Migraine Q & A
What causes migraines?
Migraines are a severe form of headaches that frequently cause sensory-related symptoms including nausea and vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, tingling in the extremities, light flashes, and blind spots. The pain can last for hours or even days. Migraines are often triggered by factors including:
- Foods containing tyramine such as aged cheese, red wine, figs, and certain beans
- Hormonal triggers such as menopause, use of birth control pills, or menstruation
- Bright or flickering lights, intense smells, loud noises, and temperature changes
- Chocolate, avocado, banana, peanut butter, pickled or fermented foods, nuts, citrus fruits, onions, and dairy products
- Medications such as sleeping pills and hormone replacement treatment
- Foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG) and nitrates
- Anxiety, depression, stress, and excitement
- Abnormal sleep or changes to sleeping patterns
- Tension headaches can lead to migraines
- Smoking or second-hand smoke
- Going without regular meals
- Being overly tired
Can I prevent migraines?
Preventing migraines can be as simple as avoiding the triggers above. Drinking plenty of water, eating regularly, and maintaining healthy levels of diet and physical activity will help to prevent headaches and migraines. It is particularly important to get up and move around or stretch at least every 30 minutes as well. Low-impact exercises can help to prevent migraines and lessen pain.
What medications are available?
Medications for migraines provided at Premier Family Medical are either preventative or abortive. Preventative medications are taken daily and prescribed when migraines occur on a regular basis, typically several times a week, or if the symptoms are very severe. These medications help minimize the symptoms and reduce their frequency. Abortive medications stop the migraines after they have started. They are also taken when it feels like a migraine is coming. These can be used in a self-injection, oral pills, skin patches, or nasal sprays. They are helpful for people who experience nausea or vomiting with migraines and act quite quickly.
Premier Family Medical can help patients find relief from the pain and get them back to enjoying life.