How To Tell You’re Having A Migraine
Migraines are severely disabling, with symptoms ranging from intense head pain to nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. If you suffer from migraines, it’s helpful to know some common warning signs, so you can prepare for or try to prevent one. Watch this video for signs that a migraine might be around the corner.
Sleep Loss And Insomnia
Because sleep deprivation is a common cause of morning headaches, people with insomnia also have a high risk of experiencing morning headaches. People with this sleep disorder struggle to fall asleep or to stay asleep. As a result, they often do not get sufficient sleep and may feel unrested or sluggish during the day.
How To Identify Triggers
If you have migraine, almost anything can be a trigger. This means it can be very difficult to identify your potential triggers. It may also be a combination of a few things that seems to lead to a migraine attack. And a trigger may not lead to a migraine attack every time, which can confuse things even more.
Here is an example of how combinations of triggers can work: A young woman has identified that her migraine attacks appear to be triggered when she skips meals, is feeling stressed and when she is about to have her period. If she comes home late from a very stressful day at work, her period is just about to start, and she goes straight to bed without eating a proper meal, she will almost certainly have a migraine attack. However, if she skips dinner another time, when the other triggers did not happen, she will probably not have migraine attack.
Many people find that they sometimes go a long time without having a migraine attack. During this time, your body may seem to be less sensitive to triggers and you may find that even the combination of your usual triggers doesnt result in a migraine attack.
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The Migraine Spreadsthen Stops
The initial migraine pain that starts with the activation of the neurons in the brainstem changes after about 1 to 2 hours. The migraine then moves to a second stage, where the central nervous system becomes hypersensitive and involved.;
If you can take medication before the second stage of the migraine occurs, you are more likely to be able to stop the . Triptan medication can shut down the initial pain by narrowing the blood vessels and blocking pain transmission.
But if the pain cycle continues to the central nervous system, medication becomes less effective. If untreated, migraine can last up to 72 hours, before the nervous system response finally quiets and your brain returns to its normal, pre-activation state.
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.
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Dr Andrew Hershey Outlines Migraines Contributing Factors And What You Can Do To Prevent A Migraine Attack
If you are one of the 37 million Americans diagnosed with migraine, your mind is likely overflowing with questions. These may include whats causing my migraine attacks, and is there anything I can do stop them?
There are many different factors that can contribute to why you are experiencing migraine attacks. We recently spoke with Dr. Andrew Hershey, Endowed Chair and Director of Neurology at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital and Director of the Headache Center, about what causes migraine and how you can begin to identify effective treatments.
Migraine Vs Sinus Headache
It isnt always easy to tell the;difference between a migraine and a headache, much less a sinus headache, but each condition does have its own set of specific symptoms. While some are shared, others are very distinct to the condition. This creates a strong case for keeping a migraine diary and documenting the details of and surrounding your headaches.
According to Dr. Ailani, the symptoms of migraine and sinus headache are similar because of the region of the brain that is activated during an attack:
Migraine can also have associated symptoms, symptoms that come WITH the headache pain that can be confused for a sinus or allergy problem. ;You can have a runny nose, watery eyes, your eyes can turn red. ;These symptoms, called autonomic symptoms, come on because of the area in the brain, the hypothalamus, that gets turned on during migraine.
Following this section are common symptoms for migraines as well as;sinus migraine, sinus headaches and sinusitis. As you can see, many of them are identical or nearly identical. Its no wonder that patients struggle to describe their head pain and doctors struggle to diagnose it. The problem is, without a proper diagnosis you cant get proper treatment. If you are diagnosed with sinus headaches but you actually have migraines, it could;delay your migraine treatment for years.
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What Causes Migraine And Chronic Migraine
Anyone who has experienced a migraine knows theyre painful. These intense headaches can cause:
- sensitivity to light
- changes in vision
If you experience sporadic migraines, the headache and symptoms may last only a day or two. If you suffer from chronic migraines symptoms may occur 15 days or more each month.
Migraine headaches are a bit of a mystery. Researchers have identified possible causes, but they dont have a definitive explanation. Potential theories include:
- An underlying central nervous disorder may set off a migraine episode when triggered.
- Irregularities in the brains blood vessel system, or vascular system, may cause migraines.
- A genetic predisposition may cause migraines
- Abnormalities of brain chemicals and nerve pathways may cause migraine episodes.
Migraine Nausea And Vomiting Can Be As Debilitating As The Pain Discover The Best Remedies To Stop Nausea And Feel Better Fast From Ginger Ale To Rx Meds
While there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ or ‘normal’ Migraine attack, some symptoms show up again and again during attacks. Digestive issues, especially nausea and vomiting, are extremely common Migraine symptoms.
Somewhere between 60 and 95% of people with Migraine experience migraine nausea, according to research. And about 50-60% experience vomiting during an attack.
Migraine is a neurological disorder that primarily affects the brain and central nervous system. Why, then, do so many of us experience nausea and/or vomiting along with head pain? How are the stomach and brain connected?
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.
Light Noise Or Smells Trigger Or Worsen Pain
In the throes of a migraine attack, the migraine sufferer tends to seek refuge in a dark, quiet place. Bright lights and loud noises can trigger a migraine or intensify the pain. The same is true of certain odors.
“Once you’ve already got a migraine, smells can seem more intense and make it worse,” Dr. Calhoun says. “But a smell can also trigger a migraine in someone who didn’t have one before walked past the perfume counter.”
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Next Steps To Avoid Headaches Or Ease Headache Pain
If you can associate your headache pain with particular triggers, you can try to avoid them. If that doesnt help, talk to your doctor. There are many prescription medications, as well as pill-free treatments that can help reduce headache frequency.
And youll need to go a step further: Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise, eat a healthy diet, limit alcohol intake, and reduce stress, Dr. Ashina says. Headaches are a condition of hypersensitivity, so you need balance in your system to fight triggers.
Finding that balance may be difficult right now, with the world in turmoil. But maintaining good health, and keeping a clear head thats free of pain, will certainly give your more focus, and maybe even more strength to get through this challenging time.
You Have A Chronic Disease
Headache is a common side effect of many chronic health conditions like fibromyalgia, lupus, and diabetes. However, constant headaches would typically accompany other symptoms. For instance, lupus features headaches alongside symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, and skin lesions that get worse when exposed to the sun, according to Mayo Clinic.
Fix it: If you have chronic headaches, it’s always worth talking to your doctor if anything feels off with your body to figure out if an underlying condition could be causing your issues. Even if youre unsure and think it may be something minor, dont delay seeking medical attention. Be your own health advocate.
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Have A Headache The Top 7 Triggers
Headaches arent welcome here thats the sign you have hanging on your brains front door, but the pain is barging right in. You can chalk it up to stress from world events or something you ate or drank, and you might be right. But there are a number of common triggers for migraines, tension headaches, or cluster headaches. The faster you identify them, the quicker you can boot headache pain off the property.
Who Gets Migraines
If you have migraines, you’re not alone. Up to 10% of U.S. teens and young adults get migraines. And after age 12, during and after puberty, migraines affect girls twice as often as guys.
Experts believe that the likelihood of getting migraines runs in the family. If one of your parents gets migraines, you have a greater chance of having them than someone who doesn’t have that family history.
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What Is A Headache
Headaches are unpleasant pains in your head that can cause pressure and aching. The pain can range from mild to severe, and they usually occur on both sides of your head. Some specific areas where headaches can occur include the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. A headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common headache type is a tension headache. Triggers for this headache type include stress, muscle strain, and anxiety.
Tension headaches arent the only type of headache; other headache types include:
Can Stress Cause 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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Common Causes Of Migraines
The trigeminal nerve in your head runs your eyes and mouth. It also helps you feel sensations in your face and is a major pathway for pain. Your levels of a chemical called serotonin may fall at the start of a migraine, and this nerve can release chemicals called neurotransmitters that travel to your brain and cause pain.
Why You Seem To Get Headaches Every Day
A variety of triggers can cause or contribute to everyday headaches, but if you cant figure out what those triggers are, you wont have much luck fixing the issue
Some of the most common triggers include stress, dehydration, poor posture , allergens, caffeine withdrawal, and nutritional deficiencies.
With tension headaches, experts believe that these triggers affect the skin, sinuses, blood vessels, and other structures more sensitive to pain or the muscles stretched across those structures, resulting in pain. In the case of migraines, the mechanisms are a bit more complex, but in the end, your goal is the same: Remove the triggers, and enjoy a headache-free life. One of the most common headache triggers is stress, so well address that first. Grab your comfy pants, because youre going to need them.
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Are Headaches Caused By Stress
Many people may wonder if headaches are a direct result of stress. The answer is yes, no, and maybe. Stress can cause many headaches and they can exacerbate others. However, knowing the type of headache you are dealing with can help you to know if stress is a trigger, a contributor, or simply a by-product of the type of headache you are experiencing, so you know the best ways to focus on pain relief and prevention.
While some headaches are blamed entirely on stress, there can be other factors at play as well; likewise, some headaches can be blamed on a predisposition to headaches when stress can be a primary trigger. In all cases, it helps to understand more about the nature of the headaches you are experiencing and their relationship to stress.
There are three different types of headaches, two of which are not caused primarily by stress, and one that may be:
Is It A Trigger Or A Warning
We know that the brain of someone with migraine likes balance, like regular sleep and meal patterns. We also know that migraine can be triggered by alcohol and the menstrual cycle. The evidence for other triggers, such as exercise, eating chocolate and bright light, is less certain.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if something is really a trigger, or if what youre experiencing is an early symptom of a migraine attack.
Studies have found that sometimes what you may think is a trigger is actually to do with the premonitory or warning stage of a migraine attack.
During this stage, you may get symptoms such as changes in your mood or emotions, cravings for certain foods, and being more sensitive to light, sound or smells.
These symptoms can lead to you think that something is triggering your migraine attack. For example, at the beginning of a migraine attack, you may start to crave sweet foods. You may then eat some chocolate to satisfy the craving. When you then get a headache, you may think that eating chocolate was the trigger. But actually you were starting to have a migraine attack when the cravings started and the cravings were the warning sign.
The same could be true for other triggers. If you are more sensitive to light in the warning stage, you might think bright lights are a trigger. If you are more sensitive to smells, you might think certain scents are a trigger.
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Support For The Hypotheses
Support for these hypotheses come from genetics, which shows us that the migraine brain has different voltage gated ionic channels for calcium, ATPase, the sodium/potassium pump, sodium channel, and potassium pump, implying that all electrolyte modulation for a migraineur is different from a non-migraineur, in addition to glucose and insulin regulatory variances. See below the top few genetic variances. I used GeneCards database to find all gene variance associated with migrainessorted by importance called scoreand removed some that are not relevant to my point:
I only listed 16 gene variances from the 1293 currently associated with migraines , though as more research is conducted, this number is certain to grow. Some variances that have low scoresuch as insulin resistancewill likely move to higher scores since migraineurs are associated with a very high incidence of metabolic disorders, specifically migraine is associated with insulin resistance as a result of being glucose sensitive.