Headaches are classified as migraines once they last between 4 and 72 hours. Those with migraines can experience, nausea, neck and shoulder stiffness, articulation and concentration issues, diarrhoea, and aura (visual disturbances lasting 20-45 minutes e.g flashing lights, blind spots).
Studies show that those with migraines and severe headaches are more susceptible to other health conditions such as panic and chronic pain disorders, stroke, depression, and dietary issues.
Several studies have illustrated links between strokes (as a result of blood clots) and migraines with aura. These sensory and visual symptoms often preface the migraine attack. In comparison to the general population, those with aura are twice as likely to experience a stroke. This risk can be reduced by lowering blood sugar, cholesterol, and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Pain disorders are often closely associated with migraines and headaches, especially chronic neck and shoulder pain, and fibromyalgia. While some people possess natural predispositions to these health conditions, pain medication could also come into play. Some people may be overly sensitive to the medication taken to relieve pain and tension. As a result, they may get overuse headaches.
To reduce migraines, alternative therapies like chiropractic care and acupuncture can relieve pain instead of medication.
What we eat can cause headaches or migraines. Blood sugar fluctuations can lead to artery spasms in the head, and withdrawal from excessive amounts of caffeine can cause sensitivities and severe headaches.
Some well known dietary triggers that can also cause severe headaches or migraines:
– Aged cheeses and cultured products
– Certain wines, spirits, and beers
– Missed or delayed meals
Keep a diary of food and drinks consumed in the 24 hours preceding a headache to give a clearer idea of food-related headache triggers. Alternatively, book an appointment with a doctor, dietician, or naturopath to identify any sensitivities.
For headache and migraine treatment, visit Melville Wellness for more information and to book an appointment.