Posts Tagged ‘ migraines ’

California Teachers Claim School Buildings Causing Health Problems

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

A group of Malibu, California teachers are alleging that a number of chronic health issues they’re suffering from, including asthma and migraine headaches, are the result of poor building conditions at their schools.  More from CNN.com:

A group of [high school junior Nicholas] Wiseman’s teachers at Malibu High School sent a letter to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s risk manager on October 4, complaining about a variety of illnesses. They suspect their working environment is at fault, but administrators say they are still investigating, and some experts are skeptical.

“At this point, there is nothing to let people know, other than employees had health concerns,” Sandra Lyon, the district superintendent, told CNN Newsource affiliate KCAL/KCBS. “We don’t have any evidence whatsoever that there is any contaminant, any issue in or around that building.”

The letter says the teachers “are extremely concerned about their health and safety.” Three teachers at the school have been diagnosed with stage 1 thyroid cancer in the past six months. Some seven teachers complained about migraines. The letter says the teachers who are sick work primarily in the main middle school building (the school services grades 6 through 12), the music and drama building, the visual arts building and in the school’s theater.

When one teacher moved to another building, her migraines got better, the letter states.

Another teacher who moved from one of the suspected buildings stopped getting a rash she’d been suffering from for four years.

The letter publicly requests environmental tests be done at the school and asks the district to make those test results public.

Image: Teacher with a headache, via Shutterstock

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Colic in Babies Linked with Migraine Headaches Later in Life

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Babies who are diagnosed with “colic,” a general term for unusually long bouts of uncontrollable crying, may be more likely to be diagnosed with migraine headaches later in life.  In fact, according to a new study conducted in France, the colic behavior may actually be an early form of migraines.  More from The Huffington Post:

In the study, children ages 6 to 18 who visited an emergency room for migraine headaches were about six times more likely to have experienced colic — or frequent, unexplained crying — as an infant compared with children who visited the emergency room for other reasons.

The association was specific for migraines — there was no link between typical, less severe tension headaches and the likelihood of experiencing colic as an infant.

The study adds to a growing body of research linking infant colic with migraines. For instance, a study presented last year at American Academy of Neurology meeting found that women who had migraines were about twice as likely as those without migraines to have babies with colic. (Migraines can run in families.)

The new findings suggest infant colic and migraines may be symptoms of the same underlying condition, said study researcher Dr. Luigi Titomanlio, of the pediatric emergency department at Robert Debré Hospital in Paris.

However, the study found only an association, and cannot prove that infant colic is an early sign of migraine headaches. And even if this were true, researchers don’t know if colicky babies are experiencing head pain or some other type of discomfort.

Image: Crying baby, via Shutterstock

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Petition Urges Kraft to Remove Food Dyes from Macaroni & Cheese

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Kraft Foods’ iconic macaroni and cheese is a favorite among kids, but its cheesy yellow color comes from food dyes that could be harmful to children’s health.  That’s the claim made by a Change.org petition that has collected more than 50,000 signatures in an attempt to convince Kraft to refrain from using artificial food dyes Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 in their products.

Two North Carolina food bloggers, Vani Hari and Lisa Leake, started the petition after learning that a number of countries ban the chemical dyes, or require foods containing them to have a warning label.  The Center for Public Interest has conducted research linking the dyes with conditions from migraine headaches to asthma.

“If an American company can take the time and expense to reformulate a safer food product for countries overseas, then I believe Americans deserve the same treatment,” said Leake, a mother of two girls and creator of the “100 Days of Real Food” website. “It’s rather shocking that we are still being fed ingredients, which are no longer used – and in some cases banned – elsewhere.”

In Europe, foods that contain Yellow #5 are required to carry a warning label. The chemical has been completely banned in Norway and Austria. In the United Kingdom, Kraft’s “Cheesey Pasta,” the British version of the American Macaroni and Cheese product, doesn’t contain artificial food dyes.

“After suffering some serious health issues, I became incredibly passionate about understanding what is in food – how it is grown, what chemicals are used in its production, and what eating food does or doesn’t do for the body,” said Hari, a popular food activist writer who has been featured in the New York Times and is a regular contributor to NBC’s Charlotte Today. “I knew I needed to do something.”

Image: Macaroni and cheese, via Shutterstock

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Study: Mothers with Migraines Twice as Likely to Have Babies with Colic

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Women who suffer from migraine headaches are more than twice as likely to have babies with colic–the phenomenon in which newborns have extended bouts of excessive, inconsolable crying–than women who do not have the headaches, a new study has found.

Newswise reports on the study, which was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco:

The work raises the question of whether colic may be an early symptom of migraine and therefore whether reducing stimulation may help just as reducing light and noise can alleviate migraine pain. That is significant because excessive crying is one of the most common triggers for shaken baby syndrome, which can cause death, brain damage and severe disability.

“If we can understand what is making the babies cry, we may be able to protect them from this very dangerous outcome,” said Amy Gelfand, MD, a child neurologist with the Headache Center at UCSF….

Colic, or excessive crying in an otherwise healthy infant, has long been associated with gastrointestinal problems—presumably caused by something the baby ate. However, despite more than 50 years of research, no definitive link has been proven between infant colic and gastrointestinal problems. Babies who are fed solely breast milk are as likely to have colic as those fed formula, and giving colicky babies medication for gas does not help.

Image: Pregnant woman with a headache, via Shutterstock.

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