Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Can Stress Cause Chronic Migraines

Get Your Priorities Straight

Headaches, Migraines, and Headband Sensations (How chronic stress and Anxiety can cause these)

Think about your priorities, and write them down as two lists, marked Life and Now. What are the most important things on your list? What can you eliminate? Remember whats really important as you schedule your time and prioritize actions. Being always on the go, focused on tasks that dont make you happy is not the best option for leading a low-stress life.

What Are The Preventive Treatments For Migraine

Many patients with isolated visual migraines, without severe headaches, have relatively infrequent episodes that do not require specific preventive treatments. If a patient is aware of the particular triggers that seem to bring on an episode, then those triggers can be avoided.

In patients where the pattern of migraines includes frequent, severe headaches, it is very reasonable to consider additional preventive treatments. The main goal for any of these strategies is to reduce the overall frequency and severity of the headaches. None of the preventive treatments is a magic bullet that is 100% effective. For example, it would be considered successful if a preventive treatment helped reduce the number of severe headaches from 8 per month to 2-4 per month.

There are numerous medications that can be used as a preventive treatment for migraine. One medication that is used commonly, particularly because it has no side effects, is vitamin B2 . Approximately 100mg of riboflavin daily is thought to improve migraine headaches . One common side effect of riboflavin is that the urine turns bright yellow. Other herbal medications used to reduce migraine headaches include petasites and feverfew.

How Stress Can Trigger Migraine

Physical or emotional stress can trigger migraine, and patients commonly point the finger at anxiety as a trigger.

In a 2020 survey of 1,990 female university students in Saudi Arabia, 70 percent said stress triggered their headaches. An earlier study put the figure closer to 80 percent.

Research also has shown that stress levels are higher among people with migraine than those who dont experience migraine. No sh*t. Regular, day-ruining headaches will do that.

People who experience chronic daily migraine are especially likely to see stress as the culprit.

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Is Stress Causing Your Chronic Migraines

More than just a tension headache, a migraine headache is debilitating and disruptive. If you get migraines, you know the agony they cause, and youve likely tried just about everything to get rid of it.

Our team of specialists at BodyWorks Medical Center can help. We work with migraine patients every day and help them identify the root cause of their headaches. Thats only the first step. Next, we figure out your unique triggers so we can design a customized treatment plan just for you. We dont believe in simply masking your pain or alleviating it temporarily with drugs. Our goal is to help you achieve wellness so you can live medication free and pain-free, stopping migraines before they start.

Symptoms Of Retinal Migraine

9 Handy Charts to Help Deal with Migraines

The symptoms of retinal migraine may include:

  • partial or total loss of vision in 1 eye this usually lasts 10 to 20 minutes before vision gradually returns
  • headache this may happen before, during or after the vision attack

Its unusual for an episode of vision loss to last longer than an hour. The same eye is affected every time in almost all cases.

Vision may slowly become blurred or dimmed, or there may be flashes of light. Some people see a mosaic-like pattern of blank spots , which enlarge to cause total loss of vision.

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Ntg Induced Mechanical Allodynia

We evaluated hind-paw mechanical withdrawal threshold before and after NTG administration in both SDS and CVS paradigms. There was no difference in withdrawal threshold between the control, stress sensitive, and stress resilient groups in the SDS paradigm . Following i.p. administration of 10 mg/kg NTG both control and stress sensitive groups showed a significant reduction in hind paw mechanical withdrawal threshold after 75 min and 120 min time points . In contrast, resilient mice showed a significant reduction at the 75 min time point but not the 120 min time point . No significant change in mechanical withdrawal threshold was seen after administration of vehicle control in all three groups , implying that the reductions in threshold we observed were due to NTG.

In the CVS paradigm, chronically stressed mice showed a significant reduction in hind paw withdrawal threshold at baseline compared to their control counterparts . Both groups showed a significant reduction in mechanical withdrawal threshold after administration of NTG at the 75 min and 120 min time point compared to baseline. However no difference between the groups was seen during these time points following administration of NTG. Following administration of vehicle no difference in mechanical allodynia was seen compared to baseline in both groups except for control mice at the 75 min time point .

Can Ptsd Cause Migraine

PTSD can push you into any type of headache, says Murinova. People with PTSD are also more likely to have chronic daily headache, especially people who have depression and PTSD, she says.

People who have a history of PTSD often have much more disability with their migraine, in part because they often have other conditions in addition to PTSD and migraine, she adds.

Migraine may be brought on by psychological problems such as PTSD, but its not the underlying cause, says Loretta Mueller, DO, a headache specialist at Cooper University Health Care in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. You generally have that migraine vulnerability to start, Dr. Mueller says.

The exact reason that a person has migraine isnt known, but its thought to be a combination of genetics as well as environmental factors, says Kiran Rajneesh, MBBS, a neurologist and pain medicine specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.

By genetics, we mean something that youre born with a propensity for headaches which includes family history, or mutations that involve certain channels in the brain, Dr. Rajneesh says.

People are born with some propensity for migraine, and then there is a threshold people can reach that threshold when they are exposed to certain environmental factors or lifestyle changes, says Rajneesh.

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What Are The Red Flags That My Visual Symptoms Are Not Due To Migraine

The typical symptoms of a visual migraine are positive, meaning that there is something shimmering or sparkling that is disrupting the vision. Migraines are less likely to cause negative symptoms of pure visual darkness. An episode of visual darkness typically requires additional evaluation for other conditions, including a mini-stroke .

Stress And Chronic Migraines: How They Connect

Ways to reduce pain caused by stress

Approximately 29.5 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches every year. Known for their tendency to cause intense, throbbing pain in concentrated areas of the head, migraines are the most common form of disabling headache sending patients to see their doctors. While not every migraine is anxiety-induced, there are definitely links between our levels of stress and chronic migraines.

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Can Stress Cause Chronic Headaches

Weve all had the occasional headache that comes from being under extreme stress, but for those who suffer from chronic headaches, it can be frustrating when friends and family suggest too much stress is causing their headaches.

This is a problem for everyone who suffers from chronic pain. Because you cant see it, its assumed by others who have never experienced it that chronic pain isnt real. Its all in your head. In some cases, even doctors treat their patients like chronic pain and headaches are psychological manifestations of chronic stress. But both chronic pain and chronic headaches are very real problems that can be debilitating.

Chronic pain is stressful and perpetuates a vicious cycle of pain that causes stress which makes the pain worse, leading to more stress. This is why taking steps to alleviating stress can help lessen the intensity and frequency of chronic headaches. But can chronic stress cause headaches? The answer is, well, its complicated.

What Is Chronic Tension Headache And Who Is Affected By It

Chronic tension headache is a condition where you have a tension headache on at least 15 days every month for at least three months.This can be tiring and depressing. Tension headache is the common type of headache that most people have at some time.

It’s not known exactly how common chronic tension headache is, as few studies have looked at this clearly. Some studies have estimated that around 1 in 30 of all adults have chronic tension headaches – which means they have a headache on more than half of all days for three months or more. However, it is possible that a proportion of these patients actually have developed medication-overuse headaches as a result of their tension headaches. Therefore, it can be difficult to be certain which is their main problem.

Chronic means persistent it does not mean severe. The severity of the headaches can vary from mild to severe. Because of the persistent nature of the headaches, however, this condition is often quite disabling and distressing, and most patients take preventative medication.

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Stress And Chronic Headache

Reprinted with permission from ACHE

People with chronic headache sometimes react angrily to friends or doctors who suggest they are just under too much stress – and with reason, since theres often an implication that the headaches are a psychological rather than a medical issue. In fact, chronic headache is unlikely to be caused by stress alone, yet stress can contribute significantly to making headaches worse. In addition to all the other hassles of modern life, people with severe or chronic headache have to deal with the stress of being in pain. Approaches that help to reduce the stress associated with chronic headache can also help control the headaches themselves.

Chronic Headache, Chronic StressWith episodic migraine, individuals can often identify how different stressors affect their headache pattern. A given person might recognize that headaches tend to follow a hectic week at work, a quarrel with a family member, or an important social occasion. There are also physical stresses that can trigger an attack, such as changes in weather, missed meals or too much alcohol. Because both the headaches and the stresses are infrequent, its relatively easy to see the connection.

How To Avoid Stress And Anxiety Triggers

The Secret Relationship Between Chronic Migraines and ...

The causes of stress and anxiety differ from person to person. But there are some common triggers including:

Social problems, like conflict in the workplace, discrimination, and living in an unsafe environment can also cause stress.

Traumatic events, like losing a loved one, experiencing physical and sexual assault, or going to war, can also cause profound stress. The stress from catastrophes like these can result in the clinical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder .

Seems like stress can hit you from every angle, right? Its important to take stock of your life and determine the sources of stress you can eliminate, like a bad job or a toxic relationship.

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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.

    How To Know If You Have Anxiety

    According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD is characterized by excessive, persistent, unrealistic worry about everyday things including family, work, money, health, and more.

    • Find it difficult to control worry on more days than not for at least six months
    • Have a frequent sense of impending doom, danger, or panic
    • Frequently feel nervous, irritable, or on edge
    • Have trouble sleeping
    • Have difficulty concentrating

    It makes sense that anxiety is a common side effect of living with an unpredictable disease like Migraine.

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    What Causes Chronic Migraine

    Unfortunately, it’s not entirely clear what causes chronic migrainesor migraines in general. But there are a few theories as to what could be behind them. According to the Mayo Clinic, they include:

    • family history/genetic predisposition

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    Chronic Stress Impacts Other Emotions

    Do Migraines have a Connection to Anxiety or Depression?

    Have you ever arrived home after spending an hour in traffic only to have a minor annoyance at home set you off? Thats because stress makes people grouchy, and a study published in Nature Communications has learned why.

    Chronic stress eats away at a brain mechanism important for social skills and healthy cognition. It does this by affecting pathways in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain involved in memory, learning, and emotion, literally interfering with healthy responses. Interestingly, these affected pathways are the same ones involved in neurodegenerative diseases like epilepsy. Researchers plan to explore stress potential impact on those diseases as well.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Each Tension Headache

    • Tension headaches are usually felt as a band or across the forehead. They can be uncomfortable and tiring, but they do not usually disturb sleep. Some people feel a squeezing or pressure on their head.
    • It usually occurs on both sides, and often spreads down your neck, or seems to come from your neck. Sometimes it is just on one side.
    • The pain is usually moderate or mild. Tension headaches can interrupt concentration but are usually not bad enough to send you to bed. Most people can work through a tension headache if they really need to.
    • A tension headache can last from 30 minutes to seven days. Most last a few hours.
    • Tension headaches tend to become worse as the day goes on and are often mildest in the morning. They are not usually made worse by physical activity.
    • An exception to this would be a headache caused by sleeping in an awkward position, causing a sore neck, or an ache in the face and jaw due to tooth grinding.
    • There are usually no other symptoms.

    Sometimes migraines are mistaken for chronic tension headaches. Some people don’t like bright lights or loud noises, and don’t feel like eating much when they have a tension headache. However, marked dislike of light or loud noise, and visual disturbances, like zigzag lines, are more suggestive of migraine. A mild feeling of sickness can occur, especially if you are using a lot of painkillers. However, marked nausea is, again, more a feature of migraine.

    Managing And Preventing Headaches

    Because the majority of headaches experienced by adults are tension headaches, and these headaches are caused by stress, a great proportion of these headaches can be avoided or at least minimized with effective stress management techniques. Additionally, because stress can make migraine sufferers more susceptible to their migraine triggers, stress relief techniques can help avoid many of these severe headaches as well. And, finally, because stress management techniques can strengthen the immune system , those who practice regular stress management techniques can avoid at least some potential secondary headaches by avoiding the health conditions that cause them.

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    Can Migraines Be Psychological

    Migraines are a biological and not a psychological disease, because the pain is real and not just in your mind, according to a paper published in the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology. But there are psychological factors that can impact migraine, and psychological stressors can trigger migraine.

    According to a study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain in July 2017, 50 to 70 percent of people had a significant association between their daily stress level and their daily migraine activity.

    Having severe migraine can also be a source of stress, which may make migraine even worse.

    Psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, and PTSD are associated with migraine, says Mueller. People who have these conditions are more likely to experience migraine. There can be a higher vulnerability to the effects of stress for some people with migraine, she says.

    A study published in April 2017 in Headache found that depression, anxiety, and pain catastrophizing were strongly associated with severe migraine-related disability, and that depression and whats known as chance locus of control were associated with chronic migraine. Chance locus of control describes the belief that what happens to you in life is determined by chance rather than as a result of your actions.

    Make Time For Relationships And Personal Growth

    Headaches and Migraines in Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS

    Studies show that talking with other people relieves stress. Schedule together time with your partner, and deliberately get off the couch and do something fun. Reach out to your support network, and offer support to others. By increasing personal interaction and prioritizing the things that make you happy, stress will instantly be minimized.

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