Migraine Headaches FAQs
Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP on April 9, 2019
Test your Knowledge!
- A migraine is a result of neurological (nerve) dysfunction. True or false?
- About 30 million people in the U.S. are affected by migraines. True or false?
- There is a genetic component that causes migraines? True or false?
- Changes in the weather may cause migraines in certain people. True or false?
- Intense hunger is a symptom of migraine. True or false?
- What is a migraine prodrome?
- There a few types of migraine headaches. True or false?
- What types of medications treat migraine?
- There are home remedies to relieve migraine symptoms. True or false?
- Can migraines cause a stroke?
- Improve your Health I.Q. on Migraine Headaches
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Q:A migraine is a result of neurological (nerve) dysfunction. True or false?
People often refer to a migraine as if it's a really bad headache. While severe head pain with a migraine is common, migraine is actually a collection of neurological symptoms that can be incapacitating.
Q:About 30 million people in the U.S. are affected by migraines. True or false?
Migraine is the 3rd most common illness in the world, and nearly 30 million Americans suffer from migraine symptoms. Migraine most commonly occurs in adults between the ages of 25 and 55, and about 75% of those who have migraines are women.
Q:There is a genetic component that causes migraines? True or false?
The exact cause of migraines is unknown but it is believed to result from abnormal activity in the brain. Abnormal changes in certain substances naturally produced by the brain can result in inflammation, causing blood vessels in the brain to swell and press on nearby nerves, causing pain.
Genetics have also been linked to migraines. Certain genes can make some people more sensitive to migraine triggers.
Q:Changes in the weather may cause migraines in certain people. True or false?
Triggers do not cause migraines, but they make a migraine more likely to occur. Migraine triggers vary from person to person, and each trigger may not result in a migraine every time.
Common triggers of migraine include:
Q:Intense hunger is a symptom of migraine. True or false?
Symptoms of migraine may include:
Q:What is a migraine prodrome?
A:Early signs and symptoms of the first stage of migraine called "prodromal" symptoms can happen a few hours to a couple of days before the headache.
Most people with migraines experience a prodrome, but they may not experience a prodrome before every migraine attack.
Symptoms that may occur during a migraine prodrome may include yawning, depression, irritability, food cravings, constipation, urge to urinate, sensitivity to light and sound, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, nausea, trouble sleeping, difficulty speaking or reading, muscle stiffness, or a stiff neck.
Q:There a few types of migraine headaches. True or false?
There are numerous types of migraines, including:
Q:What types of medications treat migraine?
A:Over-the-counter (OTC) medications used to treat migraines include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Prescription medications used to relieve the pain of migraine include triptans and narcotic analgesics. Other medications used to treat migraine inclide beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, ergot derivatives, and antidepressants. Botox injections may also be used to treat migraine.
Erenumab (Aimovig) is a new class of drug called a calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP-R) antagonist approved in 2018 for use as a monthy injection used to prevent migraines.
Q:There are home remedies to relieve migraine symptoms. True or false?
A:There are numerous lifestyle changes that can help reduce the fequency and severity of migraine attacks.
Q:Can migraines cause a stroke?
A:No. In general, migraines are not associated with strokes.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked, leaks, or bursts. Brain cells are starved of oxygen and they start to die. Stroke is a medical emergency. Know the signs of a stroke and act FAST:
In a very small number of patients with specific symptoms, migraines may be associated with a higher risk of stroke. The specific type of migraine associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke is migraine with aura.
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