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What Are Some Causes Of Migraine Headaches

What Symptoms Must You Have To Be Diagnosed With A Migraine

What Causes Migraine Headaches? – Dacula, GA Chiropractor:

Migraine with aura . This is a headache, plus:

  • Visual symptoms or vision loss.
  • Sensory symptoms .

Migraine without aura . A common migraine is a headache and:

  • The attacks included pain on one side of your head.
  • Youve had at least five attacks, each lasting between four and 72 hours.

Plus, youve experienced at least one of the following:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Lights bother you and/or you avoid light.
  • Sounds bother you and/or you avoid sounds.

Massive Migraine Study Triples The Number Of Known Genetic Risk Factors

A massive international study designed to unearth new knowledge around the causes of migraines has turned up some interesting new insights, with the authors effectively tripling the number of known genetic risk factors for the ailment. The findings also shed new light on what drives different types of migraines, and add weight to the idea that it is a neurovascular disorder.

Though they are incredibly common and affect more than a billion people around the world, scientists still don’t know exactly what causes migraines, a form of headache that can include severe throbbing and pain, and often visual disturbances known as auras. Research has shown that genetic factors can contribute to migraine risk, but questions remain over how they influence the occurrence either of a migraine with aura or a migraine without aura, the two main subtypes of migraine.

The study was carried out by research groups from Europe, Australia and the US and involved genetic data from more than 873,000 participants, with 102,000 of those suffering from migraines. The scientists conducted a genome-wide association study on these patients, on the hunt for genetic variants that were first of all common in those who had migraines, but could also differentiate the risk of one subtype over the other.

The research was published in the journal Nature Genetics.

What Does A Vestibular Migraine Feel Like

Someone experiencing a vestibular migraine that is, vertigo may not have head pain but may have symptoms affecting their ears, vision, and balance. Symptoms can include dizziness, imbalance, pressure in their head and ear, neck pain, and pain with certain movements like bending down or turning their head. Some people may also have headaches with hazy, blurry, or blotchy vision.

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Can Migraine Be Worse During Menopause

If your migraine headaches are closely linked to your menstrual cycle, menopause may make them less severe. As you get older, the nausea and vomiting may decrease as well. About two-thirds of women with migraines report that their symptoms improve with menopause.

But for some women, menopause worsens migraine or triggers them to start. It is not clear why this happens. Menopausal hormone therapy, which is prescribed for some women during menopause, may be linked to migraines during this time. In general, though, the worsening of migraine symptoms goes away once menopause is complete.

When Should I Seek Help For My Headaches

Headaches and Migraines: Causes and Risk Factors

Sometimes, headache can signal a more serious problem. You should talk to your doctor about your headaches if:

  • You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
  • Your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
  • You have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems
  • You have pain around the eye or ear
  • You have a severe headache with a stiff neck
  • You have a headache with confusion or loss of alertness
  • You have a headache with convulsions
  • You have a headache after a blow to the head
  • You used to be headache-free, but now have headaches a lot

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Tools To Manage Your Migraine

A comprehensive migraine treatment plan includes more than acute and preventive treatments. You also have to consider the non-drug treatments: lifestyle modifications, says Green. Were looking at all of these contributing factors and taking those into account in the overall comprehensive management plan for the patient. These comprehensive plans addressing all of these issues are important to give us our best chance of success in making people better going forward.

The American Migraine Foundation offers some tools to help with some of these lifestyle modifications. Our Meal Planning Toolkit helps you maintain a balanced diet and identify certain migraine triggers to avoid. And starting a headache diary can help track headache days and symptoms, and identify potential triggers that can provide insight into new ways to manage and treat your migraine.

Reviewed for accuracy by the American Migraine Foundations subject matter experts, headache specialists and medical advisers with deep knowledge and training in headache medicine. to read about our editorial board members.

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Who Gets Migraines What Are The Risk Factors

Its difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include:

  • Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease.
  • Gender. Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women between the ages of 15 and 55. Its likely more common in women because of the influence of hormones.
  • Stress level. You may get migraines more often if youre high-stress. Stress can trigger a migraine.
  • Smoking.

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The Empowered Patient’s Guide To Migraine And Headache

Knowing what type of headache you are experiencingwhether from stress, cluster attacks, or inherited migraineis the first step in finding relief. Here’s a look at the symptoms, triggers, and treatments.

Migraine headaches are like the bully who won’t leave you alone. But here’s the thing you should knowregardless of your headache triggeryou are in control so it’s important to seek treatment. Many people don’t and suffer needlessly.

All headaches are bullies. But while some are short-lived hindrances , others are relentless and soul-crushing in their taunts .

In fact, if we put together a lineup of these bullies, it would be half-a-dozen-headaches long. Heres the thing, though: No matter what kind you get, you are in control. Many people dont realize this and never seek diagnosis or treatment. In fact, many headache attacks can be prevented with a few simple changes. But since youre here, we realize youre not one of those people, so lets get you some relief.

Signs And Symptoms Of Migraine

Causes For A Migraine Headache

Symptoms of migraine vary depending on the type of migraine and on the person. In general, though, migraine attacks are very painful and can interfere with your daily life.

The most common symptom of migraine is head pain often characterized as an intense throbbing sensation, usually on one side of the head but sometimes on both sides of the head, and sometimes starting on one side of the head and moving to the other side.

However, migraine attacks have four stages, with somewhat different symptoms at each stage:

Prodrome, or Warning, Stage

Aura Stage Up to a third of people experience the aura phase, which can last five minutes to an hour and increase in intensity over time. Aura may involve seeing bright spots or patterns of light, and numbness or tingling in various areas of the body but not paralysis.

Headache Phase Pain comes with the headache phase, which can last several hours and up to three days. The throbbing pain may start on one side of the head and move to include both sides. It may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting as well as blurred vision and sensitivity to certain stimuli such as light and noise. People typically seek out a quiet, dark room to rest or sleep during this phase of a migraine attack.

Postdrome, or Hangover, Stage In the last phase of a migraine attack, when the headache pain has eased, fatigue and body aches may occur. You may have trouble concentrating and may still be hypersensitive to certain stimuli.

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Statistics And Facts About Migraines

  • Estimates show that 6 percent to 18 percent of the adult population suffers from recurring migraines .
  • Women get migraines more often studies show more than one in four women will have at least one severe migraine attack at some time in her life.
  • Roughly 10 percent of teenagers experience frequent migraines, especially during the time of puberty when experiencing hormonal changes.
  • About 2 percent of the adult population has chronic migraines, meaning those that cause attacks on more than 15 days per month.
  • People between the ages of 35 and 55, those in the lowest income groups, and Caucasian people all have higher risks for migraines.
  • 15 percent to 20 percent of people with migraines experience vision disturbances before or during attacks.
  • The most common symptoms of migraines are throbbing head pains, light sensitivity and sound sensitivity, occurring in 75 percent to 85 percent of migraine patients.
  • People with migraines report using twice the amount of prescription drugs and visiting the doctor or ER twice as much as those without migraines.
  • Up to 90 percent of people have to skip work and social events during migraine attacks because they cant function properly.
  • 60 percent to 70 percent of people with migraines report having at least one attack per month, and around 30 percent have missed at least one day of work or school in past three months.

Normal Headaches vs. Migraine Headaches

Precautions When Treating Migraines and Headaches

Conventional Treatment For Migraines

Migraine symptoms are commonly managed with medications that help reduce pain and inflammation. Drugs used to control migraines include:

  • Triptan medications
  • In some cases, anti-seizure medications to control nerve signals
  • Sometimes sleep medications if sleep is impaired due to pain

Are these medications always necessary, safe and effective? No, not always. Research shows that holistic, non-drug strategies can also play an important role in managing pain and preventing headaches. The best part is that improving your diet and lifestyle habits also benefits your health in many other ways and doesnt pose the same risks that drugs do.

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Can Migraines Be Cured

  • Regular follow-up care with a doctor or other health care professional is necessary.
  • Keeping a pain journal to monitor the frequency of attacks and the medications you use can be very helpful.
  • It may take several doctor visits before you find an effective migraine treatment plan.
  • After the headaches are under control, the prognosis is very good. Patience is key. It may take several attempts before you find an effective migraine treatment plan.
  • No one treatment or drug is effective for every person. A drug that works well for one person may not provide any relief for another.
  • A combination of different migraine medicine sometimes is needed to treat resistant headaches.

Which Medicine Is Best For Migraine

The four stages of migraines

If ordinary painkillers are not relieving migraine headaches, a medication termed Triptan may need to be taken in addition to other painkillers and anti-sickness medicines. These are specific drugs for migraine headaches by bringing about some changes in the brain. In migraine, blood vessels widen to cause a specific type of headache and Triptans are known to narrow these vessels. This drug is available as tablets, injections and nasal sprays.

Similarly, anti-emetics can successfully treat migraine even if one did not experience vomiting. They act best when taken immediately after experiencing migraine symptoms. Usually, they come in the form of a tablet but may also be available as a suppository. Side-effects can be drowsiness and diarrhoea.

Combination medicines are also available for managing migraine. However, a disadvantage of this medicine is that the dosages of either the painkiller or the antiemetic may not be high enough in the combination medicine to relieve the symptoms. In such cases, its better to take painkiller and anti-emetics separately rather than as a combination so as to be able to relieve the symptoms effectively.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

  • Will my child grow out of their migraines?
  • What medications do you recommend for me?
  • What should I change about my lifestyle to prevent my migraine headaches?
  • Should I get tested?
  • What type of migraine do I have?
  • What can my friends and family do to help?
  • Are my migraines considered chronic?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Migraine headaches can be devastating and make it impossible to go to work, school or experience other daily activities. Fortunately, there are some ways to possibly prevent a migraine and other ways to help you manage and endure the symptoms. Work with your healthcare provider to keep migraines from ruling your life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2021.

References

Common Causes Of Migraines And How To Treat Your Pain

Common Causes of Migraines and How to Treat Your Pain

Migraine headaches are among the most prevalent and the least-understood medical conditions in existence.

Approximately 13% of the worlds population suffers from migraines at some point in their lives. Because the symptoms vary so significantly from one patient to another, they can be challenging for mainstream medicine to diagnose and treat.

As most patients can attest, migraine headaches can be disruptive to everyday activities. From reduced productivity to missing work completely, strained relationships to broken commitments, those who suffer from migraines often feel the stress of disappointing people in their life because theyve got another migraine.

Do you know who is more susceptible to migraines, men or women? And what are the common causes and best options for treatment? Read on for the answers to these questions and more!

Its impossible to plan your life around debilitating pain that may strike at any time. Patients often describe their migraine headaches as a throbbing pain radiating from deep inside the head, often from just one side. Lasting from several hours to many days, migraines may also cause sensitivity to sound and light, or cause nausea and vomiting.

One in five people also report disturbances in their vision called auras just before the onset of a migraine. Common auras include blind spots, flashing lights or stars, or zigzag lines.

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What Foods Help Relieve Migraine Pain

Although caffeine is sometimes a migraine trigger, it may help some individuals combat their migraine symptoms. In certain instances, drinking a caffeinated beverage during a migraine attack may help a person alleviate his or her migraine pain.

Also, research indicates bland foods may help relieve migraine pain. These foods include pears, saltine crackers and white bread.

Headaches And Migraine Symptoms

5 Common Causes of Migraine Headaches

Traditional Migraine: These moderate to severe headaches occur one side of the head with pain described as pulsating, throbbing, or pounding. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and noise. Physical activity and movement can make symptoms worse such as feeling shooting headache pain or nausea. Up to 80% of people may experience the sensation pain from a non-painful stimulation, such as a light touch to the shoulder. Others experience vertigo called a vestibular migraine. Treatment is critical as symptoms can last for a few hoursto a few daysdepending on how quickly the migraine is addressed. Traditional migraine does not have aura symptoms, described below.

Migraine with Aura: This type of migraine, which is sometimes categorized as an ocular or visual migraine, comes with pain like that of a traditional migraine, plus sensory disturbances such as seeing bright dots or zigzag lines, having tunnel vision, experiencing speech problems or tingling on one side of the body. These disturbances usually last between 20 to 60 minutes prior to a migraine attack. See how one migraineur has used her aura experience to create works of art based on what she sees during the attacks.

Still unsure of what type of headache you may be experiencing? Take our headache quiz.

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How Prevalent Are Migraines

Migraines are about three times more common in women than men, and may affect more than 12 percent of the U.S. adult population. Migraines often run in families, and can start as early as elementary school but most often in early adulthood. They often fade away later in life, but can strike at any time. The most common cause of recurring, disabling headache pain, migraines are also the most common underlying cause of disabling chronic, daily headache pain. While migraines are the No. 1 reason that patients see a neurologist, most cases are handled by primary care physicians.

Things that can make the headaches more likely to occur include:

  • Alcohol

Who Is At Risk For Migraines

About 12% of Americans get migraines. They can affect anyone, but you are more likely to have them if you:

  • Are a woman. Women are three times more likely than men to get migraines.
  • Have a family history of migraines. Most people with migraines have family members who have migraines.
  • Have other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy.

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How Can Migraines Be Prevented

Migraine triggers should be identified and avoided. Making individual lifestyle changes is important.

  • Changes may include avoiding certain types of foods and certain emotional situations.
  • For example, if missing meals triggers headaches, the person should make every effort to eat on a regular basis.
  • In some instances, the use of biofeedback may help reduce the severity and frequency of attacks.
  • Vasoactive Substances And Neurotransmitters

    Migraines Explained: Causes, Treatment and More

    Perivascular nerve activity also results in release of substances such as substance P, neurokinin A, calcitonin gene-related peptide, and nitric oxide, which interact with the blood vessel wall to produce dilation, protein extravasation, and sterile inflammation. This stimulates the trigeminocervical complex, as shown by induction of c-fos antigen by PET scan. Information then is relayed to the thalamus and cortex for registering of pain. Involvement of other centers may explain the associated autonomic symptoms and affective aspects of this pain.

    Neurogenically induced plasma extravasation may play a role in the expression of pain in migraine, but it may not be sufficient by itself to cause pain. The presence of other stimulators may be required.

    Although some drugs that are effective for migraine inhibit neurogenic plasma extravasation, substance P antagonists and the endothelin antagonist bosentan inhibit neurogenic plasma extravasation but are ineffective as antimigraine drugs. Also, the pain process requires not only the activation of nociceptors of pain-producing intracranial structures but also reduction in the normal functioning of endogenous pain-control pathways that gate the pain.

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