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   Author  Topic: headaches and stroke risk  (Read 2790 times)
rbmb
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headaches and stroke risk
« on: Dec 14th, 2004, 1:56pm »
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Here's a link to an article about HAs and stroke risk. The subjects suffered from migraines, but since migraines and CHs are both vascular HAs, I presume it applies to both kinds of HAs.
        Rich
http://www.heartcenteronline.com/myheartdr/home/research-detail.cfm?reut ersid=4937[url][/url]
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floridian
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Re: headaches and stroke risk
« Reply #1 on: Dec 15th, 2004, 10:41am »
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I've been thinking about this off-and-on for a few weeks ... not sure what to conclude, but some thoughts:
 
1) the risk of stroke is approximately double for people with migraines, even higher with migraine with aura, if I remember correctly.  That is significantly higher, but still relatively low -  twice as many people w/ headaches die from stroke, but it is still relatively few.  But maybe worth doing something about it.  
 
2) A fair number of people with migraine, and a few people with clusters have reported a drop in headaches when taking blood thinners like warfarin.  Some have suggested that overcoagulation leads to micro-blood clots that spread to the brain and aggravate headaches and strokes.  Maybe.  Its reasonable and could be true, but isnt proven.  
 
3) Blood thinners (warfarin, coumadin, aspirin) all carry a degree of risk - internal bleeding, ulcers, etc.  If you are diagnosed with over-coagulation, it makes sense to take these drugs.  Should everyone with clusters and migraines?  I wouldn't go that far yet.  
 
4) There are lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of stroke (but not everyone will like these).  Exercise. Eat more fruits and veggies. Control high blood pressure. Less salt, more magnesium & potassium.   Quit smoking.  If you drink, do so in moderation and pretend you are French by favoring red wine.  
 
5) If you don't like the solutions in number 4 and want a pill, consider the following:
     A) a wide variety of medicines to control blood pressure are out there. One of them (Verapamil ) is also a decent preventive medicine for cluster headaches.  
     B) Grape Seed Extract and Pine Bark Extract can lower blood pressure, strengthen capillaries, and otherwise help the vascular system.  The active ingredients (proanthocyanidins) also have some anti-clotting activity but are mild and haven't been associated with excessive bleeding. Adding a daily dose of vitamin C seems to help as well.  
 
 
 
Obligatory references:  
 
Effects of vitamin C and grape-seed polyphenols on blood pressure in treated hypertensive individuals: results of a randomised double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2003;12 Suppl:S18.  Ward NC, Hodgson JM, Croft KD, Clarke MW, Burke V, Beilin LJ, Puddey IB.
 
    Anti-thrombotic effect of proanthocyanidin, a purified ingredient of grape seed.  Thromb Res. 2005;115(1-2):115-21.  Sano T, Oda E, Yamashita T, Naemura A, Ijiri Y, Yamakoshi J, Yamamoto J.
« Last Edit: Dec 15th, 2004, 10:43am by floridian » IP Logged
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Re: headaches and stroke risk
« Reply #2 on: Dec 15th, 2004, 10:55pm »
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my gp. has always suggested to me that a stroke is a possibility. thatwhy i was so concernerd about having blood come from my nose after some high level attacks.
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