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
How Long Will I Need To Take Weight Management Medication
How long you will need to take weight management medication depends on whether the drug helps you lose weight and keep it off and whether you experience serious side effects.
If you have lost enough weight to improve your health and are not experiencing serious side effects, your health care professional may advise you to stay on the medication indefinitely. If you do not lose at least 5% of your starting weight after 12 weeks on the full dose of your medication, your health care professional will probably advise you to stop taking it. Your health care professional may also
- change your treatment plan or consider using a different weight management medication
- have you try different lifestyle, physical activity, or eating programs
- change your other medications that might be causing weight gain
- refer you to a bariatric surgeon to see if weight-loss surgery might be an option for you
Because obesity is a chronic disease, you may need to continue your new eating and physical activity habits and other behaviors for yearsor even a lifetimeto improve your health and maintain a healthier weight.
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.
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Stomach Sleep Position Needs
When you sleep on your stomach, your body takes on more strain than any other sleeping position. Stomach sleepers almost always place some sort of strain upon the body, making it ideal to eliminate the pillow completely.
While this may be uncomfortable for some, it may be your best option to avoid migraines as well as any sort of added strain to your body. Although, if you prefer to use a pillow, look for one with a soft and low profile for best results.
The Main Reasons Why Light Can Cause Migraines
- The brightness of the light
- The flickering or pulsating of the light source
- When the Kelvin color temperature is more blue
- When the light source is high in contrast.
Brightness of the Light
Bright light creates a response from your eyes that can make migraines more intense. Some people have their worst reactions when exposed to sunlight which is the brightest light you can find.
The dimer the light, the less chances it will trigger a migraine. This is another reason why migraine sufferers go lay down in a dark room when they have a migraine attack.
Flickering or Pulsating Light
The subliminal and sometimes visible pulsating of various light sources such as fluorescent lights can trigger a migraine an even make you feel nauseas. Any light source that flickers or pulsates should be avoided.
Blue Kelvin Color Temperature
Lighting that is more blue-green or higher on the kelvin temperature scale will bring on migraines more so than lights that are more yellow or lower on the temperature scale.
High Contrast Light Sources
These lights are flashing more than flickering. This can be a TV screen, computer monitor, strobe lights, headlights or any other light source that produces this type of effect. This is a reason why migraine suffers often cannot even watch TV but do not mind just listening to it.
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Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided
Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.
Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.
There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines, as well.
Medicines Plus Behavioural Therapy
An interesting research study published in 2010 compared two groups of people who had frequent migraines. One group took a beta-blocker medicine alone. Another group took a beta-blocker but also had a course of behavioural migraine management . BMM included education about migraine, helping to identify and manage migraine triggers, relaxation techniques and stress management. After a number of months the group of people who took the beta-blocker plus BMM had, on average, significantly fewer migraines compared with the group who took beta-blockers alone. Further research is needed to confirm this and to look at BMM combined with other medicines to prevent migraine.
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How To Prevent Migraines
If you want to prevent migraine headaches, here are a few things you can do:
Avoid bright lights and loud noises. These over-stimulate your nervous system, increasing the risk that a migraine headache will set in.
Watch what you eat. After each a migraine headache, try to figure out what set it off. Think about what you ate, and determine if there are any of the food mentioned above triggers to blame.
Be careful during times of hormonal change. During pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, and any other times of hormonal change, be extra careful with what you do. Small things can trigger the migraine attack because your hormones are in flux.
Be regular with your sleep and eating habits. A regular sleep schedule can help to reduce fatigue, and eating regularly may prevent migraine headaches.
Limit stressors.Easier said than done, right? Stress is one of the worst migraine triggers and one we cant always avoid. Try to limit stress as much as possible. If that means changing your job or altering the way you handle home life, so be it. Your health matters, and reducing stress is a key to preventing migraines!
Follow this advice, and you can drastically reduce your risk of migraine headaches.
Home Remedies To Help Prevent Migraine
The best way to prevent migraine is by sticking to a routine that works for you. This is because keeping things predictableeven down to what time you eat or how long you sleep each nightcan help you identify potential migraine triggers. Put simply, if something is off in your routine, and then you get migraine, you have an obvious suspect for the cause. Even though its impossible to prevent migraine 100% of the time, the tips below can make them less frequent for some people:
Migraine is awful, no doubt, but it doesnt have to control everything you do. Having a consistent schedule and routine is helpful, but you dont have to go overboard with it. In fact, doing so can make you feel overwhelmed and stressed out, which, ultimately, is a migraine trigger itself. Sometimes people get very preoccupied with journaling, Dr. Csere says. It can kind of take over your life.
Just stick to the basics: Write down when you have a gnarly headache, note if it was mild or severe, and consider any obvious triggers that could have been linked to it. Even these general notes can help provide your doctor with valuable information without overloading yourself with homework.
Remember: You shouldnt have to live with the pain. With a personalized approachwhich will likely include a little bit of trial and erroryou can develop a treatment plan that can give you relief and make migraine feel much more manageable so you dont have to live in fear of the next attack.
Also Check: Migraine Timeline
What Else Can I Do To Prevent Migraines
While there are no sure ways to keep from having migraine headaches, here are some things that may help:
Eat regularly and do not skip meals.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule.
- Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise can help reduce tension as well as keep your weight in check. Obesity can contribute to migraines.
- Keep a migraine journal to help you learn what triggers your migraines and what treatments are most helpful.
Purple Kush Marijuana Strain
Some migraines are so bad that the only solution is to relax and wait for them to pass. Most sufferers say that sleep helps. Purple Kush may be helpful as it induces a numbing sensation that can promote sleep. Purple Kush is a pure indica strain that emerged from Oakland after cross-breeding Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani Cross. It contains 17-22% THC, and 0.07-0.1% CBD.
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Watermelon And Cucumber Smoothie With Honey And Mint
The ingredients in this smoothie are full of vitamins and minerals. Watermelons are full of water, magnesium, and potassium which help reduce brain fog and increase focus. Honey is rich in many minerals that aid in blood vessel relaxation, which promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
Please Note: Certain ingredients identified with an asterisk are reported as migraine triggers by some patients. Migraine food triggers are a very personal thing – learn more here. If you think you’re sensitive, please make a substitution.
Nausea Drugs For Migraines
Many people who have migraines often have nausea and vomiting along with head pain. Those symptoms usually get better when you treat the migraine. But sometimes, the nausea and vomiting are bad enough to keep a person from taking their migrainemedications. In these cases, a nausea drug can ease your symptoms so you can get the treatment you need.
Most nausea medicines come in pill form, but if the problem is severe, you can take them as a rectal suppository.
Confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, upset stomach, excitability, nightmares, uncontrollable muscle movements, lip smacking or chewing movements
Confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, upset stomach, excitability, nightmares, uncontrollable muscle movements, lip smacking or chewing movements
Uncontrollable muscle movements, lip smacking or chewing movements, sensitivity to sunlight, aching in the lower legs, diarrhea
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Are Migraines Hereditary
Migraines tend to run in families. As many as four out of five people with migraines have a family history. If one parent has a history of migraines, their child has a 50% chance of having them. If both parents have a history of migraines, the risk jumps to 75%. Again, up to 80% of people with migraines have a first-degree relative with the disease.
How To Use It
Rosemary oil has powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Its been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years for stress reduction, pain relief, and improved circulation, which can all help headaches.
A even found that rosemary oil used along with other medications helped with withdrawal symptoms. It also helped reduce insomnia and relax muscles, which can help with headaches.
What Medicines Help Relieve Migraine Pain
For mild to moderate migraines, over-the-counter medicines that may help relieve migraine pain include:
- an acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine combination
People who have more severe migraines may need to try abortive prescription medicines. A medicine called ergotamine can be effective alone or combined with other medicines. Dihydroergotamine is related to ergotamine and can be helpful. Other prescription medicines for migraines include sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, and frovatriptan.
If the pain wont go away, stronger pain medicine may be needed, such as a narcotic, or medicines that contain a barbiturate . These medicines can be habit-forming and should be used cautiously. Your doctor may prescribe these only if they are needed and only for a short period of time.
Who Should Take A Medicine To Prevent Migraine Attacks
There is no definite rule. For example, you may wish to consider this option if you have:
- More than two migraine attacks per month that cause significant disruption to your life.
- Less frequent, but severe, migraine attacks.
- The need to use a lot of painkillers or triptan medicines to treat migraine attacks.
- Painkillers or triptans for migraine attacks not working very well, or you are unable to take them because of side-effects or other problems.
Before embarking on preventative treatment, it is probably best to keep a migraine diary for a few months to assess:
- How often and how bad your migraine attacks are.
- Your current use of medication to treat the migraine attacks.
This may help you to decide if preventative treatment is worth a try, and also to help assess if you may have medication-induced headache. See the leaflet called Migraine trigger diary, including a migraine diary that you may like to print out and use.
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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.
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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What Are The Best Migraine Treatments For Relief
Migraine treatment is very individualized, so youll want to speak with your doctor about how to find the best option for you and your symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a neurologist, who better understands the intricacies of brain disorders.
When patients have headaches that are not being well controlled, we take into account their medical history, what other medical problems they may have, and what the possible side effects of each medication are, Anne Csere, D.O., an assistant professor in the department of neurology, pain, and headache medicine at the University of South Florida, tells SELF. For example, certain migraine treatments are not recommended for people who plan to become pregnant or who have a history of heart disease, she explains. Price is also an important factor because some medications are expensive and not covered by insurance.
Heres a breakdown of the most common treatment options for migraine relief:
Abortive medications are designed to stop migraine once it has started, and these can include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The important thing with these medications is to take them soon after the headache starts, says Dr. Csere. These medications work best early in the migraines phase.
If OTC meds dont work for you, there are several prescription drugs under the abortive medications umbrella your doctor might prescribe. These include: