Migraines Increase Your Risk of These 5 Things

5 Contributory Factors of Migraines

Thirty-six million Americans suffer from migraine attacks, most of whom are women. The threat of pain is relentless and frustrating, and the attacks themselves can be utterly debilitating. As if this isn’t bad enough, research shows that people who experience chronic migraines have also been linked to other health issues. While this is disheartening news, there are precautions you can take. Here are some of these issues and ways you can protect yourself from them.


For nearly a third of migraine sufferers, the onset of a headache is accompanied by auras. Auras are visions of flashing lights, patterns or sports, as well as numbness of tingling in the face and hands. If this is something you experience and you are between the ages of 35 and 45, you are at risk for an ischemic stroke. Research has shown that for individuals who suffer from migraines, blood platelets are triggered and the risk for clotting increases. Birth control that contains hormones and smoking also increase the risk of clotting issues. Therefore, it is suggested that women who experience chronic migraines should not smoke and should avoid birth control that contain hormones and should opt for a “barrier’ method of birth control such as an IUD.

Heart Problems

According to research in the European Journal of Neurology, individuals who suffer from migraines may have an increased risk of developing heart disease, although the reason for this remains unclear.

Because the mechanisms are not well understood, experts have not recommended anything other than sticking with the precautions mentioned above. Steer clear of hormonal birth control and avoid smoking. If you have known cardiac problems and you suffer from migraines, you should be cautious of some popular migraine medications, namely triptans.

These medications work by constricting blood vessels in the brain and heart and this can place added stress on your cardiac muscle.

More Migraines

It is believed that people with chronic migraines may have more excitable brains than people who do not experience migraines. Unfortunately, this means even small disruptions can lead to headaches for the former. Anything from missing meals to getting a poor night of sleep can trigger a debilitating headache. It is important to avoid disruption in your normal daily routine to avoid the onset of painful migraines. Be sure not to overexert yourself in the office either. Get up from your desk and stretch or walk around every 90 minutes or so and try to leave your work at the office after hours.


Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles. According to research in the journal Headache, about half of people with this disorder also report that they experience migraines. The correlation between the two conditions is not clear, but it may be due to the fact that they share similar root causes, including the body’s mechanism for controlling pain.

Since these two problems often go hand in hand, it is important to talk with your doctor if you have either and find a treatment plan that works to manage your pain.


Migraines are more prevalent in people who have bipolar disease or depression as all of these conditions have a genetic predisposition for hyper active brains. Individuals with a higher frequency of headaches are more likely to be depressed. It is not quite clear if the headaches are directly linked to depression, but your lifestyle plays a major role in your mood and in preventing migraines. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and work out regularly as these both aid in decreasing brain excitability and therefore help you to avoid migraines and associated depression. 

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