A World of Hurt: How to Deal with Migraines

Steady, throbbing pain in your head.  Sensitivity to light and sound.  Nausea, and maybe vomiting.  If these symptoms sound familiar, you’ve probably suffered from a migraine headache.  The symptoms can be so miserable, it’s no wonder that doctors and patients refer to them as migraine “attacks.”

Nearly one in five Americans experience migraine headaches, and they are more common in women than in men.   The pain of a migraine usually comes on gradually.  Some people experience an “aura.”  No, that’s not a lovely glow; it’s the changes in vision, tingling limbs, or numbness that comes before a headache.  Migraines typically last a few hours, although some people experience them for an excruciatingly long time (up to 72 hours!).

There’s a looooong list of things that can provoke migraines.  Some of them are pretty common in college life:  chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, changes in sleeping patterns, skipping meals, irregular physical activity, oral contraceptives, and stress.  I don’t know about you, but most of my friends are exposed to at least one of those triggers while school is in session.

If you experience symptoms of migraine headaches, read on for a few things you can do to figure out what might be causing your headaches and how to make them feel better. Continue reading

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy!

In the past year or so, the news media started talking about “drunkorexia.”  That’s a catch-all term for a variety of unhealthy eating habits that are related to binge drinking.  For example:

  • Skipping meals or slashing your energy intake during the day so that you can drink more when you go out;
  • Feeling compelled to exercise more to burn off the calories you drank last night;
  • Forcing yourself to throw up after drinking or eating too much.

It’s hard to say whether this is a problem at UNC.  Most students at UNC drink moderately, if they drink at all, so it’s not an issue for the majority of students.  But lately I’ve been hearing some concerns from a few students about the calorie content of alcohol, so it seemed like a great time to blog about eating, drinking, and staying in balance.

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Healthy Heels Weekend

Hello, fellow weekend-lovers!  If you’re up for a road trip like me, it’s a great time of year to take a weekend trip east to the coast or west to the mountains.  I’ll be out in Asheville this weekend to check out the Festival of Flowers at the Biltmore.   If you’re sticking around the Triangle, here’s what’s happening:

Top Picks:

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Thursday through Sunday
Durham, various locations

Political Satirist Lizz Winstead
Former Daily Show writer
Friday at 8pm
Cat’s Cradle

The War on Drugs, A War on People
Come hear Robert Childs of the NC Harm Reduction Coalition (and friend of CWS!)
Friday, 7-8pm
Internationalist Books

We’ll also be checking out…

Second Friday Art Walk in Carrboro/Chapel Hill on Friday evening * Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s at 506 on Saturday at 8:30 * Free Yoga at Franklin Street Yoga on Saturday at 12:30 pm

Healthy Heels Weekend

In my job at Counseling & Wellness, I spend a lot of time talking to students about having healthy, happy social lives.  One thing that comes up all the time is feeling shy around strangers – so I really liked this article:  “They’re Just Not That Into You!  And Other Facts to Help You Beat Social Anxiety.”  Try out the tips while you’re making new friends this weekend!

Top Picks:

Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon & 5K
Springtime is the best time for running!
Sunday at 7:30 am
RBC Center, Raleigh

Carrboro CD and Record Show
New & used CDs, vinyl records and music memorabilia
Sunday, 12-6 pm
Carrboro Century Center

Singer/Songwriter Darrell Scott
It’s a great day to be alive…
Saturday at 8 pm
The ArtsCenter Carrboro

We’ll also be checking out…

Farmworker Awareness Panel on Thursday at 6:30 pm in Dey Hall Room 307 * Jazz music Matthew Shipp Trio at Hill Hall on Thursday night at 7:30 pm* Heels for Healing 5K on campus on Saturday at 9:00 am * Three Stooges Madcap Marathon at the Varsity on Saturday at 1:00 pm *

Healthy Heels Weekend: Happy Leprechauns Edition

This weekend, we’re all Irish Heels!  Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day, and there are lots of fun things happening in the Triangle.  All of our suggestions below are alcohol-free options.  But if you’re over 21 and plan to have an adult beverage or two, eat a good meal first, pace yourself to one alcoholic drink per hour, and alternate with water.  Have a fun night, and wake up feeling great on Sunday morning!

Chapel Hill

Zeta Tau Alpha Franklin 5K
Bynum Circle, UNC Campus
9:30 am

Irish Musicians and Dancing at Kildare’s
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

St. Patrick Meets Mozart at United Church of Chapel Hill
7:30 pm

Magnolia Collective at Southern Rail
9:00 pm

Bowerbirds and Mandolin Orange at Cat’s Cradle
9:30 pm


St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown Raleigh
12:00 noon

Wearin’ O’ the Green Festival at Moore Square
10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Stones in His Pockets at Theatre in the Park


Irish Cooking Class at Durham Spirits Company
11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Irish Cover Band Party at Casbah
9:00 pm

Healthy Heels Weekend

After last weekend (spring on Saturday, winter on Sunday), this weekend we think we’ll mainly stick to the indoors, where the weather is predictable.  Here’s our weekly rundown of the events our office is talking about.  Send us a tip or leave a comment if you’ve got a scoop we missed.

Top Picks

“Miss Representation” Film Screening for Eating Disorders Week
Film about mainstream media influences on women

Sunday at 2:30 PM
111 Carroll Hall

The Vagina Monologues
A must-see modern classic

Friday-Sunday at 7 PM
Hanes Art Center Auditorium

Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS
Saturday at 7 PM
Memorial Hall

We’ll also be checking out…

Campus Y and Amnesty International’s Human Rights Week events * Born Digital exhibit opening at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh * Christian McBride and Inside Straight at Memorial Hall on Friday night for the Carolina Jazz Festival * Lots o’ sports – Lacrosse and Gymnastics on Friday night, Baseball on Saturday, Women’s B-Ball vs. Duke on Sunday afternoon *

Headed for a Health Career?

So you want to help people get healthy?  Awesome!  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupations are related to healthcare.  But the US population is changing, and so is the health care industry.  Here are some tips to make you a more competitive applicant for graduate school and a better future healthcare professional:

Get back to basics

Those traditional prerequisites are still absolutely necessary, and the pre-health advising office can help you sort them out.  Do you want to go into medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, dietetics or veterinary medicine?  You need a well-rounded education with a strong science background.  Interested in public health?  Depending on your subfield, you may want to strengthen your skills in physical science, social science, or math and computers.

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Time for Some Laughs: Healthy Heels Weekend

Happy almost-weekend, dear readers!  Before I give you the weekend update, a personal plug: This Thursday and Friday, February 9-10, between 5-8 PM, if you eat at Qdoba on Franklin Street, a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Minority Health Conference.  It’s a fabulous student-run event that’s been going on for over 30 years.  Hope to see you there!

Top Picks:

NC Comedy Festival
Laughing is good for your health.
Sketch Week, February 8-12
DSI Comedy Theater, Carrboro, and other venues

Sacrificial Poets Speak Out
One of many great events for Gender Week
Thursday, February 9 at 7 PM
Chapman 125

Two Great Shows at Cats Cradle
Louisiana sounds of Marc Broussard & Brooklyn singer-songwriter  Sharon Van Etten
Thursday, February 9 (Broussard) and Sunday, February 12 (Van Etten)

We’ll also be checking out…

“Donald” about the former US Secretary of Defense at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham *  A Carolina Valentine Poetry Reading by Jeffery Beam on Thursday at 5:30 PM * Zumbathon on Thursday night * Four Electric Ghosts, An Opera-Masquerade at Memorial Hall*

Party like a Dragon: Healthy Heels Weekend

The Healthy Heels are pretty psyched to expand our cultural horizons (and taste some delicious goodies) on Saturday at the Chinese New Year celebration.  Then we’ll balance it out with a hike with Campus Rec on Sunday.  Sounds like a perfect weekend to us!  What are you up to this weekend?

Top Picks

Chinese New Year Festival
Performances, music, and food to celebrate the year of the dragon!
Saturday, January 28, 10AM – 5PM
State Fairgrounds, Raleigh

UNC Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser
Silent auction for a good cause: Habitat projects in Honduras
Saturday, January 28, 1-7 PM
Open Eye Café, Carrboro

Campus Rec Expedition to Little River
A half-day hike, just beyond your backyard
Sunday, January 29, 10AM-2PM
North of Durham

We’ll also be checking  out…

Memphis the musical at Durham Performing Arts Center, January 24-29 * B-Ball vs. NC State on Thursday at 7 PM * Jimbo Mathus and the Tri-State Coalition at Local 506 on Saturday at 9 PM * Dessert-making class SWEETS at A Southern Season, $35, on Sunday at 6 PM  * Donna the Buffalo at Cat’s Cradle, Thursday at 8:30 PM * Mark Twain Now opening Saturday at 8 PM at The Arts Center

Holiday Happenings: Healthy Heels Weekend

The weekend is just a day away!  As classes are wrapping up and finals are headed our way, take a break with one of our picks for this weekend:

Top Picks:

It’s a Wonderful Life
Get into the holiday spirit for FREE!
Varsity Theater
Friday at 6:45 PM

Outdoor Holiday Concert
With tunes from Mandolin Orange and friends
Memorial Garden at University Baptist Church
Saturday at 6 PM

Men’s Soccer Quarterfinals
Trip to the College Cup at stake!
Fetzer Field
Saturday at 5 PM

We’ll also be checking out…

Holiday Concert at Morehead Planetarium with the Clefhangers and the Loreleis on Friday night * The Nutcracker at Memorial Hall on Saturday and Sunday * Transactors Holiday Improv Extravaganza on Saturday night * Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Thursday through Sunday