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What Autoimmune Disease Causes Migraines

Your Optometrist Is Your Best Resource

4 factors that trigger migraines headaches and autoimmune disease

Other autoimmune conditions that impact eye health include Sjorgens syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease, uveitis, and Behcet disease. If you or someone you love is living with an autoimmune condition, make sure we know about it so that we can work with you to keep your eyes healthy and your vision strong.

Were honored to be your lifelong partners in vision health!

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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

What Are Common Symptoms Of Autoimmune Disease

Between taking care of yourself and family members and trying to manage a social life and career, its common for women to feel tired and achy. But are these symptoms of a stressful life, or could they be tied to an underlying condition like autoimmune disease?

Ana-Maria Orbai, M.D., M.H.S., is a rheumatologist at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Rheumatologists specialize in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal diseases and autoimmune conditions . Orbai talks about how to recognize common autoimmune disease symptoms and when you should see a doctor.

When Should I Go To The Emergency Department

Go to the emergency department if any of the following autoimmune disease symptoms get severe:

  • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath. Remember that some people with an autoimmune disease can experience this when theyre pregnant.
  • Severe chest pain/pressure to your chest.
  • A headache that starts suddenly and feels like the worst headache youve ever had.
  • Sudden weakness, especially if you cant move.
  • Dizziness that doesnt stop.
  • Pain so severe that you cant stand it.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Living with an autoimmune disease can be complicated. Diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis are complex and serious. Although there are no cures for these diseases, many of their symptoms can be treated, and sometimes they go into remission. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider about any advances in understanding and treating autoimmune diseases.

If you think you may have an autoimmune disease, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Your symptoms will be easier to control if the condition is treated promptly.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/21/2021.


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What Type Of Blood Tests Are Used To Diagnose Autoimmune Diseases

Several different blood tests may be used to diagnose an autoimmune disease. In addition to a regular complete blood count and metabolic panel, other tests that are likely to be included are anti-dsDNA, anti-RNP, anti-Sm, anti-Sjogren’s SSA and SSB, anti-scleroderma, anti-Jo-1, anti-CCP, antibody against cardiolipin, and an antinuclear antibody test. A rheumatoid factor test, which looks for rheumatoid arthritis, is also usually included during the diagnostic phase. The antinuclear antibody test looks for antibodies that could cause an autoimmune response.

What Is Autoimmunity How Is It Connected To Vestibular Disorders

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Parts of the immune system, working constantly and behind the scenes, patrol the body in search of foreign invaders and relentlessly attack them once found. On rare occasions, in some people the immune system runs amok, identifies the body itself as foreign, and launches a lethal attack. This self-attack is referred to as an autoimmune reaction. In some cases, the reaction takes place in the inner ear, which is called Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease.

The immune system can attack just the ear, attack the ear and some other body part like the eye, or attack the entire body . An autoimmune reaction also creates debris. Even if the ear is not being directly attacked, it can end up with debris transported from distant locations and deposited by the circulation. This debris in the ear can cause problems.

Some autoimmune disorders that can affect the ear include Cogans syndrome, relapsing polychondritis, polyarteritis nodosa, Wegeners granulomatosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ulcerative colitis, Sjogrens syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis.

No slam-dunk sort of diagnostic test exists for this type of ear problem. The best tests, such as the 68-kD antigen, are expensive and not widely available. Most tests can easily be positive when there isnt an autoimmune problem and negative when there is the tests arent as accurate as one would like. Sometimes the diagnosis is made only if a favorable response is seen to drug treatment.

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How Are Autoimmune Diseases Diagnosed

Diagnosing an autoimmune disease usually takes healthcare providers longer than it does to diagnose other diseases. This is because many autoimmune diseases have similar symptoms with each other and with other diseases. You can help your healthcare provider with the diagnosing process by bringing the following to your appointment:

  • A detailed list of any symptoms and how long youve had them.
  • A record of your familys health history. Note if anyone in your family has an autoimmune disease.

In addition to interviewing you about your symptoms, your healthcare provider may do some blood tests to check for autoimmune diseases, including:

  • Antinuclear antibody test .

Specific symptoms combined with specific blood markers may prove that you have an autoimmune disease.

Starting The Aip Diet

Beginning any new diet can be very difficult depending on where you are at with food.

If you are eating the Standard American Diet, changing to AIP is going to seem overwhelming but it is absolutely possible.

The Autoimmune Elimination Program takes women from the Standard American Diet to the Autoimmune Paleo Diet .

Its a step by step program for women who suffer from autoimmune symptoms including migraines.

You will be assisted every step of the way and meet a loving community to share your wins and struggles with.

Its a proven fact you will stick to any diet longer if you have others to surround you and support you.

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Ive tried that and failed.

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You owe it to your body, your family, and your loved ones to start feeling better and put migraines behind you.

At least hop on over to the Autoimmune Elimination Programand see some of the amazing testimonies!

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If you have migraines and autoimmune disease please comment below so we can hear your story.

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When To See A Doctor

See a doctor if you have symptoms of an autoimmune disease. You might need to visit a specialist, depending on the type of disease you have.

  • Rheumatologists treat joint diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis as well as other autoimmune diseases like Sj√∂grens syndrome and SLE.
  • Gastroenterologists treat diseases of the GI tract, such as celiac and Crohns disease.
  • Endocrinologists treat conditions of the glands, including Graves disease, Hashimotos thyroiditis, and Addisons disease.
  • Dermatologists treat skin conditions, such as psoriasis.

The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if you need help finding a specialist.

Find Out If Lupus Is Affecting Your Nervous System

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Nervous system problems might be symptoms of lupus, or they might be caused by a different condition. Different medical specialists and neuropsychologists can find out if your nervous system problems are related to lupus.

You may need to have tests, including:

  • Lab tests, like blood tests
  • Brain scans, like a CT or MRI of your head
  • Electroencephalogram to check the electrical activity in your brain
  • Spinal tap to check the fluid in your spine

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Diarrhea Constipation And Smelly Feces

Individuals with celiac disease experience inflammation in the small intestine after eating gluten.

This damages the gut lining and leads to poor nutrient absorption, resulting in significant digestive discomfort and frequent diarrhea or constipation (

That suggests that gluten exposure on its own may induce feelings of depression, irrespective to digestive symptoms.

What Are Autoimmune Diseases

Your immune system is made up of organs and cells meant to protect your body from bacteria, parasites, viruses and cancer cells. An autoimmune disease is the result of the immune system accidentally attacking your body instead of protecting it. It’s unclear why your immune system does this.

There are over 100 known autoimmune diseases. Common ones include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.

Autoimmune diseases can affect many types of tissues and nearly any organ in your body. They may cause a variety of symptoms including pain, tiredness , rashes, nausea, headaches, dizziness and more. Specific symptoms depend on the exact disease.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Autoimmune Diseases

Its helpful to have some questions ready to ask before you see your provider. Examples to consider include:

  • Do I have an autoimmune disease?
  • What tests should I go through?
  • What type of autoimmune disease do I have?
  • Do I need to see a specialist?
  • What specialist should I see?
  • Whats the best treatment for me?
  • Should I let my family members know that I have an autoimmune disease?

Pleuritis And Pleural Effusion

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Inflammation of the lining surrounding the lungs, or pleuritis, can occur in people with lupus. This can cause symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, says Luk. The pain can worsen when taking a deep breath, sneezing, coughing, or laughing. Pleural effusion, or fluid around the heart and lungs, may also develop and can cause shortness of breath or chest pain, says Caricchio.

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Tremor Myorhythmia And More

Autoimmune tremor syndromes typically occur in the context of a cerebellar syndrome ,2 chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy , or as an indistinctive feature in an encephalopathic syndrome, but not as isolated tremor.

Beside the classic antibodies to myelin associated glycoprotein , several newly described antibodies have been identified as the cause of CIDP these target proteins close to the node of Ranvier .30

Antibodies that target glial fibrillary acidic protein are typically associated with meningomyeloencephalitis with a characteristic MRI findings of radial linear periventricular or cerebellar gadolinium enhancement and tremor and ataxia in up to 40% of cases.31,32 Headache caused by meningitis and blurred vision owing to optic disc edema may be diagnostic clues, although the phenotypic spectrum of antiGFAP-associated disease keeps expanding, possibly because of frequent co-occurrence of other antibodies in up to one-third of cases.31 GFAP is located intracellularly, but the tumor association is less strong than with classic paraneoplastic antibodies to intracellular proteins.

Myorhythmia is typically associated with Whipple disease, particularly if occurring as oculomasticatory myorhythmia with vertical gaze palsy however, myorhythmia can be also a feature of autoimmune disease, particularly with antiIgLON533,34 but also in antiNMDAR encephalitis.35

What Questions Might A Healthcare Provider Ask To Help Diagnose An Autoimmune Disease

When your healthcare provider interviews you, they might ask you one or more of the following questions:

  • What medications are you taking?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Have you had to go to the emergency department because of your symptoms?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • In what ways are your symptoms affecting your quality of life?
  • Is there anything that triggers your symptoms? Anything that makes them worse?
  • Is there a history of autoimmune diseases in your family?
  • Which autoimmune diseases run in your family?
  • What over-the-counter or alternative medicines have you tried, if any?

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As Antibodies To Neuronal Targets Are Described We See The Clinical Spectrum And Pathophysiology Of Autoimmune Movement Disorders More Clearly

Bettina Balint, MD

Neuroimmunology is a rapidly developing field. With the description of new antibodies and new syndromes, both the clinical spectrum and our insights into disease pathophysiology and treatment expand.1 These developments also reflect on movement disorders associated with neuronal antibodies, a field that is continuously broadening.2 Although these conditions are rare overall, they are a not-to-miss diagnosis because of the treatment implications: the earlier immunotherapy is initiated, the better the outcome. The classic paraneoplastic antibodies are indicative of an underlying neoplasm neuronal surface antibodies are less frequently associated with malignancy and have an overall better outcome . To facilitate prompt immunotherapy, new diagnostic criteria for autoimmune encephalitis highlight the importance of clinical recognition.3 Movement disorders may be the first or most prominent presentation of autoimmune encephalitis and can present with characteristic phenotypes, with associated red flags or other diagnostic clues . Importantly, they may also be a differential diagnosis of degenerative disease, particularly when signs and symptoms develop slowly. This review provides an overview of the clinical spectrum of movement disorders with neuronal antibodies supplementary Table e1 at the end of this article provides a reference and glossary for the antibodies discussed.

What Are The Common Features Of Autoimmune Epilepsy

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AE often begins with seizures developing over days to weeks. A person may have had an illness with fever too.

  • Seizures often happen several times a day right from the beginning.
  • Focal seizures are the most common seizure type.
  • Seizures that affect one side of the face and arm on the same side of the body ) strongly suggest autoimmune epilepsy.
  • Seizure medicines usually dont control these seizures well.
  • People may also have problems with memory, personality changes, and changes in mood or behavior .

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What Causes Autoimmune Diseases

The precise cause of autoimmune diseases is unknown. However, there are risk factors that may increase your chances of getting an autoimmune disease. Risk factors include:

  • Some medications. Talk to your healthcare provider about the side effects of medications for blood pressure, statins and antibiotics.
  • Having relatives with autoimmune diseases. Some diseases are genetic they run in families.
  • Smoking.
  • Temperature sensitivity.

Autoimmune Disease Risk Factors

Researchers dont know what causes autoimmune disease, but several theories point to an overactive immune system attacking the body after an infection or injury. We do know that certain risk factors increase the chances of developing autoimmune disorders, including:

  • Genetics: Certain disorders such as lupus and multiple sclerosis tend to run in families. Having a relative with autoimmune disease increases your risk, but it doesnt mean you will develop a disease for certain, says Orbai.
  • Weight: Being overweight or obese raises your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. This could be because more weight puts greater stress on the joints or because fat tissue makes substances that encourage inflammation.
  • Smoking: Research has linked smoking to a number of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism and MS.
  • Certain medications: Certain blood pressure medications or antibiotics can trigger drug-induced lupus, which is often a more benign form of lupus, Orbai says. Our myositis center also discovered that specific medications used to lower cholesterol, called statins, can trigger statin-induced myopathy. Myopathy is a rare autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness. Before starting or stopping any medications, however, make sure to talk to your doctor.

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Dealing With Two Conditions

Navigating both RA and migraine can be difficult.

As with RA, migraine has an unknown underlying cause, but its affected by a number of factors, including the immune system, inflammation, environment, lifestyle choices, and genetics.

The recent study is one of only a few that actually explore the bidirectional links and commonalities between migraine and RA.

Some of this previous research has indicated or suggested that a shared mechanism involving inflammatory processes and immune responses might account for the link between these conditions. Poor quality of sleep, obesity, and smoking can exacerbate them.

However, there are still a lot of unknowns, and not all these processes or similarities are understood.

Based on the common pathophysiologic mechanisms of inflammation, vascular endothelial cells and the immune system between migraine and RA, we hypothesized that there might be a bidirectional association between migraine and RA, the researchers wrote in this new study.

Dr. Romie Mushtaq, founder of the brainSHIFT Institute and chief wellness officer at Evolution Hospitality, told Healthline that rheumatoid arthritis is an example of an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in blood vessels all over the body, not just in joints.

Mushtaq recommends more screening for both migraine and RA, especially among women.

Sex could play a role, too. The researchers added that RA was not necessarily correlated with an increased risk of migraine in men over age 60.

Problems With The Molecular Mimicry Theory

Home Remedies for Migraines

The molecular mimicry theory, however, faces several problems. Infection with group A Streptococcus is very common, yet only a minority of people go on to develop rheumatic heart disease, even if one restricts the denominator to individuals who carry genes that make them susceptible to rheumatic heart disease.

In addition, molecular mimicry can be found not only between cardiac valve myosin and group A Streptococcus, but also between many cardiac antigens and a variety of other microbes that do not lead to rheumatic heart disease.

Finally, convincing evidence of molecular mimicry in the majority of classical autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus, is lacking despite decades of studies.

    Affinity maturation: the process through which B cells mature and produce antibodies that have a greater affinity for their antigenic target. This process is more prominent when the immune response is well under way.

    A receptor expressed on the surface of muscle cells at the junction between muscles and nerves. The receptor binds acetylcholine, a molecule released by the nerves that induces muscle contraction.

    Enzymes that transfer phosphate groups from a donor to proteins. Tyrosine kinase can become the target of an autoimmune response.

    An autoimmune disease observed in infants caused by the passage of autoantibodies against Ro and/or La antigens from the mother to the baby. The disease can be very severe because these antibodies are capable of causing heart block.

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