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.
Preventative Medication And Therapies
If you experience frequent migraines, your GP might discuss preventative medication options with you.
It is important to note that preventatives for migraines are not pain medication, but help to reduce the number of migraines. They take time to work, so the minimum time period required may be three to six months. Contact your GP or specialist for further information. All of these treatments have their advantages and disadvantages and some of the medications might not be suitable for everybody.
You might find that this medication reduces the frequency and severity of your attacks but does not stop them completely. You will need to continue your other migraine treatments when you experience an attack.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that GPs and specialists should consider the following drugs and therapies if they think you might benefit from preventative treatment:
Beta blocking drugs
These drugs are traditionally used to treat angina and high blood pressure. It has been found that certain beta-blockers prevent migraine attacks. Beta-blockers are unsuitable for people with certain conditions.
This drug is typically prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy but has also been found to help reduce the frequency of migraines. Again, it is not suitable for everyone. In particular, women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should be advised of the associated side effects.
Botulinum toxin type A
What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline
The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.
The phases are:
It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.
Don’t Miss: Persistent Migraine Aura Treatment
Can Stress Cause Migraines
Yes. Stress can trigger both migraine and tension-type headache. Events like getting married, moving to a new home, or having a baby can cause stress. But studies show that everyday stresses not major life changes cause most headaches. Juggling many roles, such as being a mother and wife, having a career, and financial pressures, can be daily stresses for women.
Making time for yourself and finding healthy ways to deal with stress are important. Some things you can do to help prevent or reduce stress include:
- Eating healthy foods
- Being active
- Doing relaxation exercises
- Getting enough sleep
Try to figure out what causes you to feel stressed. You may be able to cut out some of these stressors. For example, if driving to work is stressful, try taking the bus or subway. You can take this time to read or listen to music, rather than deal with traffic. For stressors you can’t avoid, keeping organized and doing as much as you can ahead of time will help you to feel in control.
Neck Pain And Migraine Headache
Migraine headache, or migraine is a common disabling episodic headache characterized by throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head. More than half of the migraine population experience neck pain before and/or during a migraine attack.1–2 While in most cases neck pain in migraine is limited to the upper neck region, sometimes the pain may radiate to the lower neck and/or shoulder.
A migraine is a recurring headache that causes moderate to severe throbbing and pulsating pain on one side of the head. Other symptoms may include nausea and sensitivity to light and/or sound.
Migraine is believed to be caused due to genetically modified hypersensitive neurons in the brain. These neurons are triggered by environmental changes , hormones, food, or smell and in turn trigger adjacent neurons to induce pain pathways and cause migraine symptoms.
Read Also: Do Antibiotics Cause Headaches
Coeliac Disease And Gluten Sensitivity
Coeliac disease is a serious condition where a persons immune system reacts when they eat gluten and causes damage to the lining of their gut. When this happens, they have symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, vomiting and stomach cramps. There can also be serious complications if it is not treated, such as anaemia. There is no cure for coeliac disease and people with it need to avoid gluten all their life.
There have been studies into the link between coeliac disease and migraine. There is no evidence to suggest that coeliac disease causes migraine. It is thought that if people with coeliac disease and migraine follow a gluten-free diet, this may help with both of their conditions.
Gluten sensitivity is when a person has a bad reaction if they eat gluten. They may have similar symptoms to coeliac disease, but there is no damage to the lining of their gut or the risk of serious complications that can happen with coeliac disease.
Gluten is found in foods that contain wheat, barley or rye. These include pasta, bread, cakes, some sauces and most ready meals.
One of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity is headache. But there is no evidence that gluten sensitivity causes migraine. However, if you are sensitive to gluten, you may find that if you eat food containing gluten, it makes migraine attacks more likely or the symptoms more painful.
Preheadache Signs And Symptoms
Pre-migraine, also called prodrome, is the earliest of four stages of a migraine attack. This stage happens before an aura and may occur several hours to several days before a migraine attack begins.
Recognizing the symptoms of pre-migraine may help individuals avoid triggers and prevent an attack. Pre-migraine symptoms may be different for individuals and may include:
- constipation or diarrhea
prodrome vs. aura
While an aura happens right before or during a migraine attack, the prodrome stage can start days before to indicate an attack is coming on. Prodrome symptoms might include fatigue, irritability, or neck pain.
Also Check: Aventyl For Migraines
When To Worry About A Headache
You can take care of many types of headaches by yourself, and your doctor can give you medication to control most of the tougher headaches. But some headaches call for prompt medical care. Here are some warning signs for when you should worry about headaches:
- Headaches that first develop after age 50
- A major change in the pattern of your headaches
- An unusually severe headache
- Head pain that increases with coughing or movement
- Headaches that get steadily worse
- Changes in personality or mental function
- Headaches that are accompanied by fever, stiff neck, confusion, decreased alertness or memory, or neurological symptoms such as visual disturbances, slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or seizures
- Headaches that are accompanied by a painful red eye
- Headaches that are accompanied by pain and tenderness near the temples
- Headaches after a blow to the head
- Headaches that prevent normal daily activities
- Headaches that come on abruptly, especially if they wake you up
- Headaches in patients with cancer or impaired immune systems
Caffeine: Poison Or Antidote When It Comes To Headaches
Caffeine in small amounts can actually be good for headache pain, and it is included in some headache medications. But if you get used to taking in lots of caffeine through coffee, tea, or soft drinks, you can get a caffeine withdrawal headache if you don’t get your daily dose, according to StatPearls. Avoid this headache trigger by gradually reducing your caffeine intake.
You May Like: Which Condition Commonly Accompanies Migraine Headaches
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.
The American Migraine Foundations Guide To Triggers & How To Manage Them
The sudden onset of a migraine means a dark room, bed and a cool towel for most of us. While these seem to come out of nowhere, many will find that there are usually some signs that a migraine attack is on its way. These signs can reveal a pattern in your symptoms, and even provide you with preventative tools for managing migraine. Everyone has different triggers, but there are a few common culprits that affect a large number of people living with migraine. When you can identify your triggers, you are one step closer to effectively managing your migraine and avoiding future attacks.
Read Also: Does Cream Of Tartar Help With Migraines
More Headache Diet Tips
How you eat, in addition to what you eat, can also have an effect on headaches. The following tips can help you avoid headaches in general:
- Don’t skip meals.
- Make sure to eat breakfast every day.
- Eat plenty of vegetables.
- Eat a generally balanced diet.
- Limit your intake of processed foods.
- Avoid eating foods with labels that have ingredients you don’t recognize.
Can Identifying Triggers Really Make A Difference
Although it takes a great deal of motivation and effort to identify and deal with migraine triggers, studies have shown that the number of attacks can be halved. This is as effective as taking some of the daily preventive medications but without drugs!
This information is provided as a general guide only and is not a comprehensive overview of prescribing information. If you have any queries or concerns about your headaches or medications please discuss them with your GP or the doctor you see at the National Migraine Centre
Recommended Reading: Lots Of Headaches During Pregnancy
Treating Nausea And Preventing Vomiting
If you have nausea without vomiting, your doctor may suggest medication to ease nausea called anti-nausea or antiemetic drugs. In this case, the antiemetic can help prevent vomiting and improve the nausea.
Acupressure may also be helpful in treating migraine nausea. A showed that acupressure reduced the intensity of migraine-associated nausea starting as soon as 30 minutes, gaining improvement over 4 hours.
Migraines Caused By Glare
Another common trigger for migraines is the glare caused by the over-illumination of fluorescent lighting. This level of illumination can cause eyestrain, which leads to visual fatigue and can occasionally cause headaches and trigger migraines. The glare becomes even worse when working in front of a computer screen because the light reflects off all of the surfaces, including your computer monitor.
Read Also: What Is A Migraine Headache
What Should I Do When A Migraine Begins
Work with your doctor to come up with a plan for managing your migraines. Keeping a list of home treatment methods that have worked for you in the past also can help. When symptoms begin:
- If you take migraine medicine, take it right away.
- Drink fluids, if you don’t have nausea during your migraine.
- Lie down and rest in a dark, quiet room, if that is practical.
Some people find the following useful:
- A cold cloth on your head
- Rubbing or applying pressure to the spot where you feel pain
- Massage or other relaxation exercises
At The Sushi Spot: Skip The Teriyaki Try Steamed
This one might hurt, but its true: Fermented soy products, such as miso, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce are foods that can trigger migraines thanks to their high tyramine levels. So if this compound is a trigger for you, the sushi or teriyaki place around the corner might not be your idea of a nice lunch out. Never fear: Ask for a steamed or grilled entree instead, and learn to love your sushi without dousing it in sauce. The National Headache Foundation suggests limiting these sauces to one ounce per day.
Not sure if tyramine is a trigger for you? Keeping track of what you do and dont eat in a migraine diary can help you determine which foods are migraine triggers. And once you have an idea of your triggers, restaurants can become less of a headache landmine and more of the enjoyable destination theyre meant to be.
See a doctor for diagnosis of migraines and migraine relief options.
You May Like: Tylenol Migraine Ingredients
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.
When To See A Doctor For Severe Headaches
Make an appointment with your medical provider if:
- Your headaches are becoming more severe or more frequent
- Your headaches are accompanied by certain signs that are typical of headache syndromes: Such as visual changes like spots or lines, nausea, inability to tolerate light and sound, and a runny nose or eye tearing on the same side as the headache
- You have tenderness over your temple
- Your headaches are severe enough to interfere with your daily life
- You recently had a lumbar puncture or epidural anesthesia
Read Also: How Common Are Visual Migraines
What Is A Migraine
A migraine is not simply a bad headache. A migraine is an intense headache that may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea , vomiting , visual problems and an increased sensitivity to light or sound.
Migraines commonly last between four hours and three days. Some people experience migraines several times a week. Others might only experience attacks every few years. If you experience headaches on 15 days or more each month, and eight of these headaches are migraines, this is known as chronic migraine.
Although migraines are not life-threatening and do not shorten peoples life expectancies, they can significantly damage the quality of peoples lives. A World Health Organisation study identified migraine as the sixth highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability . Repeated migraines can have a negative impact on family life, social life and employment.
There are two main types of migraine: migraine without aura and migraine with aura .
Migraine Causes And How To Prevent Them With Your Diet
When you have a migraine, you likely have a hard time doing anything. All you want to do is lie down in a dark room with a cold washcloth on your head and will the pain away.
Pulsing, throbbing, pounding and often debilitating migraines affect approximately 36 million Americans. Although not always preventable, understanding migraine causes, including foods that cause migraines, can help sufferers avoid them.
Its also important to distinguish between a regular headache and an actual migraine.
Don’t Miss: Why Does Caffeine Help Migraines
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.
At The Salad Bar: Skip Snow Peas Try Anything Else
Youre all good when sticking to raw, fresh veggies at the salad bar, except for snow peas, which contain tyramine. Broad beans such as favas also contain tyramine, so consider passing them by, as well. And about the dressing: Citrus such as orange, lemon and lime can contain tyramine. But the National Headache Foundations low-tyramine diet suggests limiting citrus to half a cup serving per day, so a spritz of lemon on your salad hopefully wont be an issue.
Also Check: Fever With Migraine