The Dangers of MSG and Migraines

Those that suffer from chronic migraines will tell you that it is not just a headache. No, a migraine feels like a headache magnified a 1,000 times making you feel dizzy, nauseous, sensitive to light and sound. For some, even getting out of the house is just not possible. Unfortunately, doctors and scientists are still in the relative dark when it comes to understanding the cause and treatment of migraine sufferers. There are medications and therapies but there is still no way to perceive if a migraine is headed your way and once it arrives, most just have to wait until it leaves. There has been one ray of light for migraine sufferers found in dietary changes, recently: the removal of MSG from the diet.

MSG or monosodium glutamate is a compound that is found in a number of your favorite foods. In its most basic form, MSG is a high concentration of salt. Unfortunately, a majority of processed foods use MSG as a flavoring compound. The problem is that because of it ubiquity of MSG, it is extremely difficult to rid your diet of MSG and furthermore, the substance causes a number of health complications due to excess consumption. The body already produces the amino acid glutamic acid and with the addition of processed MSG, the body often reacts negatively to the excess.

What used to be known as “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” the medical community now recognizes the feeling of lethargy and head discomfort as symptomatic of ingestion of MSG. Too much salt in the diet can have a number of other unpleasant effects on the body including high blood pressure, bloating, and dehydration. MSG is an excitatory neurotransmitter that activates the flavor receptors in the brain artificially and has been shown to impair or damage other receptors in the brain which may explain it as a catalyst for migraines.

The other distinct problem with MSG and your health is the marketing aspect of the additive. Clever marketing has made it so that MSG has 40 other misnomers such as: sodium glutamate, magnesium glutamate, textured protein, whey protein isolate and soy sauce extract, just to name a few. So if you want to rid your diet of MSG-laden products be sure to read those labels very carefully.

If you have made the medicinal and dietary changes in the effort to ease your migraines and you still experience debilitating effects, perhaps having an MRA or MRI of the brain or a CT of the sinuses could be helpful in order to determine if there are any other causes at play. MRIs are extremely sensitive to the blood flow and nervous structure of the brain and could be a helpful diagnostic tool for your physician. MRIs are painless, non-invasive and can provide detailed images of your internal structures for you and your doctor’s examination.

If you are having trouble with your migraine attacks and want to investigate the reasons, speak to a medical professional about having tests done so that you can know if there is a cure for your head trouble. To schedule a test at Doctors Imaging, call 504-883-3555.

MRIs and Migraines: All You Need to Know

Headaches can happen to any person at any age for a number of reasons: stress, hunger, depression, or lack of sleep, just to name a few. While headaches may be irritating and bothersome, for some, a simple headache can transform into something much more painful. A migraine is a more debilitating form of head pain. Migraines are a form of severe headache that can present quickly and stay active for an unpredictable amount of time.

Symptoms of migraines can vary among patients, but the most common complaints include a throbbing or pulsing pain, typically localized to one side of the brain. Other symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and a strong sensitivity to light and sound. Some migraine sufferers also experience what is known as “auras.” Auras are sensory hallucinations such as zig-zags, flashing lights, or dark spots. Auras can also present as a strange taste in the mouth, a noticeable smell, or ringing in the ears. These symptoms can range in severity so patients have very little stability or consistency in the ability to deal with the onset of a migraine.

There are many different kinds of migraines, all with varying descriptions and effects. Women are also three times more likely than men to suffer from migraine headaches. Because of the strong sensory symptoms of migraines and their specific location of pain, many specialists theorize that migraines are a disorder found in the central nervous system. There is no definitive cause of migraines but there are a number of theories such as low serotonin levels, magnesium deficiency, nitric oxide release causing the blood vessels to swell, fluctuating hormones and inflammation of the facial nerves.

There are a number of medications and therapies available to those that suffer from migraine headaches, but without knowing the actual cause, many patients must bear with the painful symptoms. If you suffer from severe migraines that interfere with your work, daily activities and relationships, then you should consider having a medical imaging procedure to see if there is any help that can be provided.

MRIs would be the most beneficial medical imaging procedure to have performed if you suffer from frequent and unrelenting migraine headaches. MRIs or magnetic resonance imaging is a procedure that uses magnetized equipment and computer technology to produce detailed images of the body’s internal structures. MRIs are most sensitive to the brain’s functions and the best technique to view the blood vessels of the face and brain because they can view through structures like organs and bone. For deeper examination of the blood vessels, you could speak to your doctor about ordering a MR angiography at the same time. MRIs are painless and non-invasive, so if you are experiencing a migraine attack, the procedure should not irritate you.

If you suffer from the pain and incapacitation of migraine headaches, speak to your physician about your options. An MRI could be a beneficial procedure to identify a possible cause of your migraines and hopefully provide a road to ease and comfort.

Getting tested is the only way to know for sure. If you’re looking for an MRI Exam in Metairie, Louisiana, then go with the experts at Doctors Imaging. You can book an appointment online, or via phone by calling 504-883-8111.