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What Does It Mean If I Get Migraines Everyday

What Are The Causes

Is it a Headache or a Migraine?

Doctors are learning more about what brings on these headaches, which often run in families. Some are the result of changes in your brain chemicals. Abnormal brain activity is also involved.

Every person who has migraines has different triggers, but common ones include a lack of sleep, caffeine, and being under stress.

Most people who get chronic migraines are women. This may be because hormone changes are another well-known cause. These shifts happen around your monthly period, as well as during pregnancy and through menopause. Birth control can also play a role.

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:

  • Moderate-to-severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light
  • 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.

    A Unique Approach To Fixing Everyday Headaches

    If youre having trouble figuring out why you get headaches every day, try tracking information about your diet, water intake, and stress levels.You might also add sleep time, exercise, and other factors that could potentially play a role in headache development. Be consistent while keeping a diary might feel pointless at first, the information could prove vital when youre looking for ways to treat the issue.

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    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:

  • Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the preheadache or premonitory phase.
  • Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people dont experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time.
  • Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word ache doesnt do the pain justice because sometimes its mild, but usually, its described as drilling, throbbing or you may feel the sensation of an icepick in your head. Typically it starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other side.
  • Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. Its often called a migraine hangover and 80% of those who have migraines experience it.
  • It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.

    Primary Versus Secondary Headaches

    Location Headache Meanings

    When you see a doctor about a headache, they gather information about your symptoms to determine if your headaches are primary or secondary.

    A primary headache is its own condition, such as migraine, tension headache, or cluster headache. When the headache is caused by another underlying disorder , its called a secondary headache.

    Although primary headaches like migraine can be debilitating, they arent life-threatening, says Roderick Spears, MD, a neurologist and headache specialist at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

    On the other hand, a secondary headache can be the sign of a serious health issue, maybe even one that requires urgent medical attention.

    Primary headaches are much more common than secondary headaches more than 90 percent of the people who seek treatment for their headaches are diagnosed with a primary headache disorder, according to a review published in January 2018 in The American Journal of Medicine.

    A new headache that lasts all day and night, every day, is concerning and should be investigated as a secondary headache, according to the American Headache Society .

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    Youre Dealing With Hormonal Issues Like Menstruation

    Thanks to the drop in estrogen right before menstruation, many people experience PMS-related headaches. In fact, menstruation is one of the biggest migraine triggers for people who have periods.

    But it’s not the only time a change in estrogen levels can cause a headacheboth perimenopause and postpartum periods are marked by a significant drop in estrogen, and as a result, often come with headaches. Pregnancy, too, affects estrogen levels, so you may notice that your headaches worsen during this time, the Mayo Clinic says. “Any time of hormonal change is a vulnerable time for headaches,” Dr. Hutchinson says.

    Fix it: If you notice that your headaches appear to be cyclical and coincide with your period, its worth bringing this up with your doctor, who may suggest going on hormonal birth control or switching your current birth control.

    As the Mayo Clinic explains, hormonal birth control can have an effect on your headache patterns and for some people, hormonal contraception may make headaches less frequent and intense because they reduce the drop in estrogen that happens during your menstrual cycle.

    For short-term headache relief around your period, typical headache remedies can help, like using ice or a cold compress, practicing relaxation techniques, or taking an over-the-counter pain relief medication.

    When Your Everyday Headaches Mean You Need A Doctor

    If youre unable to treat your constant headache issues on your own, see your doctor. Alternative treatments are tempting, but in severe circumstances, medical intervention is absolutely essential.Treatment options include abortive drugs that you take as needed, just as you would with an over-the-counter drug, Mauskop says. There are things like Imitrex and similar drugs in that category.What about migraines? A 2014 study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain found that Botoxyes, that Botoxreduced the number of headache and migraine days, and increased the number of headache free days while significantly improving patients quality of life.If youre skeptical about Botox, Mauskop says that patients will soon have other options. Theres a new category of drugs coming out this summer that have been subjected to all of the phases of testing, he says. Theyre called monoclonal antibodies, and they bind to a chemical that releases the headaches for up to three months.Monoclonal antibodies have been hailed as a breakthrough migraine therapy, and theyre part of a new class of immunotherapy treatments. If youre truly suffering from headaches every day, doctors have a variety of ways to help patients treat severe daily headaches. If youve tried meditation, exercise, and supplementation, and even OTC pain meds arent doing a thing, get to the doctor its worth getting checked out.

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    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

    How Are Serious Headaches Treated

    How to Stop Getting Headaches Everyday | Cure my Headache

    If you have headache symptoms to worry about, your doctor may order different tests and have you see a neurologist. A neurologist is a nervous system and brain specialist.

    Some common tests are:

    • Physical exam
    • Spinal fluid test

    If youre suffering from heatstroke or dehydration, your doctor might need to give you treatment through an IV.

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    Seek Help For Serious Sudden Headaches

    Although most headaches are not serious and will go away on their own, it’s important to recognize when headache pain could be a sign of a larger issue.

    Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and past president of the American Headache Society, advises: “If your headache is bad, new, or changing, see somebody.”

    Additional reporting by Becky Upham.

    What Causes Chronic Migraine

    Its not fully understood what causes chronic migraine.

    For a lot of people chronic migraine develops gradually with migraine attacks becoming more frequent over time. Around 2.5 out of 100 people with episodic migraine will develop chronic migraine each year. For some people chronic migraine will go into remission within 2 years of becoming chronic.

    The pattern of chronic migraine will vary depending on your individual circumstances. For some people it may return to episodic migraine, some people find it stays the same and others find that it gets worse.

    There are a number of medical conditions that can increase your tendency to have migraine. These include:

    Managing these can help with managing migraine and the effectiveness of migraine treatment.

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    Can I Prevent Chronic Migraines

    Taking care of yourself every day may prevent your migraines from turning into a long-term problem. For instance:

    Catch some ZZZs. Not getting enough sleep can trigger a migraine. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of rest each night.

    Watch your diet. While caffeine can soothe your pain, stopping it suddenly is a common cause of migraine. Other common food triggers include MSG , nitrates in cured meats like hot dogs, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol.

    Manage your stress. Tension and worry are common triggers. Try to carve out a few minutes each day to do something you love, or learn to breathe deeply when youâre in the midst of a crisis. You might join a support group or talk to a counselor.

    Have a meal plan. Fasting and skipping meals can trigger headaches. Try to eat around the same times each day.

    Get moving. Exercise is a good way to ease your anxiety and stress. It can also help you get to, and stay at, a healthy weight. Since obesity raises your risk of chronic migraines, getting in shape is crucial.

    Know your triggers. Not all migraines result from triggers. But if yours do, that set of triggers is unique to you. To learn what yours are, keep a headache diary. Each time you have an attack, write down details about what you were doing, how long the headache lasted, and how you felt before it started. This will help you begin to notice patterns — and avoid your triggers.

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    Can Using Birth Control Pills Make My Migraines Worse

    Headache Chart #headachechart

    In some women, birth control pills improve migraine. The pills may help reduce the number of attacks and their attacks may become less severe. But in other women, the pills may worsen their migraines. In still other women, taking birth control pills has no effect on their migraines.

    The reason for these different responses is not well understood. For women whose migraines get worse when they take birth control pills, their attacks seem to occur during the last week of the cycle. This is because the last seven pills in most monthly pill packs don’t have hormones they are there to keep you in the habit of taking your birth control daily. Without the hormones, your body’s estrogen levels drop sharply. This may trigger migraine in some women.

    Talk with your doctor if you think birth control pills are making your migraines worse. Switching to a pill pack in which all the pills for the entire month contain hormones and using that for three months in a row can improve headaches. Lifestyle changes, such as getting on a regular sleep pattern and eating healthy foods, can help too.

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    Medications To Treat And Prevent Migraine Attacks

    Medical treatment options for migraine are twofold: drugs that work to alleviate symptoms once an attack has started and medications that prevent attacks from happening or reduce their frequency and severity.

    Abortive Medications Acute, or abortive, treatments include over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription medications called triptans.

    CGRP is a protein in the brain and nervous system involved in the transmission of pain and the reaction of tissues and blood vessels to that pain. It has long been implicated in the process by which migraine occurs. It is hoped that the arrival of anti-CGRP therapies will open a new era in the acute and preventive treatment of primary headache disorders, including migraine disease.

    A newer abortive migraine treatment is Reyvow , which is taken as an oral tablet and is the only approved drug in the 5-HT1F receptor agonist class.

    Preventive Medications Most of the medications that have a preventive, or prophylactic, effect on migraine werent developed specifically for migraine theyre primarily used for treating cardiovascular conditions, seizures, and depression.

    Injections of Botox every 12 weeks may also help prevent migraine in some people with chronic migraine.

    Some pharmacological treatments that help with chronic migraine are not effective when it comes to episodic migraine. Treatment will depend on what type of migraine you have.

    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.

    Topiramate

    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.

    Amitriptyline

    Acupuncture

    Botulinum toxin type A

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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.

    How Prevalent Are Migraines

    Why Do We Get Headaches?

    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

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    What Is A Chronic Daily Headache

    According to Dr. Soni, a chronic daily headache is any headache that occurs 15 or more days out of the month and is present for three months or longer. She adds, A chronic daily headache is a primary headache disorder which means its not caused by another condition.

    People of any age are susceptible to chronic daily headaches, she says.

    Some risk factors include:

    If you develop regular headaches and you suspect this could be the onset of a chronic daily headache, Dr. Soni says to reach out to your primary healthcare provider.

    She also recommends keeping track of your headaches. It can be helpful to track your headaches or keep a journal so you have a good idea of how often they occur.

    This information can also be useful when you see your healthcare provider because it can be difficult to remember every headache you have over several days or weeks. And the notes you take about your headaches where it occurs, other associated symptoms can also help determine what type of chronic daily headache youre dealing with.

    When To Worry About A Headache

    Are you currently suffering from headaches? You may treat headaches as a common occurrence and just grab painkillers over the counter. And youre not alone since up to 1 in 20 adults have a headache every day. However common they may be, there are key signs indicating when you should be worried about your headache.

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