Friday, March 24, 2023

Why Do Migraines Cause Nausea

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Can Using Birth Control Pills Make My Migraines Worse

What are Migraines? (HealthSketch)

In some women, birth control pills improve migraine. The pills may help reduce the number of attacks and their attacks may become less severe. But in other women, the pills may worsen their migraines. In still other women, taking birth control pills has no effect on their migraines.

The reason for these different responses is not well understood. For women whose migraines get worse when they take birth control pills, their attacks seem to occur during the last week of the cycle. This is because the last seven pills in most monthly pill packs don’t have hormones they are there to keep you in the habit of taking your birth control daily. Without the hormones, your body’s estrogen levels drop sharply. This may trigger migraine in some women.

Talk with your doctor if you think birth control pills are making your migraines worse. Switching to a pill pack in which all the pills for the entire month contain hormones and using that for three months in a row can improve headaches. Lifestyle changes, such as getting on a regular sleep pattern and eating healthy foods, can help too.

Kids Experience Unique Stomach Issues With Migraine

Paula: Can you explain cyclical vomiting and abdominal migraines?

Dr. Starling:Cyclic vomiting syndrome and abdominal migraine are variants of Migraine, and they’re actually more common in our pediatric population. With abdominal migraine, individuals will have episodes of abdominal pain that is usually poorly localized somewhere in the stomach area.

These episodes will come and go, similar to migraine attacks that will come and go. There are patients for whom abdominal Migraine develops into a more chronic problem similar to Chronic Migraine.

Cyclic vomiting syndrome is another Migraine variant where they’ll have episodes where they’re unable to stop vomiting, and then episodes where they’re doing okay in between – similar to having episodic Migraine. Both of these things, as I mentioned, are more common in the pediatric population, but they can be treated effectively with the same types of medications that we use for Migraine, whether they have a headache or not.

That is another important concept: Migraine should not be synonymous to head pain. Migraine is a sensory processing disorder, and so some people have Migraine without any head pain at all, and they may only have nausea, the abdominal pain, all of these other symptoms that talk about.

When Should I Seek Help For My Headaches

Sometimes, headache can signal a more serious problem. You should talk to your doctor about your headaches if:

  • You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
  • Your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
  • You have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems
  • You have pain around the eye or ear
  • You have a severe headache with a stiff neck
  • You have a headache with confusion or loss of alertness
  • You have a headache with convulsions
  • You have a headache after a blow to the head
  • You used to be headache-free, but now have headaches a lot

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Is An Ocular Migraine A Sign Of A Stroke

An ocular migraine is not necessarily a sign of a stroke, but can indicate increased risk.

However, research indicates that people with a history of ocular migraines are at a higher risk of stroke.

Sometimes, migraines and strokes can occur together, but this is rare.

Cholesterol plaques in the eye that can cause temporary vision loss or blind spots. They are a strong indicator of impending stroke.

Can Eating Certain Foods Or Skipping Meals Trigger Nausea Or Migraine

Headache and nausea: Causes, treatment, and prevention

Certain foods, and skipping meals, can trigger a migraine attack, and nausea can be a symptom that occurs during the attack, says Spears. Its not as common for people to do something to cause nausea and then end up with a migraine attack on the back end its only in a small percentage of patients that nausea would occur first, he says.

When it comes to which foods trigger a migraine, it varies from person to person, says Lauren Doyle Strauss, DO, a headache specialist and assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Moderation is a good idea dont eat or drink anything to excess. Avoid things with a lot of preservatives in them, such as processed meats or hard cheeses, she says.

Because skipping meals can trigger migraine attacks, its a good idea for people with headaches or migraine to routinely have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with some snacks throughout the day, according to Dr. Strauss. This can help maintain blood sugar levels and prevent hypoglycemia, which is when blood sugar drops to a low level, and may bring on a headache or make it worse, according to the National Headache Foundation.

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Treating Headache And Nausea

Once you identify the reason for your headaches, treating it can be easier. In order to treat and prevent migraines, one should identify the trigger factors and try to avoid them as much as possible. Viral and other infections can be treated by medication. If the symptoms occur due to excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine containing products, then it is a temporary condition and can be prevented by abstaining from drinking! Nearly all the above mentioned conditions can be treated effectively with the help of medication, alternative medication or home remedies.

Lastly, note that although there are several pain killers available in the market that can be gotten over-the-counter, it is advisable to consult a doctor to diagnose the underlying cause of the nausea and headache. This will help in an immediate diagnosis and timely treatment of any serious disorder. Take care!

What Causes Abdominal Migraine

The cause of abdominal migraine is unknown. We dont know the exact connection between an abdominal migraine and a classic migraine, but we do know theres a connection between the gut and the brain, says Deena Kuruvilla, MD, a neurologist and specialist in facial and headache pain at Yale Medicine. Many of the drugs we use to treat depression, for example, are effective in treating an abdominal migraine.

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Tips For Managing And Preventing Visual Migraines

If your visual migraine occurs frequently, here are some tips to help you prevent or manage the condition.

  • Acupressure. This is an evidence-based practice of applying pressure with hands to specific points on the body to relieve pain and other symptoms. It can be an effective alternative therapy for migraine headaches.
  • Lavender oil. Lavender oil can be inhaled or applied diluted to the temples to ease your migraine pain.
  • Peppermint oil. According to a 2010 study, the menthol in peppermint oil can minimize migraines.6 The research showed that applying menthol to the forehead and temples relieved migraine-related pain, nausea, and light sensitivity.
  • Yoga. Yoga uses breathing, meditation, and body postures to promote health and well-being, relieving the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines.
  • Massage therapy. Massage reduces stress and enhances coping skills. It also lowers heart rate, anxiety, and cortisol levels.
  • Herbal supplements. Butterbur and feverfew are common herbal remedies that may aid with migraine pain and frequency reduction.
  • Avoid Triggers. Ocular migraine triggers such as caffeinated foods, alcohol, dehydration, smoking, or stress
  • Unwind at the end of the day. Basic things like listening to soothing music or taking a warm bath after a long day can help your body relax and prevent migraines.

What Causes Migraine With Nausea And Vomiting

What Really Causes a Migraine?

The who and why of migraine attacks are already a bit of a mystery, but symptoms can be Clue level head-scratchers. Even though nausea tops the list of migraine symptoms for many people, why this happens is not clear-cut. The good news is experts have a few theories that shed light on the link between migraine and nausea.

A migraine commonly includes things like nausea, but sometimes vomiting and diarrhea too. Jack Schim, M.D., F.A.H.S., F.A.A.N., co-director of the Neurology Center of Southern California, tells SELF that experts think at least part of this is due to migraine affecting different brainstem areas involved in autonomic functionsthe things your body just does automaticallysuch as digestion. The idea is that migraine attacks irritate the nerves that activate this system, triggering those not-so-fun symptoms.

Another theory according to Medhat Mikhael, M.D., pain management specialist and medical director of the non-operative program at the Orange Coast Medical Centers Spine Health Center, is that migraine decreases serotonin levels in the brain, which is believed to contribute to nausea. Serotonin is generally known as the happy chemical keeping our mood on an even keel . So, its no surprise that a decrease in our feel-good chemicals could have noticeable side effects. Dr. Mikhael also says that a decrease in serotonin can trigger motion sickness, another uneasy feeling.

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How Is Abdominal Migraine Diagnosed

There is currently no test to confirm abdominal migraine. Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on specific criteria that details the type, frequency, and severity of symptoms associated with abdominal migraine. The diagnosis will typically be made only after all other causes of abdominal pain have been ruled out.

What Causes Migraine And Shaking

1. Tension Headache

A tension headache is a common type of a headache that is caused by the muscle tension especially in the face to the shoulder area. This may be triggered by stress, depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, hunger, bad posture, or fatigue. Some may experience this condition every day, which normally starts in the middle of the day.

Other symptoms: tightness, dull pressure and pain, sensitivity to noise and light, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, and sleeping problems


  • Try home remedies such as a hot shower, cold or ice pack, and always observe good and proper posture.
  • Avoid the triggers, learn to manage stress, and practice relaxation techniques like breathing tips.
  • Try practicing biofeedback.
  • Take the proper medications and over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs.

2. Poisoning

Poisoning can either be mild or severe depending on the type and dosage of the poison swallowed. Some of the possible poisons are medications, supplements, illicit drugs, household cleaners, carbon monoxide, and other chemical substances. This can be very lethal and should always be given urgent attention.

Besides migraine and shaking, vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, changes in the size of the pupil, drooling, irregular breathing, confusion, seizure, changes in skin color, and coma could be experienced.


3. Hyperthyroidism


4. Excessive caffeine consumption


5. Intoxication


Why Do Migraines Cause Nausea Mystery Solved

Ever notice that when your head hurts or you have a migraine, your stomach doesnt feel so great either and you have nausea? Theres a connection that many people dont know about it turns out the brain and digestive system are closely connected, so when one system starts hurting, the other one does, too.

But why?

How To Get Rid Of Nausea With Home Remedies

Headache and nausea: Causes, treatment, and prevention

Migraine-induced nausea can be just as disabling as the severe head pain itself and sometimes even more so. Treating the migraine symptoms, either over the counter or with prescriptions, can help lessen the severe headache and throwing up and get you back to your normal, healthy activities more quickly. Here are a few worth trying:

How Are Migraines Treated

Migraine headaches are chronic. They cant be cured, but they can be managed and possibly improved. There are two main treatment approaches that use medications: abortive and preventive.

  • Abortive medications are most effective when you use them at the first sign of a migraine. Take them while the pain is mild. By possibly stopping the headache process, abortive medications help stop or decrease your migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, light sensitivity, etc. Some abortive medications work by constricting your blood vessels, bringing them back to normal and relieving the throbbing pain.
  • Preventive medications may be prescribed when your headaches are severe, occur more than four times a month and are significantly interfering with your normal activities. Preventive medications reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches. Medications are generally taken on a regular, daily basis to help prevent migraines.

Causes Of Headaches And Nausea

Common causes of headaches and nausea

Migraine. Many people who have migraine headaches often have stomach problems at the same time. In fact, 8 out of every 10 people in the U.S. with these headaches say they get nausea along with them.

Some folks are more likely to get nausea with a migraine, like women and people who are prone to motion sickness.

Certain conditions associated with migraine are more likely to cause nausea or vomiting than others. These include:

  • Migraine with or without aura. Those without aura cause severe head pain, sensitivity to light, and nausea. People who have migraines with aura typically have warning symptoms 20 minutes to 1 hour before the headache begins, like nausea, vision problems, and dizziness.
  • Abdominal migraine. In rare cases, children have migraines that cause stomach pain instead of a headache. Those can make them feel nauseated or vomit.
  • Benign paroxysmal vertigo. This can be a precursor of migraine in kids, but it can happen in anyone, even without a history of migraine. It usually happens to people over 60. They often feel like the room is moving or spinning. They may get sick to their stomach or vomit.
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome. It causes people, usually children, to have periods of nausea and vomiting that can last hours or days. The condition isnât a type of migraine, but the two seem to be connected. Many kids who have cyclic vomiting syndrome go on to have migraine as adults.

Rare causes of headaches and nausea

Are Migraines Linked To Periods

Many women do find that their menstrual cycle is linked to experiencing migraines. This is due to the hormonal changes caused by menstruation, and its why for some women, the migraines begin to tail off once they go through the menopause.

If your migraines occur just before the onset of menstruation, then it could be due to the drop in progesterone levels. Its also not uncommon for headaches and migraine attacks to occur when estrogen and other hormones peak during ovulation.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen or naproxen, are the first port of call for treating a menstrual migraine.

If you need advice on the best way to treat migraines, you can start your free online consultation with the Independent Pharmacy today. One of our most popular migraine remedies is Sumatriptan which is a prescription-only drug.

You can find out what other customers thought of this medication on our Sumatriptan reviews page.

Managing Migraines At Home

Why Do We Get Migraines?

A migraine is a common type of headache. It may occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. Most people feel a throbbing pain on only one side of their head during a migraine.

Some people who get migraines have warning signs, called an aura, before the actual headache begins. An aura is a group of symptoms that includes vision changes. An aura is a warning sign that a bad headache is coming.

Migraine headaches can be triggered by certain foods. The most common are:

  • Any processed, fermented, pickled, or marinated foods, as well as foods that contain monosodium glutamate
  • Baked goods, chocolate, nuts, and dairy products
  • Fruits
  • Meats containing sodium nitrates, such as bacon, hot dogs, salami, and cured meats
  • Red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken liver, figs, and certain beans

Alcohol, stress, hormonal changes, skipping meals, lack of sleep, certain odors or perfumes, loud noises or bright lights, exercise, and cigarette smoking may also trigger a migraine.

How Common Are Headaches

Headaches affect more than 50 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. Theyre most common between ages 15 and 44 years old. About 80 million adults suffer from migraines alone! That means there could be as many as 20 million people who experience both types of pain on any given day. And, if youve ever had an episode of severe headache, then you already know how debilitating they can be. But what causes them to begin with?

What Are Migraines

A migraine is a type of headache that recurs , and also causes other symptoms. The pain is often throbbing and can happen on one or both sides of the head. People with migraines can feel dizzy or sick to their stomachs. They may be sensitive to light, noise, or smells.

Migraines can be disabling, and teens with migraines often need to skip school, sports, work, or other activities until they feel better.

What Is An Aura

An aura is a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that usually act like warning signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain, but can sometimes appear during or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who experience migraines have auras.

Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura produces symptoms that may include:

  • Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights.
  • Blind spots in your vision.
  • Numb or tingling skin.

Migraine And Neck Pain

Severe Headache and Nausea

While neck pain was previously thought to be a migraine trigger, recent studies show it is a symptom of migraine, not a cause. People with migraine often experience neck pain, including a stiff or tight neck or pain that spreads to or from the neck. Neck pain may be a common migraine symptom, including during the prodrome phase, but its often overlooked.

How To Manage Nausea With A Headache

When your doctor prescribes medication for a migraine, he or she will likely give you instructions about managing nausea. Heres what you should do:

  • Take your over-the-counter pain relievers or your migraine medicine right away. Dont wait until later. Taking the drug immediately relieves the feeling of being sick.
  • Try to drink water. Drink eight glasses per day. Water helps flush out toxins and keeps you well hydrated.
  • Eat a small snack of pretzels, crackers or another type of carb to settle your stomach.
  • Take anti-nausea medicine. Ask your doctor about getting a prescription for an anti-nausea medicine or try an over-the-counter nausea treatment.
  • Throw up. When all else fails, try to vomit. The release of the chemicals from your stomach may stop the migraine pain. But if you vomit too much, you could end up dehydrating yourself.
  • Get some rest. Sleep is important for healing. Make sure you have enough sleep each night so you feel rested when you wake up.
  • Avoid caffeine.

Do you struggle with headaches, migraines and nausea? We understand head pain, and wed love to talk to you about how we can help. Call us now to schedule a consultation.

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