Migraine And Upset Stomach
Migraine attacks multiple parts of the body at the same time. Most people report symptoms of headache, nausea, and queasy stomach during a migraine attack. The stomach reacts strongly to migraines. The digestive system slows down and takes longer than normal, which results in delayed emptying and undigested food. It is believed to be a vital cause of nausea and vomiting during a migraine episode.
Sometimes the digestive process is slower in the patients intestines too, which leads to constipation. Nausea can accompany the four stages of migraines, and the patients may continue to suffer from upset stomach even if the headache pain has subsided. The changes in the nervous system or the brain stem during a migraine attack are considered the most likely causes of stomach disturbances, particularly strong feelings of nausea.
Talk to your doctor about any unusual stomach disorder or pain you are going through, as prolonged nausea can leave you dehydrated and dizzy. He will investigate the causes of your condition and come up with the best treatment to improve your symptoms.
Works For Nearly Everyone: Fewer Painkillers
Migraine remedies dont automatically mean more painkillers. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, dont overdo your use of painkillers, or you could end up worse off. Using over-the-counter pain pills more than twice a week or taking migraine-easing triptans more than 17 times a month can eventually cause rebound migraines, warn German researchers.
Which Medications Are Used For Preventing Migraines
Preventative therapy should be considered for patients who suffer from recurrent migraines that cause significant disability, frequent migraines that require treatment more than twice a week, or migraines that do not respond or respond poorly to symptomatic treatments. Currently there are no drugs that specifically target and prevent migraines. Certain blood pressure medications as well as some antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and herbals have been shown to have beneficial effects in preventing migraine headaches. It’s important to understand that prophylactic medicines may not produce any significant benefits right away and maximal effects may not be seen for weeks to up to 6 months.
Although a number of medications have been used for the prevention of migraines, the medications that have been shown to be effective in controlled clinical trials, and are therefore recommended by the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology migraine prevention guidelines include:
Use of topiramate can result in decreased sweating and increased body temperature. This may be especially concerning during hot weather. Wearing light clothes and drinking plenty of fluids while using topiramate during warmer months is very important. A physician should be consulted if body temperature rises.
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Treating Migraine Headaches: Some Drugs Should Rarely Be Used
Migraine attacks can last for hoursor even days. They can cause intense pain, nausea and vomiting. They can make you sensitive to light or noise and they can affect your life and work.
To treat migraines, you may be given a prescription for an opioid or a barbiturate called butalbital. These are pain medicines. But you should think twice about using these drugs for migraine. Heres why:
These drugs can make headaches worse.
Using too much pain medicine can lead to a condition called medication overuse headache . Two kinds of pain medicine are more likely to cause MOH:
- Drugs containing opioidssuch as codeine , morphine , Hycodan or oxycodone .
- Drugs containing butalbital .
They are not as effective as other migraine drugs.
There are other drugs that can reduce the number of migraines you have and how severe they arebetter than opioids and butalbital. Even in the emergency roomwhere people with severe migraines often ask for opioidsbetter drugs are available, including triptans.
They have risks.
Opioids and butalbital can cause serious withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them suddenly. People who use high doses for a long time may need to be in the hospital in order to stop using them.
Opioids, even at low doses, can make you feel sleepy or dizzy. Other side effects include constipation and nausea. Using them for a long time can lower your sex drive and cause depression and sleep problems.
Which drugs are good for migraines?
Limit the use of all pain medicines.
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.
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Treating Nausea And Vomiting Together
Rather than treating the nausea and vomiting separately, doctors prefer to ease those symptoms by treating the migraine itself. If your migraines come with significant nausea and vomiting, you and your doctor may talk about starting preventive medications. See how to cope with the nausea and vertigo that may accompany your migraine.
Who Shouldn’t Take Anti
While anti-nausea medications are generally considered safe and effective, there are people who should consider other migraine treatments. For instance:
- People who have kidney problems
- People who have other stomach problems
- People with high blood pressure
- People with certain cardiac conditions
- People who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
With that said, every person is different and we recommend speaking with your doctor about any questions or concerns.
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Can Migraine Be Worse During Menopause
If your migraine headaches are closely linked to your menstrual cycle, 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. , 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.
What Medications Are Used To Relieve Migraine Pain
Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.
Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:
- Excedrin® Migraine.
- Advil® Migraine.
- Motrin® Migraine Pain.
Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.
Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:
Triptan class of drugs :
- Co-enzyme Q10.
Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.
Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.
All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare providers advice.
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What Are The Common Side Effects Of Prescription Drugs Used To Treat Nausea And Vomiting
A common side effect of the phenothiazines is drowsiness. Another common side effect with phenothiazines, particularly when given by injection, is something called akathisia, where people describe restlessness or a feeling like their skin is crawling. The major severe side effect of concern to healthcare providers with phenothiazines is a dystonic reaction where there’s a spasm of muscles that can be very uncomfortable and distressing. These side effects are reversible and we do have effective treatment options if they occur.
Ondansetron and granisetron are medications that tend to be better tolerated and have fewer side effects.
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.
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How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or A Sinus Headache
Many people confuse a sinus headache with a migraine because pain and pressure in the sinuses, nasal congestion, and watery eyes often occur with migraine. To find out if your headache is sinus or migraine, ask yourself these questions:
In addition to my sinus symptoms, do I have:
If you answer yes to two or three of these questions, then most likely you have migraine with sinus symptoms. A true sinus headache is rare and usually occurs due to sinus infection. In a sinus infection, you would also likely have a fever and thick nasal secretions that are yellow, green, or blood-tinged. A sinus headache should go away with treatment of the sinus infection.
Treatment For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
In general, migraine treatment with medicines should be limited as much as possible when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Instead, trying to identify and avoid potential migraine triggers is often recommended.
If medicine is essential, your GP may prescribe you a low-dose painkiller, such as paracetamol.
In some cases, anti-inflammatory medicine or triptans may be prescribed.
Speak to a GP or your midwife before taking medicine when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Page last reviewed: 10 May 2019 Next review due: 10 May 2022
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What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers
Some things make you more likely to get migraine headaches . Other things may bring on a migraine .
Common migraine risk factors include the following:
- Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
- Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
- Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.
Common migraine triggers include the following:
- Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
- Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
- Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work, but your body can also be stressed if you exercise too much or dont get enough sleep.
- Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
- Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
- Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.
Foods that may trigger migraines:
- aged, canned, cured, or processed meat
- aged cheese
- soy sauce
Headache And Nausea: Causes And Treatment
Besides debilitating headaches, nausea and vomiting are the most common symptoms of a migraine attack that affects you badly. Do not let this pain and stomach upset disturb your routine life. The expert pain doctors at the Advanced Headache Center will identify your migraine triggers and the causes behind nausea to learn what activities or conditions set off these symptoms. The migraine specialist ensures you get the best medication and remedies that work effectively and prevent further side effects and complications.
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Neuromodulation Devices For Treatment And Prevention
In nerve stimulation, or neuromodulation, electrical or magnetic pulses are delivered to specific nerves or areas of the brain to either prevent migraine attacks or reduce the severity of symptoms during attacks.
Several nerve stimulation devices are already on the market for migraine, and others are in development.
Cefaly The Cefaly Dual is an external trigeminal nerve stimulator that sends electrical impulses through a self-adhesive electrode placed on the forehead to stimulate the trigeminal nerve, reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. As of October 2020, it no longer requires a prescription to purchase and is also not covered by insurance.
Nerivio Nerivio is a remote neuromodulation armband device for the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura in people age 12 and older, as of January 2021. The device is available only with a doctors prescription and is controlled by an app designed to provide personalized treatments.
GammaCore The gammaCore Sapphire is a handheld device that delivers small electrical pulses to the vagus nerve on either side of the neck. The rechargeable and device requires a doctors prescription and is designed for multiyear use.
Relivion The Relivion is a noninvasive headset device that delivers pulses of electrical current to stimulate the occipital and trigeminal nerves. For now, its only available in Europe.
Drugs For Migraine Prevention
If you have 4 or more migraine days each month, you may take these drugs regularly to keep migraine attacks from happening. They lessen the number of headaches you have and how severe they are.
You have to follow your doctorâs directions for them to work. Your doctor may need to change the medications and adjust how much you take to figure out what works best for you.
While youâre taking these drugs, write down how often you have headaches and how bad they are to help your doctor judge how well they are working. Most need days or weeks to take full effect.
Once your headaches are under control for 6 months or a year, you might be able to taper off or stop these drugs. Your doctor will advise you.
The medications listed include both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. They aren’t habit-forming, but any medication can have side effects. Your doctor will adjust the dosage to give you the most relief with the fewest side effects.
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Medications To Treat Migraine Nausea
If you experience moderate nausea with or without vomiting during migraine, you might benefit from using an over-the-counter anti-nausea medication. However, consult your healthcare provider before taking any of these drugs to be sure they wont interact with your primary migraine treatment medication.
For severe nausea and , your provider may prescribe an antiemetic drug to calm your stomach. Some medications available to treat migraine nausea include:
- OTC motion sickness medications, such as meclizine or dimenhydrinate
- OTC medications for general stomach upset, including bismuth subsalicylate
- Prescription oral, injectable, or nasal spray migraine medications, like triptans, since migraine might arise due to changes in the nervous system related to the
- Prescription antiemetic drugs that can be taken rectally or vaginally for highest effectiveness, such as promethazine
- Prescription motion sickness medication like scopolamine patches
Working with your healthcare provider to choose a non-oral medication for your nausea and vomiting can help ensure the medication is able to work effectively. Most people easily learn how to self-inject or place a suppository to relieve their migraine symptoms.
What Is A Migraine Headache
Although the term “migraine” is often used to describe any severe headache, a migraine headache is the result of specific physiologic changes that occur within the brain, and lead to the characteristic pain and associated symptoms of a migraine.
Migraines usually are associated with sensitivity to sound, light, and smells. A migraine attack may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. This type of headache often involves only one side of the head, but in some cases, patients may have pain bilaterally or on both sides. The pain is often described as throbbing or pounding and it may be made worse with physical exertion.
Not all headaches represent migraines, and migraine is not the only condition that can cause severe and debilitating headaches. For example, cluster headaches are very severe headaches that affect one side of the head in a recurrent manner . The pain is sometimes described as “drilling,” and can be worse than migraine pain in some cases. Cluster headaches are less common than migraine.
Tension headaches are a more common cause of headache. These occur due to contraction of the muscles of the scalp, face, and neck.
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Why Does Throwing Up Relieve Migraines
Doctors dont know exactly why throwing up relieves migraine headaches. Seems like we say that a lot when it comes to migraine symptoms right? There are several theories why throwing up relieves migraine attacks though. The most prevalent theory is that vomiting stimulates the vagus nerve. Your vagus nerve runs from your brain to your gut. The act of vomiting may be enough to stimulate that nerve resulting in the end of pain.
Remember that slowed digestive process we mentioned? Another theory suggests vomiting may be the end of that process. Vomiting associated with the end of the digestive slowing process may mark the end of your migraine attack. A third theory is that vomiting sends messages to your brain that announce the end of an attack.
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.
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