June/July 2008

Life Story

Chronic Migraines - Solving the Mystery

About 4 percent of Americans suffer from chronic daily headache—a headache that occurs at least 15 days out of every month. The specific type I had, medication-overuse headache, occurs in about 1 percent of people in North America, Europe and Asia. Those years of daily dosing on naproxen had left me physically dependent on the drug; my headaches were withdrawal symptoms. A 2007 study found that in any given year, more than 17 percent of women and over 5 percent of men will experience a migraine. Of those, 60 percent suffer self-described "severe impairment," requiring bed rest. About 22 percent experience recurrent migraines that cause moderate-to-severe levels of disability, limiting their ability to work, attend school or enjoy family activities.   More...

Special Diets for Autistic Children

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a developmental behavioral disorder characterized by impairment in socialization and communication and by restricted, stereotypical patterns in behaviors, interests and activities. Children with ASD suffer from sensory hypersensitivity and have intense reactions to sound, sight, touch, taste and smell. They have difficulties with social integration and adjusting to new things and changes in their routines. They engage repeatedly in the same behaviors or thoughts, fixating on objects. For example, like most youngsters his age, Noah was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine and Disney movies. Yet, unlike most kids, he would talk about these topics non-stop and every conversation would revert back to them. There are five levels of autistic disorders, according to the DSM-IV. On the higher functioning end of the spectrum is Asperger syndrome. On the lower end is classic autism, often called Kanner’s autism. Other types are Rett’s disorder, pervasive developmental disorder and childhood disintegrative disorder.   More...

Medicine Man - Celiac Disease Research

Living Without’s editor Alicia Woodward talks with Dr. Alessio Fasano, founder and medical director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Celiac Research.   More...