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Why Do We Get Migraines

I’m Pregnant Can My Migraines Still Be Treated

Why Do We Get Migraines?

Some migraine medicines should not be used when you are pregnant because they can cause birth defects and other problems. This includes over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Talk with your doctor if migraine is a problem while you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant. Your doctor might suggest a medicine that will help you and that is safe during pregnancy. Home treatment methods, such as doing relaxation exercises and using cold packs, also might help ease your pain. The good news is that for most women migraines improve or stop from about the third month of the pregnancy.

Why Do People Get Migraines

The truth is that scientists arenât 100% sure what causes migraines. They used to believe that changes in blood flow in your brain caused them, but more recent research, notes Johns Hopkins, shows that itâs not that simple.

Now, the belief is that nerves fire throughout your brain in a wave called a cortical spreading depression. This leads to changes in your brain’s blood vessels and inflammation, which ultimately what causes the headache pain. However, the reasons this happens to some people and not others still isnât clear.

Are Migraine Headaches More Common In Women Than Men

Yes. About three out of four people who have migraines are women. Migraines are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 45. At this time of life women often have more job, family, and social duties. Women tend to report more painful and longer lasting headaches and more symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. All these factors make it hard for a woman to fulfill her roles at work and at home when migraine strikes.

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Types And Causes Of Common Headaches

The most common types of headaches are tension and migraine headaches. Tension headaches strike when the muscles in the head and neck tighten. Migraines come on when supersensitive nerve endings in the brain create pain.

But what makes the muscles tense, or causes some nerve endings in the brain to become so sensitive? That’s not as well understood. Those causes of headaches can vary from person to person. But some triggers are common.

Tension headaches are often set off by:

  • stress
  • hunger
  • caffeine withdrawal
  • abrupt cessation of medications that contain caffeine, such as some pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • weather changes
  • food and drinks, such as chocolate processed foods that contain monosodium glutamate or alcohol

Many of those triggers for tension headachesespecially stress, hunger, fatigue, and lack of sleepcan also set off a migraine headache. But nailing down causes of headaches in the migraine category is a little trickier the headaches may stem from many factors, or combinations of factors. The particular combination is specific to an individual. Potential culprits include

What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines

Why Do We Get 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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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.

What Are The Types Of Headaches What Type Of Headache Is A Migraine

There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning that it isnt caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning theres no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue.

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Light Sensitivity And Headaches

During a headache or migraine, you may be very sensitive to light, especially bright and flashing ones. Research shows that slow, flickering lights are more irritating than rapid ones. To avoid headaches caused by flickering light, try using anti-glare screens on computer monitors and daylight spectrum florescent bulbs.

Can Using Birth Control Pills Make My Migraines Worse

Why Do We Get Headaches?

In some women, 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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What Is Migraine Aura Without Pain

Migraine aura without pain includes changes in vision or changes in the other senses and speech but no head pain. Symptoms gradually build over 5 to 20 minutes and then go away after about 1 hour. The lack of head pain sets it apart from other types of migraine with aura. Also, no other disorder can be found to be blamed for the symptoms.1

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What About Natural Perfumes

We are, of course, big fans of natural perfumes, if only because the ingredients are well-known and studied natural components. This means that if there are natural elements that cause allergic reactions, such as sulphur then these properties are usually well-known.

And this is not the case for newly discovered or synthesized components. These lab-created components are tested in labs, and often on animals, and after a series of tests, are released to the public at large. The perfume industry has a long record of synthetic ingredients that were afterwards recalled, banned or severely limited, often after several years or even over a decade.

In sharp contrast to the general non-disclosure practices in the perfume industry, Splash of Scent offers you 100% natural perfumes and fully discloses the ingredients.

You can find a full list of the ingredients used in these natural perfumes here:

Other perfume migraine sufferers have tried and tested Splash of Scent:

I dont really wear perfumes because they give me migraines, however ALL 3 scents I was just fine with! No migraines or itching or rash at all!

I am very pleased with my order! All scents are just heavenly & do not give me a migraine.

Splash of Scent offers you a Try At Home Discovery Kit so you can try and test the perfumes without committing to a larger purchase.

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Acephalgic Migraine Or Migraine Without Headache

Acephalgic migraine is also known as migraine without headache, aura without headache, silent migraine, and visual migraine without headache. Acephalgic migraines occur when a person has an aura, but doesnt get a headache. This type of migraine isnt uncommon in people who start having migraines after age 40.

Visual aura symptoms are most common. With this type of migraine, the aura may gradually occur with symptoms spreading over several minutes and move from one symptom to another. After visual symptoms, people may have numbness, speech problems, and then feel weak and unable to move a part of their body normally. Read on to get a better understanding of acephalgic or silent migraines.

Also known as menstrual migraines and exogenous estrogen withdrawal headaches, hormonal migraines are linked with the female hormones, commonly estrogen. They include migraines during:

  • your period
  • pregnancy
  • perimenopause
  • the first few days after you start or stop taking medications that have estrogen in them, such as birth control pills or hormone therapy

If youre using hormone therapy and have an increase in headaches, your doctor may talk with you about:

  • adjusting your dose
  • changing the type of hormones
  • stopping hormone therapy

Can Stress Cause Migraines

Why Do We Get 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.

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What Causes Morning Headaches

As you transition from sleep to wakefulness, parts of your brain start to wake up too. Your brain becomes more responsive to changes in your body position, touch, and sound. During this period of heightened sensitivity, you may be more susceptible to pain.

Additionally, the hypothalamus in the brain is involved in both sleep and pain processes. The hypothalamus regulates your natural circadian rhythms and sleep cycles and modulates sensation and pain. Disturbances in the hypothalamus during sleep affect your ability to tolerate pain. As a result, while you may not have felt pain as you slept, you may feel it in the morning.

Sleep disorders commonly trigger morning head pain, but there are numerous possible causes for waking up with a headache.

Bruxism Or Teeth Grinding

Sleep bruxism, or teeth grinding or clenching during sleep, can make you wake up with a headache. This forceful and excessive movement also leads to tooth wear, muscle pain, and gum damage. Causes of sleep bruxism include having an irregularly shaped jaw, stress and anxiety, sleep disruption, alcohol use, and coffee.

A dentist can determine if you have sleep bruxism. Treatment often involves wearing a mouthguard at night. Your dentist may also prescribe drugs for pain management and recommend cognitive behavioral therapy to manage stress and anxiety.

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When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • You are experiencing “the worst headache of your life.”
  • You have speech, vision, or movement problems or loss of balance, especially if you have not had these symptoms with a migraine before.
  • A headache starts suddenly.

Schedule an appointment or call your provider if:

  • Your headache pattern or pain changes.
  • Treatments that once worked no longer help.
  • You have side effects from your medicine.
  • You are taking birth control pills and have migraine headaches.
  • Your headaches are more severe when lying down.

Is It Migraine Or A Headache

Why Do We Get Headaches?

Migraine attacks are different than common headaches. They typically cause severe levels of throbbing pain and usually occur on one side of the head. Migraine is categorized as with aura or without aura.

If you have migraine with aura, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms in the 30 minutes before your attack:

  • seeing flashes of light
  • seeing unusual lines or spots
  • a temporary loss of vision
  • numbness in the hands or face
  • tingling sensations in the hands or face
  • changes in speech
  • unusual changes in smell, taste, or touch

The symptoms of migraine with aura can also include:

  • nausea
  • sensitivity to light or sound
  • pain behind one eye or one ear
  • pain in one or both temples

Common headaches are never preceded by an aura and are typically less painful than migraine.

There are different kinds of headaches, including:

  • Tension headaches. High levels of stress and anxiety can cause tension headaches. They may also be caused by muscle tension or strain.
  • Cluster headaches. These headaches are often mistaken for migraine. They typically cause pain on one side of the head and may include other symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, or nasal congestion.

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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.

Take A Medical History

Youll be asked to describe your headaches as your doctor asks you some questions, including:

  • Is your headache better when you lie down, or when you sit up?

  • Is your headache worse when you bend over, or when you strain for a bowel movement? Does your headache change on the weekends?

  • What makes your headache better and what makes them worse? And where does it hurt? Does it hurt anywhere else at other times?

  • Is it burning, or pounding, or throbbing?

  • When you have a headache, would you rather be in a sunny or dark room? What about a quiet room?

Theres also a set of criteria by the International Headache Society that doctors follow to make a diagnosis for migraines with or without auras. Patients must have two of the following four features when it comes to headache pain:

  • It must be moderately to severely intense

  • It tends to occur on one side

  • It has a throbbing or pulsating quality

  • It has to get worse with routine physical activity

And they have to have one of the following two criteria while theyre having an attack:

  • Not being able to tolerate light and noise

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

If you have auras, they must include:

  • Visual or sensory symptoms that only last as long as your migraine attack

  • They come on gradually

  • Theyre usually followed by a headache, but not always. In fact, you may not have a headache or you have such a mild one that the headache isnt very apparent

Finally, a patient has had to have at least five attacks in their lifetime.

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What Ingredient In Perfume Causes Headaches

  • Ethers

Ethers

Ethers are confirmed triggers for chemical sensitivity specifically migraines. Ethers are a broad class of compounds that contain an ether group. An ether group is the connection of one oxygen atom with two alkyl groups: R-O-R.

Here are a couple of widely used ethers:

Anisole or methoxybenzene

Anisole has a phenolic, ethereal anise scent, reminiscent of anise seed. It does occur in nature but is mostly synthetically made. It is used to obtain more machinery/gasoline like notes.

Dimethoxyethane

1,1-dimethoxyethane has a sharp, sweet, alcoholic, green hay odor.

Dioxane

1,4-dioxane is not listed on labels as an ingredient but can be present as a trace contaminant, as its used as a solvent in the making of fragrance. Its a by-product of commonly used derivatives such as Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulphate, PEG compounds, ceteareth and oleth, which in themselves are not necessarily dangerous.

1,3-dioxane, 2–5-methyl-5– is marketed under the trade name Karanal and is widely used in fragrances. It has become recently heavily restricted in the EU.

Tetrahydrofuran

Tetrahydrofuran can be used to create a tobacco-like scent.

Specific odors

Aside from these triggering components that may be found in perfume, there are additional odors that you might be sensitive to. While you may not experience any problems with these scents, it is always best to test your reaction to them first.

Keep A Headache Diary

Why do we get headache ?

Keeping a headache diary is a good way to figure out the association between migraine triggers, your lifestyle, and headache, says Robert Cowan, MD, professor of neurology and chief of the division of headache medicine at Stanford University in California. With a headache diary, youll start to see a pattern, such as you get migraines on weekends or in the afternoon. If you take migraine medication, you record this in your diary.

Dr. Cowan recommends using a free headache diary app to keep track of migraines and triggers. He and two colleagues created the free app BonTriage, which is available in the App Store.

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How Are Migraines Diagnosed

Your doctor can diagnose migraines by the symptoms you describe. If the diagnosis is not clear, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Your doctor might want to do blood tests or imaging tests, such as an MRI or CAT scan of the brain. These tests can help ensure there are no other causes for the headache. You may also be asked to keep a headache journal. This can help your doctor identify the things that might cause your migraines.

If headache pain is getting in the way of your daily activities, its time to see your family doctor. Read More

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