What Causes Sleep Problems With Migraine
Oftentimes, lack of sleep is a trigger for migraine attacks, rather than a symptom of migraine. Sleep disorders, sleep deprivation, and sleep overload are all widely accepted as factors that contribute to migraine attacks. Previous studies have suggested a negative correlation between hours of sleep and the severity of migraine. In other words, the less sleep a person gets, the more severe their migraine attacks are likely to be.
However, as many of those living with migraine know, sleep problems can also occur as the result of migraine attacks.
What To Do: Meditate
Teachers and therapists can help you get started, or you can just keep it simple. Take 10 minutes every day to breathe deeply and slowly as you relax each group of muscles in your body, one at a time. Afterward, sit quietly for a couple of minutes and clear your mind. That can help anytime, but it may be especially useful if you notice warning signs of a migraine.
When To Call A Doctor About Your Migraines
If youre not getting satisfactory relief from over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes, or if youre taking over-the-counter medications more than 10 to 15 times per month, talk to your primary care physician about your headaches.
The evaluation of headaches usually starts with the primary care doctor, who assesses whether a patient has a common headache or something more serious, says Santiago Mazuera Mejia, MD, a neurologist at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Primary care doctors often continue to see people with infrequent migraines. However, if at some point, there is a need for more complex treatments, patients usually go to neurologists and headache specialists who have additional training in preventive and acute treatments as well as nonmedical treatments.
Its important to get evaluated by a doctor because taking over-the-counter medications too frequently can sometimes lead to serious side effects or actually make you get headaches more often.
Its helpful to keep a diary if you experience migraines because you may discover your triggers, which can inform which type of treatment is best for you. Write down what time your migraines occur, how long they last, how you slept the night before, what you ate/drank that day and when, how you felt emotionally that day, etc. Then bring that information to your doctor.
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Throbbing Pain On One Or Both Sides Of The Head
Pulsating pain is a classic sign of migraines. The throbbing is often felt on one side of the head.
In an online survey of patients with migraines, the National Headache Foundation found that 50% “always” have throbbing on one side, while 34% say they “frequently” have this symptom.
Migraine pain often burrows behind the eye.
People will blame it on eye strain and many will get their eyes checked, but that won’t make their headaches any better, Dr. Messina says.
Are Migraine Headaches More Common In Women Than Men
Yes. About three out of four people who have migraines are women. Migraines are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 45. At this time of life women often have more job, family, and social duties. Women tend to report more painful and longer lasting headaches and more symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. All these factors make it hard for a woman to fulfill her roles at work and at home when migraine strikes.
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What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine
If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:
Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.
You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.
How Are They Treated
Both migraine and chronic migraine can be treated with the same drugs. These include medications that treat the pain and symptoms as well as drugs that treat the underlying cause of migraine. In some cases, there are medical devices you can use to interrupt the headache. Still, no treatment is perfect.
Because of that, chronic migraines can take a toll on your personal life. If you get painful headaches for half of each month, you lose days of work or school and precious time with friends and family. Itâs common for people with chronic migraines to also have depression.
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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.
What Happens During A Migraine Aura
Image: Migraine Action Art Collection: Image 515, Unnamed artist, Untitled
Imagine you are sitting at your computer with a pile of work to go through. Suddenly, you feel a little off.
You cant focus on your screen, so you rub your eyes. Then you then begin to see floaters and flashes of light. Thinking that youve had enough work for the day, you think about grabbing a coffee.
As you stand up, your vision goes black and you cant see.
You feel tingling in your face and your right arm goes numb. You understandably panic and ask your coworker to help you. You think you might be having a stroke.
Thats what Migraine with aura can feel like: many of the same stroke symptoms, yet only temporary. Despite the fact that aura symptoms disappear, they can be incredibly disabling while theyre happening.
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Whats A Migraine What Does A Migraine Feel Like
A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that its the sixth most disabling disease in the world.
Diagnostic Tests For Migraine
Relying on over-the-counter pain medication to treat chronic migraines can lead to overuse of these medications, which, over time, can make migraines worse and unresponsive to treatment, even when the medications are used as directed. Doctors at NYU Langone can help to ensure you are not experiencing headaches or migraines as a result of medication overuse.
To determine if migraines are causing your pain, neurologists at NYU Langone ask about your symptoms, focusing on the frequency, intensity, duration, location, and any known triggers. Your doctor also asks about your medical history and performs a physical exam to obtain a complete picture of your health.
A careful review of your symptoms can help your doctor to determine the type of migraine youre experiencing and if an underlying condition could be the cause.
Your doctor may use one or more of the following tests to arrive at the most accurate diagnosis.
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How To Really Tell Whether You Have A Migraine
When your head starts to throb and you feel pressure building in your forehead and nose, is it just sinus pain? Well, it could be but don’t discount the idea that you might have a migraine coming on. Over 30% of women experience migraine headaches, but fewer than 5% of people who suffer from these head-pounders ever receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare provider, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
“There is a general lack of education regarding headaches and migraines in the medical community,” says neurologist Lauren Natbony, MD, assistant clinical professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a specialist in headache medicine. “Doctors may not know the questions to ask to make an accurate diagnosis, or they may mistake migraine for another condition. In studies, patients are commonly diagnosed with sinusitis when migraine is the true offender. And migraine is only one of many headache disorders there are actually more than 200 different types of headaches!” Identifying and seeking care for migraines can help you find relief from this disabling pain.
How To Use Cbd Oil For Migraines
Many people believe that hemp seed oil can be used as a cannabinoid supplement in the diet. However, this is not the case as hempseed does not have any cannabinoids. Instead, users should look for CBD oil or Hemp oil, usually derived from flowers and shake.
There are various ways of consuming CBD oil for migraines, and if you are not sure which to use, consult your doctor for better advice. Typical methods of CBD consumption include:-
â Eating it in a beverage or a food- Consuming it as a capsule- Smoking it â CBD ointments
Usually, your doctor should recommend the ideal starting dosage and adjust it depending on its effectiveness for your migraines. Ideally, you should start with the tiniest dosages and increase as required.
CBD Products for Migraines
Following are some of the popular CBD oils that can be used for migraines. These do not contain any THC, and as such, they are readily available for many people.
â Anti-inflammatory effects.
Relief from nausea is beneficial and helps victims suffering from severe migraines. These are the patients that vomit several times when they are experiencing a migraine attack.
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Should You See A Headache Expert
Medications and/or devices can help to lessen migraine frequency and severity when lifestyle changes aren’t enough, says Dr. Natbony. It happens to be an exciting time in migraine treatment, because we now have many options, including daily oral medications, monthly home injectable medications , Botox, and medical devices. Theres no one-size-fits-all treatment for migraines. Patients need an individualized treatment plan based on their unique migraine symptoms and triggers.
*With additional reporting by Caroline Picard
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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.
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How Are Migraines Diagnosed
To diagnose a migraine, your healthcare provider will get a thorough medical history, not just your history of headaches but your familys, too. Also, they’ll want to establish a history of your migraine-related symptoms, likely asking you to:
- Describe your headache symptoms. How severe are they?
- Remember when you get them. During your period, for example?
- Describe the type and location of your pain. Is the pain pounding? Pulsing? Throbbing?
- Remember if anything makes your headache better or worse.
- Tell how often you get migraine headaches.
- Talk about the activities, foods, stressors or the situations that may have brought on the migraine.
- Discuss what medications you take to relieve the pain and how often you take them.
- Tell how you felt before, during and after the headache.
- Remember if anyone in your family gets migraine headaches.
Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests and imaging tests to make sure there are no other causes for your headache. An electroencephalogram may be ordered to rule out seizures.
Other Things To Think About
- Even with treatment, you may still get migraines.
- It may take some time to find the right medicines to help you.
- Using medicines too often can cause rebound headaches. These are different from migraine headaches. They occur after pain medicine has worn off, which leads you to take another dose. After a while, you get a headache whenever you stop taking the medicine. Be sure to take your medicine only as your doctor prescribes.
- If you think your headaches could be caused by depression or anxiety, be sure to let your doctor know. Treatment for these health problems may get rid of your headaches or reduce how often you have them.
- If you think your headaches are related to stress, talk to your doctor about getting help to cope better with stress.
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Hormonal Headaches & Menstrual Migraines
Nearly 10% of women may suffer from migraines or tension-type headaches associated with the beginning of menstruation.
Also called period headaches, hormonal headaches are when a drop in hormones leads to headache pain. Because the most common drop in hormones that causes headaches occurs before menstruation, these may also be called menstrual migraines.
The drop in estrogen just before a womans period may contribute to head pain. Many women with a history of migraines report headache pain around the time of menstruation with no other identifiable triggers.
Menstrual migraines may or may not present with aura.
To Determine Whether Head Pain Is A Migraine Physicians Follow These Guidelines And Criteria
Your head is pounding, your stomach is churning, and every whisper sounds like a shout. You think you might suffer from migraines, but the idea of talking with a doctor somehow feels intimidating. How will your physician be able to determine whether your head pain is migraine-related? Heres a quick overview of what to expect when visiting a primary care doctor or neurologist.
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Can You Say Youre Feeling Tired As An Excuse To Miss Work
While more and more companies are accepting the idea of a mental health day without a specific reason or emergency, this excuse is best if requested one or two days in advance.
General tiredness isnt one of the best reasons for missing work on the day of your shift, since itll leave your boss wondering why you didnt plan ahead and communicate better.
Ive had horrible jobs myself, and I understand having a feeling of panic in the morning when youre simply overwhelmed and want to call out. However, I recommend using one of the excuses above if youre going to call out of work last minute.
Its better to take a sick day than a mental health day if giving short notice.
Save the personal day or mental health day for when youre able to request it at least one or two days in advance.
How Do Sleep Problems Affect Those With Migraine
MyMigraineTeam members are open about the ways their migraine symptoms affect their sleep patterns. Some say their migraine attacks are often so painful they wake abruptly from sound sleep. In many cases, this poor sleep leaves them feeling drained of energy: I feel like Im half drunk/hungover, wrote one member, especially in the mornings. My eyes feel like lead, and I find it hard to concentrate and focus. Another member admitted that losing sleep had a draining effect on my so-called life.
Some members with difficulty sleeping have shared that they alternate between feeling wired and completely sapped. Either Im wide awake all night and day, shared one member, or I cant keep my eyes open. Others find that they feel exhausted all the time: Fatigue, brain fog, no energy whatsoever, no drive or ambition, said one member.
A lack of quality sleep can leave a person with little physical or mental energy to stay productive. Some members write that these effects leave them feeling guilty about lower productivity, distanced from their peers, and unable to participate fully in social or family activities.
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