Migraines: Stop Them Before They Start


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Migraines affect millions of people in the United States. According to the American Migraine Foundation, it’s the third most common disease in the world. Now, a new study found people who suffer from migraines might be able to predict when one is coming, hours before symptoms even start.

A migraine is sometimes misunderstood as a bad headache.

Vincent Martin, MD, Dir., Headache and Facial Pain Center, Pres., Nat’l Headache Foundation at the University of Cincinnati says, “It’s probably one of the most common conditions that we see in practice.”

But doctors say it’s a neurological disease impacting about 39 million people in the US.

Doctor Martin explains, “It occurs in about 16 to 18 percent of women and about five percent of men. Overall, it’s about 12 percent of the entire population. So, it’s about one in eight people overall.”

Migraines typically last anywhere from four to 72 hours … Causing moderate to severe pain.

“Usually, the pain is on one side, but occasionally it can be two-sided. And they get a variety of different symptoms such as nausea, and vomiting, and sometimes sensitivity to light and noise as well.” Says Doctor Martin.

A new study from the American Academy of Neurology found circadian rhythms play a huge role in migraines. Study participants who experienced poor sleep quality and low energy had a higher chance of a migraine the next morning. For people who had higher energy and higher stress levels … a migraine also typically followed the next day, but in the afternoon or evening. Doctors say recognizing specific triggers means a migraine could be predicted and prevented with medication before it even starts.

Doctor Martin says, “We use some of the ones that stay in the body a little bit longer shortly before a trigger and during the trigger, and then sometimes that can kind of ward it off.”

Along with sleep, energy level and stress … other common migraine triggers include hormones, certain smells or foods, and even weather changes.

Contributors to this news report include: Lindsay Dailey, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor.






REPORT #3176

BACKGROUND: A migraine is a severe headache that causes throbbing and pulsing pain on one side of the head. The headache phase of a migraine can last for at least four hours, but in some cases, it can last for days. Physical activity, bright lights, and loud noises are just some ways it can make it worse. Migraines can disrupt your daily routine and hinder your ability to meet personal and social obligations. Migraine is the third most common disease worldwide, affecting 12% of the global population. This includes 1 in 5 women, 1 in 16 men, and 1 in 11 children. Women are three times more likely to be diagnosed with migraines than men, and researchers believe that hormonal changes, such as estrogen fluctuations during a woman’s menstrual cycle, may play a role.

(Sources: https://www.americanbrainfoundation.org/diseases/migraine/#:~:text=Who%20Does%20Migraine%20Affect%3F,and%201%20in%2011%20children., https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5005-migraine-headaches)

SYMPTOMS: Migraines can affect people of all ages and progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome. Not everyone who has migraines goes through all stages. During the prodrome stage, which occurs one or two days before a migraine, you might notice subtle changes like constipation, food cravings, or frequent yawning that warn of an upcoming migraine. The aura stage can happen before or during a migraine, and it is characterized by reversible symptoms of the nervous system, usually visual but sometimes involving other disturbances. Each symptom usually builds up over several minutes and can last up to 60 minutes. If untreated, a migraine attack usually lasts from 4 to 72 hours, and the frequency of occurrence varies from person to person. Post-drome, after a migraine attack, you might feel drained, confused, and washed out for up to a day. Some people even report feeling elated. However, sudden head movement might bring on the pain again briefly.

(Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201)

NEW WAYS TO PREDICT MIGRAINES: A new study from the American Academy of Neurology, found that circadian rhythms play a huge role in migraines. The researchers also looked at studies on cluster headache and migraine and hormones related to the circadian system, including cortisol and melatonin. For migraine, the meta-analysis showed a circadian pattern of attacks in 50% of people. While the peak for attacks during the day was broad, ranging from late morning until early evening, there was a circadian low point during the night when few attacks happened. Migraine was also associated with two core circadian genes, and 110 of the 168 genes associated with migraine were genes with a circadian pattern of expression. People with migraine had lower levels of melatonin in their urine than people without migraine.

(Source: https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/5067#:~:text=MINNEAPOLIS%20%E2%80%93Both%20cluster%20headache%20and,the%20American%20Academy%20of%20Neurology )

* For More Information, Contact:

Vincent Martin, MD

University of Cincinnati


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