9 OTHER Risks You Need to Watch For if You Have Migraines

You’re probably well-aware of the things that every migraineur knows:

·         Bright lights and loud noises are painful

·         Dizziness causes you to feel uneasy, literally and metaphorically

·         Nausea ruins the appetite, but you also know that good food can help

·         Throbbing or pulsating pain is so common that it’s hard to imagine what a month would look like without it.

But what else should migraineurs be on the lookout for in terms of health factors? As it turns out, migraineurs are at higher risk of developing all kinds of additional health problems. Below are nine conditions that migraineurs should know about.

1)  Heart Disease & Stroke

Let’s start with the biggest. The European Journal of Neurology published research that found migraines with aura put patients at increased risk for heart attack, angina, and stroke. 

2)  Epilepsy

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, epilepsy is highly common in patients with migraines, especially if there’s an aura. In fact, clinical diagnosis of epilepsy versus migraine with aura often overlap and cause misdiagnosis, along with unforeseen difficulties in symptom management. 

3)  Digestive Problems

I think every migraineur has had some experience with digestive problems. Whether nausea and vomiting are your nemeses, or you’re currently battling leaky gut or irritable bowel syndrome, migraines play a significant role in how these conditions are managed.

4)  Asthma

One of the commonalities between asthma and migraines is inflammation. Migraines often cause (or are caused by) inflammation in the blood vessels. Asthma presents with inflammation and restriction of the airways. One study from the journal, Headacheshowed that people with asthma were twice as likely to suffer from chronic migraines.

5)  Chronic Pain Disorders

Conditions like fibromyalgia and general muscle pain have been especially common in cases of migraines. What’s the connection? They’re all related to the same hypersensitive pain threshold. The more pain you experience, the lower your tolerance. Think about it like this. Let’s say you stub your toe badly. A few minutes later, you bang your head on the cupboard. Which pain is worse? All of it, I’m betting. Later, the muscles in your back start to hurt from the tension, and head pain comes roaring out from behind the eyes with a vengeance. Getting the pain under control and staying calm throughout the attack will do wonders for your ability to build up that threshold.

6)  Obesity

While migraines probably don’t cause obesity, it is important to note that extra weight can make migraines worse and even trigger them. Watching what you eat is not just empty advice; it means paying attention to what you put into your body. Food affects you. Remember that and keep working towards healthier food decisions. You will notice a difference in your sense of wellbeing.

7)  Mental Health Problems

Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, agoraphobia, posttraumatic stress disorder – those are all mental health conditions that are prevalent in migraineurs. It’s not hard to see the reason. Migraines dramatically impact one’s quality of life, and that can lead to a severe strain on mental health and hormone stores.  

8)  Bell’s Palsy

study published in Neurology reports that migraineurs are at twice the risk for developing Bell’s palsy, or partial facial paralysis. It’s a nervous system disorder, as are some kinds of migraines. Shared causes of the disease include inflammation, heart problems, vascular problems, and infection.

9)  Parkinson’s Disease

Migraines with aura seem to be the primary troublemaker in terms of additional health risks. Migraines with aura more than double the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to research from the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD.

Migraineurs are at increased risk of further deterioration; that much is clear. No matter how long you’ve suffered from this condition, there is always a way out of the darkness. I can promise you that you’re not alone in your journey to better health and a more fulfilling life. If you have any specific questions about these above risks and your migraines, don’t hesitate to contact me. I help people all over the globe with their healing journey.


Hackensack Meridian Health: 5 Things Only Migraine Sufferers Understand

American Migraine Foundation: Migraine, Stroke, and Heart Disease

Prevention: Health Risks Linked to Migraines