When Should I Worry About Migraines During Pregnancy
While they definitely suck, most migraines are not necessarily dangerous, even while youre pregnant.
But, migraines & headaches at key points of your pregnancy can be cause for concern, as they can indicate a serious underlying condition. After your first migraine you should check in with your doctor.
Research has shown that in rare cases, migraine throughout pregnancy can be an indication that you are at heightened risk of preeclampsia, hypertension, and other vascular disorders. Your doctor will help you assess other risk factors that can provide more insight into your degree of risk for developing these conditions.
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What Else Can I Do To Prevent Migraines
While there are no sure ways to keep from having migraine headaches, here are some things that may help:
Eat regularly and do not skip meals.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule.
- Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise can help reduce tension as well as keep your weight in check. Obesity can contribute to migraines.
- Keep a migraine journal to help you learn what triggers your migraines and what treatments are most helpful.
Migraine Triggers In The Elderly
There is very little research to distinguish any unique triggers for elderly patients. That said, one study did acknowledge that smoke, alcohol and neck pain or discomfort were all more likely to bring on individual attacks as patients get older.3Beyond these, the usual suspects emerge:
- Overuse of medication
More on Photophobia and Light Sensitivity among Older Persons
What is less known is the extent to which light can trigger individual attacks for older persons there is simply very little research in this area. Our team recently explored the topic of light sensitivity among people with migraine, and 85% of respondents aged 65 or older told us that light directly caused specific migraine episodeswith flashing lights being the most reliable catalyst, followed closely by fluorescent lighting and harsh reflection or glare.
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What Causes Headaches In A Child
Researchers dont fully understand the exact cause of headaches. Many headaches may be caused by tight muscles and widened blood vessels in the head. Stress and mental or emotional conflict can trigger tension headaches. Migraine headaches may be caused by changes in brain chemicals or nerve signals.
Other headaches may be caused by a change in pain signals from nerves in the head, face, and neck. Lack of sleep and poor sleep quality are often the cause of chronic headaches. In rarer cases, headaches may be caused by a problem in the brain such as a tumor.
Treatment Of Adult Migraines
Migraine treatment depends on several factors and treatment plans may be individualized. Some of the treatments of migraines in adults include things like over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers, medications to dilate blood vessels and block pain, caffeine combination drugs and medications to treat symptoms of nausea and pain.
One of the more exciting developments in headache medicine concerns new CGRP drugs that are designed specifically for migraine prevention. Prominent headache specialists like Dr. Amaal Starling have labeled it a “new era” for patient treatment. Aimovig is the first of these medications to hit the market and be approved by the FDA early results have been promising, but there are still questions about long-term effectiveness and possible side effects. But still, patients have reason to be optimistic.
Some may find relief in alternative therapies, such as:
- Relaxation techniques
1Bigal ME, Liberman JN, Lipton RB. Age-dependent prevalence and clinical features of migraine. Neurology. 2006 Jul 25 67:246-51.
2Carod-Artal FJ. Tackling chronic migraine: current perspectives. Journal of Pain Research. 2014 7:185-194. doi:10.2147/JPR.S61819.
3Kelman L. Migraine changes with age: IMPACT on migraine classification. Headache. 2006 Jul-Aug 46:1161-71.
4Stewart WF1, Bigal ME, Kolodner K, Dowson A, Liberman JN, Lipton RB. Familial risk of migraine: variation by proband age at onset and headache severity. Neurology. 2006 Feb 14 66:344-8.
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Where Can I Find Relief
There is still a lot of research to be done on nocturnal migraines, including the right type of treatment or prevention.. The MayoClinic recommends three possible treatments for nocturnal migraines that you could discuss with your physician:
- Caffeine: A caffeine tablet or beverage taken before bed
- Lithium : a bipolar disorder medication
- Indomethacin : a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
Also be sure to address sleep apnea, snoring and other sleep disturbances. Review our Ultimate Sleep Guide for natural and holistic was to improve your quality of sleep.
Migraine attacks are personal an individualized and holistic approach to discovering the root cause of your migraine is essential for a real cure. Migraine are symptoms themselves of deeper health issues, and the Engineering Radiance Migraine Freedom Plan is designed to eliminate your migraine headaches not just treat the symptoms by finding the internal stressors at the core of the issue.
Book your first appointment with our team of migraine specialists here.
Migraine Canand Often Doesget Worse In Adults
It is also during these years that we see the worsening of migraine, according to research. In fact, the number of “headache days” has been shown to increase year after year, reaching its peak in late adult life. This coincides with the transformation of episodic to chronic migraine for many adults as represented by an increase in the number of migraine attacks.2 Although it is unclear exactly why this occurs, risk factors include: medication overuse high body mass and the presence of emotional symptoms like depression.
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When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider
- You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
- You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
- Your headache comes on suddenly.
- You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.
Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:
- The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
- Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.
Migraine Treatment And Home Remedies
There’s no cure for migraine headaches. But many drugs can treat or even prevent them. Common migraine treatments include:
You may ease migraine symptoms by:
- Resting with your eyes closed in a dark, quiet room
- Putting a cool compress or ice pack on your forehead
- Drinking plenty of liquids
Complementary and alternative treatments
Some people get relief with therapies they use in addition to or instead of traditional medical treatment. These are called complementary or alternative treatments. For migraine, they include:
- Biofeedback. This helps you take note of stressful situations that could trigger symptoms. If the headache begins slowly, biofeedback can stop the attack before it becomes full-blown.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy . A specialist can teach you how actions and thoughts affect how you sense pain.
- Supplements. Research has found that some vitamins, minerals, and herbs can prevent or treat migraines. These include riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, and melatonin. Butterbur may head off migraines, but it can also affect your liver enzymes.
- Body work. Physical treatments like chiropractic, massage, acupressure, acupuncture, and craniosacral therapy might ease headache symptoms.
Talk to your doctor before trying any complementary or alternative treatments.
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Women Are Increasingly More Likely To Be Diagnosed
As noted in our exploration of childhood migraine, women start to supercede men in migraine-related diagnoses starting as teenagers, and this gap continues to widen as patients get older. In fact, of those adults with migraine, nearly 85% are women. Hormones are thought to be one of the main contributing factors to the onset of migraine in adult-aged women, although it is one of many potential causes.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or Just A Bad Tension
Compared with migraine, tension-type headache is generally less severe and rarely disabling. Compare your symptoms with those in this chart to see what type of headache you might be having.
|Aura before onset of headache||x|
Note: Rebound headache may have features of tension and/or migraine headache. Adapted from a table produced by the American Council for Headache Education.
Although fatigue and stress can bring on both tension and migraine headaches, migraines can be triggered by certain foods, changes in the body’s hormone levels, and even changes in the weather.
There also are differences in how types of headaches respond to treatment with medicines. Although some over-the-counter drugs used to treat tension-type headaches sometimes help migraine headaches, the drugs used to treat migraine attacks do not work for tension-type headaches for most people.
You can’t tell the difference between a migraine and a tension-type headache by how often they occur. Both can occur at irregular intervals. Also, in rare cases, both can occur daily or almost daily.
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What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines
Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.
How Are Headaches Diagnosed
The full extent of the problem may not be completely understood immediately, but may be revealed with a comprehensive medical evaluation and diagnostic testing. The diagnosis of a headache is made with a careful history and physical examination and diagnostic tests. During the examination, the doctor obtains a complete medical history of the child and family.
Questions commonly asked during the examination may include the following:
When do headaches occurs?
What is the location of the headache?
What do the headaches feel like?
How long do the headaches last?
Have there been changes in walking and behavior patterns, or personality?
Do changes in positioning or sitting-up cause the headache?
Is your child having trouble sleeping?
Does your child have a history of emotional stress?
Is there a history of trauma to your child’s head or face?
If the history is consistent with migraine or tension type headaches and the neurological exam is normal, no further diagnostic testing may be necessary.
Other diagnostic tests may include:
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How Are Migraine Headaches Treated In Children And Adolescents
Basic lifestyle changes can help control a migraine. Whenever possible, avoiding the known triggers can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.
Biofeedback and stress reduction. Biofeedback helps a person learn stress-reducing skills by providing information about muscle tension, heart rate, and other vital signs as a person attempts to relax. It is used to gain control over certain bodily functions that cause tension and physical pain.
Biofeedback can be used to help patients learn how their body responds in stressful situations, and how to better cope. Some people choose biofeedback instead of medications.
Other stress reduction options include counseling, exercising, and yoga.
Vitamins, minerals, and herbal products. These products have shown some effectiveness in migraine. They include magnesium, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10.
Medications. Headache medications can be grouped into three different categories: symptomatic relief, abortive therapy, and preventive therapy. Each type of medication is most effective when used in combination with other medical recommendations, such as dietary and lifestyle changes, exercise, and relaxation therapy.
Important: If symptomatic relief medications are used more than twice a week, see your doctor. Overuse of symptomatic medications can actually cause more frequent headaches or worsen headache symptoms. This is called rebound or medication overuse headache.
Abortive medications include:
Other Sleep And Migraine Correlations:
One interesting link to the occurrence of nocturnal migraines was drug withdrawal .
Other studies have found correlations between nocturnal migraines and diseases and disorders such as:
- temporal arteritis
- subacute angle-closure glaucoma
- vascular lesions
If your migraine frequently happen at night or wake you up, be sure to discuss that detail with your doctor so that they can rule out other conditions.
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How Are Migraines Treated
Migraine headaches and their triggers can vary a lot between people. Treatment can depend on how severe the headaches are, how often they happen, and what symptoms a person gets with them.
Usually it helps to lie down in a cool, dark, quiet room. Your doctor may prescribe pain relief medicine or medicines that help with nausea and vomiting. Some people need preventive medicines that are taken every day to reduce the number and severity of the migraines.
Some doctors teach a technique called biofeedback to their patients with migraines. This helps a person learn to relax and use the brain to gain control over certain body functions that cause tension and pain. If a migraine begins slowly, some people can use biofeedback to remain calm and stop the attack.
Adding other non-medicine therapies to the treatment plan, such as acupuncture or herbs, helps some people with migraines. But ask your health care provider about these before trying them. This is especially true of herbal treatments because they can affect how other medicines work.
Can Migraines Develop Later In Life
Whilst its not totally out of the question for migraine to develop as you get older, its not that common either. Migraine sufferers often experience their first attack in their teens or early twenties, although the majority of sufferers tend to be in their thirties or forties. According to the Migraine Trust, 90% of people have their first headache before they reach age forty.
With women experiencing migraine more often than men in all age groups, the percentage of female patients drops in comparison with men as women get older. By the time theyre in their sixties and hormones are no longer upsetting the bodys balance, the migraine frequency either drops off or stops altogether. So for most people getting older is good news, as far as their migraines are concerned. But what about those people who experience migraine pain for the first time in their fifties, sixties or beyond?
Because its relatively uncommon, doctors are wary about diagnosing migraine for the first time in older patients. Headache pain can often be associated with–and caused by–other health issues, so doctors will typically perform a series of tests to rule out those conditions that can produce migraine-like symptoms before making the diagnosis.
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Brain Function And Blood Flow
Some research suggests that a temporary disturbance in brain function, or cortical spreading depression , may be linked to migraine with aura.
CSD can disrupt the brains electrical impulses and, in turn, decrease blood flow to the part of the brain that deals with visual perception. However, scientists still do not fully understand why people with migraine with aura experience spontaneous CSD or how to prevent it.
One 2010 study also states that changes in blood flow to the brain may be the cause of migraine and stroke in certain people.
It is possible that a person who develops an increasing number of migraine with aura episodes may have experienced some change that affects blood flow to their brain.
Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided
Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.
Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.
There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines, as well.
What Are Some Ways I Can Prevent Migraine
The best way to prevent migraine is to find out what triggers your attacks and avoid or limit these triggers. Since migraine headaches are more common during times of stress, finding healthy ways to cut down on and cope with stress might help. Talk with your doctor about starting a fitness program or taking a class to learn relaxation skills.
Talk with your doctor if you need to take your pain-relief medicine more than twice a week. Doing so can lead to rebound headaches. If your doctor has prescribed medicine for you to help prevent migraine, take them exactly as prescribed. Ask what you should do if you miss a dose and how long you should take the medicine. Talk with your doctor if the amount of medicine you are prescribed is not helping your headaches.
Migraines With Aura In Middle Age Associated With Late
Women who suffer from migraine headaches in middle age accompanied by neurological aura are more likely to have damage to brain tissue in the cerebellum later in life.
Women who suffer from migraine headaches in middle age accompanied by neurological aura are more likely to have damage to brain tissue in the cerebellum later in life, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Icelandic Heart Association in Reykjavik. Researchers noted that many people have these types of “silent” brain lesions, but their effect on physical and cognitive function in older people is not well studied.
The study appears in the June 24, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers found that women are more susceptible than men to localized brain tissue damage identified on magnetic resonance images and that women who reported having migraines with aura were almost twice as likely to have such damage in the cerebellum as women who reported not having headaches.
Researchers noted that while the study shows an association in women between migraine and cerebellar tissue damage later in life, the functional significance of such brain changes remains an open question. The cerebellum is located in the lower back side of the brain and is involved in functions such as motor activity, balance and cognition.
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