has this ever happened to you? You’ve had a busy day, running around trying to complete many chores and keep important appointments, and it is now… Read more »

Holistic migraine treatment

If you are getting frustrated because your migraine headaches have not responded to treatment, you are not alone. Half of all people with migraines decide to stop seeking care for their headaches partly because they are dissatisfied with the treatment. But before you go that route and decide to simply live with the pain, consider… Read more »

When you need a specialist

When is a headache not “just a headache”? When is a headache more than a minor annoyance you can handle yourself, without consulting with your primary health care provider? And if you do ask for help, and the treatments suggested don’t work, when should you consider seeing a headache specialist? Headaches can be the sign… Read more »

Transformed migraines

Sometimes people who experience occasional migraine headaches begin to have them more frequently, perhaps as often as every single day. While this is not common, chronic migraine headaches are very distressing, and even can be disabling, because they are so persistent. These chronic, throbbing, vascular headaches are also known as “transformed” migraines because they are… Read more »