Migraine headaches cause throbbing pain, which can occur on one or both sides. They can last for a few hours to days. According to the American Migraine Foundation, over 36 million people in the United States experience migraine headaches. However, women are 3 times more likely to develop migraines.
There are various reasons why migraine headaches occur. You shouldn’t surprise that stress and other emotions may trigger migraines. For managing these headaches, you can talk to a doctor online to seek professional advice.
Read on to learn about the connection between stress and migraines, treatment options, etc.
Symptoms of Migraine Headaches
Migraine patients can experience a mix of symptoms-
- Headaches that develop into throbbing pain. The pain intensity increases during physical activity. Patients may experience pain in one or both sides of the head.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lack of appetite
- Pale skin
The migraine symptoms occur 1-2 days before the actual migraine. This is known as the prodrome stage. And, the symptoms involve food craving, mood swings, constipation, yawning, etc.
However, some patients experience migraines with aura. Symptoms include trouble speaking, flashlights, and loss of vision on a temporary basis.
According to Mayo Clinic, risk factors associated with migraine development are—family history, sex, age, and hormonal changes.
Symptoms of Stress
Stress can cause migraines. However, before you experience migraine symptoms, you firstly notice the following signs of stress-
- Muscle tension
- Lack of interest in sex
- Increased heart rate
- Chest pain
- Upset stomach
What’s The Link Between Stress & Migraine
Medical researchers have found that stress can increase or decrease certain molecules in the body, thus causing migraines.
For some patients, stress, anxiety, shock, excitement, etc. can lead to migraines. Many say that by managing stress, they are able to manage migraines.
However, various stressful situations may cause migraines. These include-
- Relationship problems
- Stress at work
- Sleep problems
- Trouble balancing life and work
- Relocating to new places, job changes, etc.
Medical researchers believe migraines might be triggered by the change in certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin. And, stress is linked to elevated levels of cortisol and reduced levels of serotonin.
So, how do you know that migraines are caused by stress? Research says that a migraine attack occurs 2-3 days after a stressful event. It’s good to note down the frequency of stressful events and migraine attacks. Thus, after six months or a year, you can easily evaluate the type of stressful situations triggering headaches, and do the right steps for managing them.
Along with tracking your migraine headaches, you should also track various things. These include eating habits, physical activities, amount of sleep you get, stress levels during the day, frequency, and severity of headaches.
Managing Migraine Headaches Caused By Stress
For managing migraines caused by stress, there are various treatment strategies. The major objective is to reduce stress levels.
There are various OTC pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen available. Remember, you shouldn’t give aspirin to patients under age 19, because in them, it may lead to Reye’s syndrome. Many patients take opioids for pain management.
If you are taking OTC medications for two days in a week, talk to a doctor online and seek professional help for managing migraine headaches.
For managing stress, your doctor may recommend certain preventative medications. These include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, and CGRP agonist antagonists.
Medical researchers have found that relaxation techniques can help manage stress and related health issues. Pleasurable activities such as listening to music, playing your favorite sport, watching a Netflix show, etc. can boost your mental health while managing all your work-related tensions or worries.
Some of the best relaxation techniques for managing stress and migraines are—yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. Practicing these techniques for at least 10 minutes a day can help you get ultimate relief.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep helps in relaxing the body and mind. Sleep problems can interfere with your daily activities and may trigger anxiety, stress, and migraines.
According to a study published in the journal Headache, 85 percent of the migraine patients reported poor sleep quality, which was linked to headaches, depression, and anxiety. And, the doctors recommended a simple treatment plan to boost sleep. It involves regular exercise, avoiding caffeine before going to bed, creating a proper sleeping routine, and avoiding screens for half-an-hour to one hour before bedtime.
Simplify Your Life
Rather than making things complex, consider simplifying them. Manage your time effectively, update your to-do list daily for work and home. Staying organized will help you relieve unwanted tensions and stress.
At work, you can divide big projects into manageable chunks. It’s good to take short breaks to refresh your mind. A quick walk and a few stretches are effective in renewing your energy for the task you are working on.
Certain herbs and healthy habits can help you manage migraines easily, effectively, and naturally. For example, ginger’s medicinal properties can help in managing inflammation, nausea, and vomiting. Actually, it works by increasing the levels of serotonin, a chemical messenger during the migraine events.
Other home remedies for reducing migraine headaches are—massage, acupuncture, herbal supplements, b-complex vitamins, magnesium, and diet changes.
Lifestyle Tips to Prevent Migraine Headaches
You can prevent migraine headaches by following certain lifestyle habits. These include-
- Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water.
- Exercising regularly. Aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling, walking, etc. can help relieve tensions and migraines.
- Developing a sleeping routine. Going to bed early in the evening and getting up early in the morning can help you organize daily tasks and reduce stress.
- Eating healthy foods at the same time every day can help you manage migraines.
- Keeping a migraine diary allows you to track migraine triggers, learn about the root causes, and treatment plans that work well for you.
When to See a Doctor
If you notice migraine signs regularly despite taking medications and other treatments, seek medical advice. With telemedicine technology, you can talk to a doctor online. Here’s the complete process-
- Sign up an account
- See a doctor online
- Receive your PDF prescription letter via email
If stress triggers your migraine headaches, you need to work on finding and managing its root cause. Medications such as antidepressants can help in managing stress, thus migraines. Other treatment strategies are practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga & deep breathing, getting enough sleep, creating work-life balance, home remedies such as ginger, essential oils, massage therapy, etc.
However, certain lifestyle habits are effective in reducing stress and migraines. These include regular exercise, going to bed early, time management, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and staying hydrated.
Talk to a doctor online to seek professional advice for managing migraine headaches.