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Why Do I Suffer From Migraines

What Symptoms Must You Have To Be Diagnosed With A Migraine

Do you suffer from headaches in Austin? Dr Leeman has a solution

Migraine with aura . This is a headache, plus:

  • Visual symptoms or vision loss.
  • Sensory symptoms .

Migraine without aura . A common migraine is a headache and:

  • The attacks included pain on one side of your head.
  • Youve had at least five attacks, each lasting between four and 72 hours.

Plus, youve experienced at least one of the following:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Lights bother you and/or you avoid light.
  • Sounds bother you and/or you avoid sounds.

What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine

If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:

  • How often you have headaches
  • Where the pain is
  • How long the headaches last
  • When the headaches happen, such as during your period
  • Other symptoms, such as nausea or blind spots
  • Any family history of migraine
  • All the medicines that you are taking for all your medical problems, even the over-the-counter medicines
  • All the medicines you have taken in the past that you can recall and, if possible, the doses you took and any side effects you had
  • Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.

    You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.

    What Causes A Migraine

    The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.

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    You’re At A Higher Altitude

    As you make your way up winding roads for a mountain getaway, you’re likely looking forward to fresh air and cooler tempsbut altitude change can be a hidden cause of headaches.

    According to the American Migraine Foundation, altitude-related headaches occur most often over 8,500 feet. Still, you don’t have to be scaling Everest for altitude to mess with your head even smaller elevation changes may lead to discomfort. “Studies have confirmed that all migraine associated symptoms, headache frequency and headache severity tend to worsen with increasing altitude,” confirms Kuruvilla. “One of the proposed mechanisms is a loss of oxygenation to the brain as a result of being at an increased altitude.”

    If altitude-related headaches put a damper on your mountain retreats, do your best to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks as you travel upward. Or ask your doctor if a prescription medication could be right for you. And, if all else fails, consider swapping the cabin in the Rockies for a trip to the beach.

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      What Are The Stages Of A Migraine

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      There are four stages of migraines, prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome.

      There are four stages of migraines, prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome.

      Below are the symptoms for each, as shared by the Mayo Clinic.


      • Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
      • Food cravings
      • Sensitivity to light and sound

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      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.

      What Are Headache Disorders

      Headache disorders, characterized by recurrent headache, are among the most common disorders of the nervous system. Headache itself is a painful and disabling feature of a small number of primary headache disorders, namely migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache. Headache can also be caused by or occur secondarily to a long list of other conditions, the most common of which is medication-overuse headache.

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      Can Migraines Be Prevented

      You can’t prevent every migraine. But learning your triggers and trying to avoid them can help. Take a break from activities that might start a migraine, such as using the computer for a long time. If you know that some foods are triggers, skip them. Some people find that cutting back on caffeine or drinking a lot of water can help prevent migraines.

      Make a plan for all the things you have to do especially during stressful times like exams so you don’t feel overwhelmed when things pile up. Regular exercise also can reduce stress and make you feel better.

      The more you understand about your headaches, the better prepared you can be to fight them.

      Are There Different Types Of Migraine

      Why Do People Get Migraines?

      There are different types of migraine. There is an international classification system for migraine which doctors use to diagnose and treat them.

      The most common types of migraine fall into two categories:

      Migraine with aura also covers some rare types of migraine such as hemiplegic migraine and migraine with brainstem aura.

      Not everyone will have a typical migraine. Your experience of migraine will be unique to you.

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      How Are Headaches Treated

      Provided one of the serious conditions noted above is not present, relatively simple treatment options can be considered. To treat symptoms and prevent the frequency and severity of headaches, physicians may try to identify headache “triggers,” such as stress or certain foods, and recommend treatment options including:

      • preventive medications and treatments.
      • lifestyle changes, including stress management and relaxation techniques.
      • pain-relieving medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Children and adolescents should avoid taking aspirin. In rare cases, aspirin can cause Reye Syndrome, a serious and potentially fatal condition.

      If your headache is the result of an underlying medical condition or injury, your physician will discuss treatment options with you.

      What Are Rebound Migraines

      Women who use acute pain-relief medicine more than two or three times a week or more than 10 days out of the month can set off a cycle called rebound. As each dose of medicine wears off, the pain comes back, leading the patient to take even more. This overuse causes your medicine to stop helping your pain and actually start causing headaches. Rebound headaches can occur with both over-the-counter and prescription pain-relief medicines. They can also occur whether you take them for headache or for another type of pain. Talk to your doctor if you’re caught in a rebound cycle.

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      Lose Weight And Calm Inflammatory Conditions

      Carrying excess body fat signals that low-grade inflammation is present in the body. Hypertension, out-of-range lipids, atherosclerosis and insulin resistance also signal the presence of inflammation. Because existing inflammation tends to make the body more reactive to irritants and triggers, having any type of inflammatory preexisting conditions makes inflammation more apt to build in the body.

      This type of environment does nothing to help migraines and may potentially increase migraine occurrence since inflammatory signaling is a key component in migraine. Research suggests that managing inflammatory conditions by losing weight and adopting habits to manage glucose and blood pressure may decrease migraine occurrence and/or severity.

      Be Supportive But Not Intrusive

      Why Do I Have Chronic Headaches?

      Try to be helpful without prying, says Newman. Also, dont say that you know what theyre going throughunless you also suffer from migraines, of course. If your spouse or your loved one or your friend has a migraine and youve never had a migraine in your life, its clear, says Newman. You cant emphasize, you dont know exactly what theyre going through, but you can still tell them to be strong.

      Newman finds that staying positive, reminding a loved one that they will be back on their feet in a few hours and asking how you can help are all good ways to be supportive.

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      I Get Migraines Right Before My Period Could They Be Related To My Menstrual Cycle

      More than half of migraines in women occur right before, during, or after a woman has her period. This often is called “menstrual migraine.” But, just a small fraction of women who have migraine around their period only have migraine at this time. Most have migraine headaches at other times of the month as well.

      How the menstrual cycle and migraine are linked is still unclear. We know that just before the cycle begins, levels of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, go down sharply. This drop in hormones may trigger a migraine, because estrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affect a woman’s pain sensation.

      Talk with your doctor if you think you have menstrual migraine. You may find that medicines, making lifestyle changes, and home treatment methods can prevent or reduce the pain.

      Research Data On Race And Ethnicity

      Migraine can be a debilitating condition that is underdiagnosed and challenging to treat. This can be seen especially in BIPOC populations. People of Color are less likely to receive the diagnosis of migraine and the treatment than white people.

      In fact, only 47% of African Americans have an official migraine diagnosis, compared with 70% of white people in the country. And other research found that Latino people are 50% less likely to receive a formal migraine diagnosis than white people. These disparities can impact treatment and therapies.

      While these figures could lead to the conclusion that white people experience more migraine episodes than other groups, looking at the average prevalence of severe headache or migraine from 2005 to 2012 in the U.S. found that the prevalence rates of episodes across all groups were similar:

      • 17.7% of Native American people
      • 15.5% of white people
      • 14.45% of Black people
      • 9.2% of Asian people

      Furthermore, females in all groups were approximately twice as likely to experience migraine episodes than males.

      Overall, studies that discuss migraine and use racial and ethnic differences for clarity often do not consider contributing factors. Further research is warranted, and this should consider behavioral, environmental, genetic, and socioeconomic factors, as well as access to healthcare.

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      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.
      • Smoking.

      Its Often A Very Lonely Experience

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      People who get migraines often feel that no one understands what theyre going through, says Kessel. The public doesnt understand, she says, because they dont have all the information. I think that even the closest family members of people who experience migraines dont understand it. This may extend, she says, to close friends and even doctors.

      Jacobson says she was surprised that when she first started getting feedback from followers of The Daily Migraine, they said that what they valued most about the site werent ideas for better symptom management. Instead, 95 percent of people said they dont feel alone anymore.

      Dumas doubts that anyone who doesnt experience migraines can truly understand the condition. Just as I can’t fully understand epilepsy or Parkinson’s, she says, people on the outside cant ever really get it.

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      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.

      Migraine vs. bad tension-type headache

      Aura before onset of headachex

      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.

      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 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.

      Why Do I Have Migraines On The Weekend

      Why Do I Have Chronic Migraines?

      A migraine is wholly unwelcome at any time, but when it always hits just as the weekend starts and ruins your precious time off its especially horrible. Its not just bad luck though, theres a reason that you might regularly suffer from migraines at the weekend. Its so well-recognised as a migraine variant in fact that these attacks are even termed weekend migraines.

      The primary reason why you can experience an increase in migraine symptoms over the weekend is down to changing routines.

      One change thats common to the weekends is a change to your sleeping habits. Its tempting when you have the opportunity to do so to spend some extra time in bed and get a lie-in, or stay up a bit later and watch a late-night film. Any change in sleep schedule can be a migraine trigger. As well as disrupting your natural body clock, it means youll get a different amount of sleep to that which youre used to, and both too much and too little sleep can be a major migraine trigger, so its important to keep your sleep schedule the same, even on the weekends!

      Another reason why people can find themselves suffering from a migraine attack on the weekend is because theyre finally able to relax as strange as that may sound. Stress can sometimes trigger migraines, but so can a release of stress. If your body is used to being under constant stress then when that stress level lowers the change can result in a let down migraine.

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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.


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