Headaches and migraines can be caused by all sorts of reasons. Everyday, people all over the world suffer from them. As a matter of fact, according to research by the Migraine Research Foundation, almost 14 million people experience chronic daily headaches.
Some other interesting facts about migraines include that almost 25% of U.S. households have someone that suffers from migraines. That's over 10% of the total population, which includes children, that are currently suffering. These figures equate to numbers totaling more than diabetes and asthma combined!
When you look at gender, you'll find that 18% of women and 6% of men in America suffer from migraines and the most common age groups include those between the ages of 25 and 55. There also seems to be some genetic patterns as migraines tend to run in families. Research has shown that there is a 40% greater risk of a child suffering from migraines if one parent has them. If both parents suffer from migraines then that risk more than doubles to 90%.
Migraines can also be greatly associated with substance abuse and withdrawal symptoms as well. Drugs like alcohol, cocaine, caffeine, marijuana, nicotine, and opiates can call cause headaches. If you abuse certain medications, even OTC ones used to treat headaches, the symptoms can become worse because of dependance. Then again, you will most certainly get headaches, possibly even migraines, when it comes to withdrawal.
Withdrawal means your body is dependent on a foreign substance and you will suffer physical and emotional problems without it. These substances include all the illicit drugs, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, food, sugar, and the list goes on and on. When you suddenly stop taking it, or immediately make a dramatic reduction in your usage, your body will notice and you will start to feel sick, kind of like a really bad flu. In some situations, way worse than the flu as some people have died from drug sickness.
Becoming drug sick can happen at different intervals depending on the substance, and how addicted the person is to the substance. For instance, with alcohol, the symptoms of withdrawal might begin as shortly as 4 to 12 hours after stopping. It could also start several days after, depending on your level of addiction. The symptoms can last a few days and have severe effects on your body. According to WebMD.com, alcohol withdrawal can "persist for weeks, and range from mild anxiety and shakiness to severe complications, such as seizures and delirium tremens (also called DTs). The death rate from DTs -- which are characterized by confusion, rapid heartbeat, and fever -- is estimated to range from 1% to 5%."
This is only part one, in a two part series on headaches, migraines, substance abuse and withdrawal. Part two will delve more into drug, or substance related headaches. You can read part two by clicking here.
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