Friday, June 2, 2023

What Causes Migraines In Males

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When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

What Are Migraines?
  • You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
  • You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
  • Your headache comes on suddenly.
  • You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.

Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:

  • The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
  • Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.

Can Migraines Be Prevented

You can’t prevent every migraine. But learning your triggers and trying to avoid them can help. Take a break from activities that might start a migraine, such as using the computer for a long time. If you know that some foods are triggers, skip them. Some people find that cutting back on caffeine or drinking a lot of water can help prevent migraines.

Make a plan for all the things you have to do especially during stressful times like exams so you don’t feel overwhelmed when things pile up. Regular exercise also can reduce stress and make you feel better.

The more you understand about your headaches, the better prepared you can be to fight them.

What Can I Do About Triggers

In order to figure out what your triggers are, keep a headache diary. Write down when you get a migraine, how long it lasts, what makes it better, and what might have caused it . You can find an example of a headache diary here. Share this information with your health care provider so that you can come up with some answers about whats causing your migraines .

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Who Gets Migraines What Are The Risk Factors

Its difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include:

  • Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease.
  • Gender. Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women between the ages of 15 and 55. Its likely more common in women because of the influence of hormones.
  • Stress level. You may get migraines more often if youre high-stress. Stress can trigger a migraine.

Why Is There Stigma Around Men Getting Migraines

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The medical systems long-held perception of migraine being a womans disorder contributed to its stigma. In Joanna Kempners book, Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health, she discussed how despite migraines being a neurological disease, because it primarily affected women, physicians and society feminized and trivialized it.

In many cultures, men need to be seen as strong. To avoid showing weakness, men may neglect signs of aches or pains and carry on. They are less likely to seek out care for what they perceive as something as minor as a headache.

Christopher Gottschalk, MD, FAHS, the Director of Headache Medicine at Yales Neurology department, the Chief of General Neurology at Yale and Assistant Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, said the occurrence of this type of headache is three times higher in women than in men around the world.

Dr. Gottschalk also emphasized how migraines have long been considered a “womans disorder.” As a result, he said, Men dont want to be seen as having a womans problem.

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Migraine Triggers In Men

What causes migraine headaches in men? While hormones play a big role in migraines in women, men seem to most affected by physical activity and lifestyle choices.

Exert yourself and you could feel a migraine coming on. The exertion could be as simple as walking up a flight of stairs or something more strenuous, such as a five-mile run, according to the National Headache Foundation. Sex falls under physical activity, and some men may find they suffer migraines after sexual activity, states the Mayo Clinic.

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Other lifestyle triggers of migraines include:

Alcohol and caffeine. Many people find that drinking even a small amount of alcohol or caffeine results in migraines. Wine is often cited as the most likely alcoholic beverage to cause a migraine, but other drinks can do it, too, according to the American Migraine Foundation. And remember that caffeine is found not just in coffee, but also tea, chocolate and most sodas.

Stress. Whether you experience stress at work, at home or both, it’s a well-known migraine trigger in people who are susceptible, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Sensory stimuli. You may find that bright lights and loud sounds can bring on a migraine, states Mayo. Some men find that strong smells such as perfume or chemicals at work can be migraine triggers.

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Alcohol Can Also Trigger Migraines

Drinking alcohol is a common trigger of headaches in both genders, but a higher prevalence of alcohol in the average man’s lifestyle means it correlates more with the increased incidence of migraines in men.

Interestingly, while changing weather patterns are a leading trigger of female migraines, this is 50 percent less likely to affect men.

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Causes Of Migraines In Men

Migraines are still somewhat mysterious because physicians arent exactly sure what causes migraines.

Conditions that give rise to these terrible headaches for both men and women cover the gamut. These conditions may include:

  • Certain foods and drinks
  • A genetic component may be responsible for causing migraines

Doctors often suggest keeping track of when you get the migraines, conditions that preceded its onset and keeping a food diary. Then look for patterns.

Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided

What happens to your brain during a migraine – Marianne Schwarz

Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.

Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.

There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines as well.

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Other Forms Of Headache Are As Prevalent In Men As In Women Or Even More So

Almost 50% of men have suffered some kind of headache in the last year . Unlike what is seen in migraine, men are only slightly less affected than women by tension-type headache , the most common form of headache, which affects 80% of the population in Europe . The male-female ratio for TTH is 4:5. Although TTH, in contrast with migraine with its disabling attacks, is often perceived as a normal type of headache, its prevalence means that it actually has a considerable economic impact in terms of absenteeism and expenditure for medical services and medications .

Cluster headache is an uncommon form of primary headache with a lifetime prevalence in Europe of 0.060.3% CH is 3.5 to 7 times more frequent in men than in women. CH is considered the most excruciating form of pain existing in medicine. As documented by recent data , the burden related to CH is significant. In fact, patients with active CH were found to be more severely impaired than migraineurs in economic and non-economic domains such as working life, disability and psychiatric complaints.

Compared with migraine, these forms of primary headache are largely under-recognized, undertreated and underestimated and would benefit from increased attention, research, consultation, diagnosis and treatment.

Migraine In Men Does It Differ

Migraine has previously been ranked in the Top 7 as one of the most debilitating illnesses in the world, and the leading cause of disability among neurological disorders. Unless youve gone through a migraine attack first-hand, it is easy to have misunderstandings about this invisible illness that few really take the time to know about.

One of the most common myths is that migraine only affects women. It is well known that migraine disproportionately affects different genders and a large majority of the community who suffers from migraine are made up of women. However, migraine in men is still as prevalent but rarely talked about.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, women are three times more likely to suffer from migraine than men, and Mayo Clinic affirms that 17% of women are migraine sufferers as opposed to 6% of men. This survey shows there are differences in how men experience migraine, that men suffer from longer headaches and report lower symptom scores than women.

Based on data reported by Migraine Buddy users, 65% more males record that they have no symptoms. With regards to women on the other hand, 25% more have recorded anxiety and also insomnia as a symptom. However, the results also display a 43% increased risk of progression from episodic to chronic condition in men.

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Things You Should Know About Men And Migraine

Millions of men are here to tell you: It’s NOT just a woman’s thing. Migraine is both agonizing and gender-blind – and it takes real courage to endure that kind of pain. Yet because it’s widely misperceived and misdiagnosed, we feel compelled to set the record straight with a few key facts about men and Migraine.

How Does Migraine Impact Men

Migraine Symptoms Flat Illustration Of The Young Caucasian Male Person ...

Headache, Headache Support, Headache Triggers, Migraine, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Migraine is a debilitating disease that impacts almost 40million people in the United States. While unfortunate, those who experience regular occurrences of migraine have a higher risk of developing other health issues, such as anxiety, depression and insomnia, to name a few. Additionally, men with migraine are more likely to have cardiovascular complications, according to Harvard Medical School.

The Difference Between Men and Women

While the physical symptoms of migraine are generally the same between men and women, they often have different experiences. While women are far more likely to experience migraine resulting from hormone level changes, men are more likely to experience it from other physical and lifestyle triggers. Men are also far less likely to report their migraine condition and seek treatment.

Migraine Triggers in Men

How to Get a Grip on Your Migraine

Several common treatment methods for migraine are staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, and regular exercise. If excessive exercise is a trigger, be mindful of your level of exertion. It is also important to be aware of personal migraine triggers. Being able to identify and avoid these triggers can provide significant relief.

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What Causes Migraine Headaches

Migraine pain occurs in the brain but are commonly triggered by external or internal factors. Some of the more common migraine headache triggers include:

  • Smoking or exposure to smoke
  • Blood sugar fluctuation
  • Certain foods that contain nitrates or MSG, like aged cheese and smoked meat

There is still no exact mechanism proven to cause migraine headaches, and there are likely different underlying causes for different types of migraine sufferers. Most believe that there is a combination of factors, both outside and inside the brain, that trigger a cascade of events to cause migraine pain. This may be related to how the brain communicates with sensory nerves in the face and scalp.

Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute is a board-certified head and neck surgeon with dual-subspecialty training in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He works with individual migraine sufferers to help them put migraine headaches in the past, by identifying and eliminating sensory nerve triggers.

Dangers Of Migraines In Men

Those who experience chronic migraines have a higher risk of developing other health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Harvard Health said men who suffer from migraines have a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks. They are 50% more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease like diabetes and high blood pressure as well.

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Changes In The Weather

Storms, excessive heat and changes in barometric pressure are common weather-related migraine triggers that can lead to a migraine attack. High humidity and heat can easily lead to dehydration, another common trigger.

How to cope: We cant control the weather, so if the current conditions are not favorable for your migraine, stay inside or adjust your schedule accordingly. If theres an errand you need to run and its the middle of July in Arizona, take care of it in the morning before it gets too hot!

What Medicines Help Relieve Migraine Pain

What are Migraines? (HealthSketch)

For mild to moderate migraines, over-the-counter medicines that may help relieve migraine pain include:

  • An acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine combination

People who have more severe migraines may need to try abortive prescription medicines. A medicine called ergotamine can be effective alone or combined with other medicines. Dihydroergotamine is related to ergotamine and can be helpful. Other prescription medicines for migraines include sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, and frovatriptan.

If the pain wont go away, stronger pain medicine may be needed, such as a narcotic, or medicines that contain a barbiturate . These medicines can be habit-forming and should be used cautiously. Your doctor may prescribe these only if they are needed and only for a short period of time.

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Migraines And The Military

Dr. Gottshalk says, Theres been an explosion of interest in concussion and traumatic brain injury in big, strong men in the military and in football. That has helped open the door to more focus on headaches and migraines.

One of the most common medical problems for guys returning from war is migraine, added Dr. Gottshalk. With their warrior mindset, those in the military often dont want to admit their limitations.

Yet, 36% of veterans who had completed a year-long deployment to Iraq were either diagnosed with or exhibited symptoms of migraine.

In a study about headache management in a veteran population, researchers found that while chronic daily headache/chronic migraine occurs in about 3% of the civilian population, it has been found to be 20% or higher in the post-9/11 combat veteran population.

What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers

Some risk factors make you more likely to get migraine headaches. Other things may trigger a migraine.

Common migraine risk factors include the following:

  • Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
  • Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
  • Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.

Common migraine triggers include the following:

  • Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
  • Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
  • Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work. But you can also become stressed by exercising too much or not getting enough sleep.
  • Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
  • Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
  • Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.

Foods that may trigger migraines:

  • Aged, canned, cured, or processed meat

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Research Data On Race And Ethnicity

Migraine can be a debilitating condition that is underdiagnosed and challenging to treat. This can be seen especially in BIPOC populations. People of Color are less likely to receive the diagnosis of migraine and the treatment than white people.

In fact, only 47% of African Americans have an official migraine diagnosis, compared with 70% of white people in the country. And other research found that Latino people are 50% less likely to receive a formal migraine diagnosis than white people. These disparities can impact treatment and therapies.

While these figures could lead to the conclusion that white people experience more migraine episodes than other groups, looking at the average prevalence of severe headache or migraine from 2005 to 2012 in the U.S. found that the prevalence rates of episodes across all groups were similar:

  • 17.7% of Native American people
  • 15.5% of white people
  • 14.45% of Black people
  • 9.2% of Asian people

Furthermore, females in all groups were approximately twice as likely to experience migraine episodes than males.

Overall, studies that discuss migraine and use racial and ethnic differences for clarity often do not consider contributing factors. Further research is warranted, and this should consider behavioral, environmental, genetic, and socioeconomic factors, as well as access to healthcare.

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