Did you ever wonder if you were at risk for developing migraines? Did you ever wonder if your headache was a migraine? Although migraine headaches can happen to almost anyone, certain groups tend to be more predisposed than others. Following are some groups that are associated with increased risk for migraines.
Generally speaking, a migraine headache prevents you from doing your daily activities and can occur with nausea or vomiting or sensitivity to light. You can feel a migraine anywhere on your head or face so may be hard to tell apart from a basic headache. Migraines generally recur, so if you have the same type of headache recur, check with your doctor for the possibility of migraines.
For example, my migraines only occur 3-4 times a year, are always severe, the pain is usually close to my sinuses and I have vomiting.
Risk Factor for Migraines – Family History. Migraines tend to run in families. If one parent has migraines, there is a 50% chance you will have them. The risk jumps to 75% if both parents have migraines. This risk seems more likely if migraines are on your mother’s side of the family.
Risk Factor for Migraines – Being a Woman. Women tend to be at greater risk for migraines than men. It is thought to be because of hormone levels. Women may be more prone to migraines during certain parts of her monthly cycle, during pregnancy and if she takes birth control pills. All of these affect hormone levels.
Risk Factor for Migraines – Childhood Stress/Abuse. High stress levels during childhood can lead to a greater risk for migraines as an adult. A study discussed on Reuters showed that children who were physically abused showed greater risk for migraine, but the reason why was not determined. Consistent, long-term abuse can change the way the brain reacts to stress, so perhaps this may be a reason for increased risk for migraines.
Risk Factors for Migraines – Other Childhood Factors. There have been links to other issues during childhood that could increase risk of migraine later in life. For some reason, the 2nd born child appears to be more prone to migraines, as are children who spent any length of time in the neonatal intensive care.
Risk Factors for Migraines – Age. According to the Mayo Clinic, you are at more risk for migraines if you are under the age of 40. But many other sources cite ages up to 55 years. Especially for women, the risk of migraine seems to subside after menopause.
Recognize Risks for Migraine. If you think you may be experiencing migraines or have recurrent headaches, see your doctor. There are medications that are more effective for migraines than what is available over the counter, and your doctor may also give you medication to help reduce the recurrence of migraine.
THIS ARTICLE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND SHOULD NOT REPLACE THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN.
Mama’s Health.com; Migraine Headaches
Amy Norton; Childhood Physical Abuse Linked to Later Migraines; Reuters
Mayo Clinic: Migraine: Risk Factors