man suffering from migraines.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Migraines

Migraines can be debilitating to those who get them. They can range in symptoms from throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, nausea, vomiting, to extreme sensitivity to sound and light. Attacks can last for hours, even days, keeping you from work or regular activities. Some people get warning symptoms before the headache begins, such as blind spots, tingling, or flashes of light. Read below about 5 things you may not know about migraines.

1. Migraine causes are undetermined.

Science does not yet know what causes migraines although environmental factors and genetics can have influences. Changes to the brainstem and how it interacts with the trigeminal nerve may contribute to them. Brain chemicals such as serotonin may also contribute to migraines. Research is ongoing as to how these parts of the brain play a part in migraine headaches.

2. Migraine triggers can set off a headache.

There are many common triggers of migraine headaches. Managing and being aware of these triggers is one way to reduce migraines. These triggers include hormonal changes especially in women, foods and food additives, alcohol and caffeine, stress and sensory stimuli, sleep patterns, physical exertion, weather or barometric fluctuations, and some medications.

3. Managing migraines can cause additional issues.

Managing migraines reduces pain and other symptoms, but can also cause additional problems. Some pain relievers can cause abdominal upset including ulcers. Overuse of medications can cause addiction or overuse symptoms. Some migraine medications can cause serotonin syndrome, which can affect cognition, behavior, muscle control, and even may result in death.

4. Lifestyle changes can prevent migraines.

Some lifestyle changes have been proven to help reduce or eliminate migraines in patients including:

  • Learn to cope strategy
  • Consistent daily schedule
  • Regular exercise
  • Reducing estrogen
  • Using transcutaneous supraorbital nerve stimulation device (t-SNS)

5. Migraine symptoms may mimic other disease symptoms.

Migraine symptoms often mimic symptoms of other conditions. These symptoms include:

  • Vision loss
  • Pins and needles in legs or arms
  • Weakness in face or part of body
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Hearing sounds or music
  • Jerking uncontrollably

Since getting a migraine is a serious condition, it is important to seek a physician trained in migraine care such as a vascular doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Migraines can last from four to 72 hours on average.

If you suffer from frequent migraines, the Georgia Vascular Institute is here to help. GVI uses a SphenoCath device to provide a procedure called a sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) block. This quick, simple, and comfortable in-office procedure provides immediate relief to migraine and headache pain through administering anesthetics to the nasal cavity. This procedure blocks the pain without needles, cotton swabs, or harsh medicines. With low risks and high success rates, it is safe for adults and children alike.

The professionals at GVI are here to halt the pain and disruptions to everyday life that migraines cause. Reach out to our migraine specialists today by scheduling an appointment. We have several convenient locations in the metro Atlanta area including Atlanta, Forest Park, Stockbridge, and Jonesboro.

person wondering if they have a foot or leg ulcer

What to Do When You Have a Foot or Leg Ulcer

Ulcers are open sores or wounds on your feet or legs that won’t heal or keep coming back after healing. They are painful and can keep you from physical activity. They are also a place that can become easily infected. Learn what you can do when you have a foot or leg ulcer below.

Causes

A foot or leg ulcer can be caused by many medical issues including:

  • Insufficient or poor circulation in the legs or feet
  • Venous insufficiency (congestion in leg veins caused by valve failure)
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling in the legs and feet
  • Inflammatory diseases such as lupus
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • History of smoking (even if you quit)
  • Lying in one position too long (such as bedridden patients)
  • Genetics
  • Malignant tumor
  • Infection
  • Medications

Prevention and Treatment of a Foot or Leg Ulcer

Prevention

To keep ulcers from forming, you’ll need to adopt a healthy lifestyle by reducing the risk factors. Start by:

  • Managing your blood pressure
  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Limiting salt
  • Managing diabetes
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Prevention and treatment go hand-in-hand. To prevent further ulcers, begin by taking care of your legs and feet regularly. People with diabetes must check their own feet daily and have their physicians check them periodically. Sores that are discovered early are easier to manage. Wash your feet and legs daily with mild soap and lukewarm water. If you have an ulcer, washing will help any debris loosen and drainage clear. Gently dry skin thoroughly.

Examine your legs and feet daily thoroughly including between toes. Look for any cuts or cracks, ingrown toenails, corns, or calluses. Use a lanolin-based cream to moisturize your skin in the morning and before bed. Don’t apply lotion on open sores or cuts. Cut toenails regularly after bathing when they are softer. Cut straight across and smooth with emery board or file.

Treatment

Treatment will relieve pain, and help sores heal faster. Your doctor will prescribe individualized treatment depending on the causes and types of ulcers you have. Treatments can include any or all of the following:

  • Antibiotics for infection
  • Medications to prevent blood clots
  • Topical care for ulcers
  • Compression stockings (to increase circulation)
  • Orthotics or prosthetics

For more information on a foot or leg ulcer, make an appointment with Georgia Vascular Institute today by calling 770-506-4007. We have several convenient locations in the metro Atlanta area including Atlanta, Decatur, Forest Park, Stockbridge, and Jonesboro.