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Healthy Her | Migraines

Healthy Her | Migraines

A migraine is a severe headache that feels like throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation commonly felt on one side of the head. Migraines can often include symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

But did you know that women are 2.5 times more likely to have a migraine than males? That is because hormonal changes, fluctuations of estrogen that can occur during menstrual periods, pregnancy and perimenopause can trigger migraines. One of the biggest culprits for migraines is stress. According to the American Migraine Foundation, stress is a trigger for almost 70% of people with migraines.

Dr. Elizabeth Minto, a neurologist with Coastal Medical Group, shares that other reported triggers include:

  • Dietary factors (chocolate, aged cheese, red wine, delaying/missing meals/not eating regularly)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Head trauma
  • Strong smells/perfume
  • Alcohol
  • Glare/contrasting patterns
  • Weather/barometric pressure changes

If you feel that you are experiencing consistent migraine headaches, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.

Before your appointment, keep a diary of your migraine experiences. Be sure to include:

  • Pain and severity of the attack
  • When it happened
  • The duration of the migraine
  • Any contributing factors such as stress
  • Additional symptoms such as nausea
  • If you felt an aura before it came on
  • Which side of the head you felt the migraine on
  • Treatment with over-the-counter medications

Your healthcare provider will consider your circumstances and together come up with the best treatment plan for you by reviewing your history and an exam.

If you are having migraines, Dr. Minto discourages the frequent use of over-the-counter medication for the treatment of migraines as it can cause more frequent headaches. Preferred treatment methods for migraines include prescription medications for prevention or symptom management, rest, hydration, cool compresses, and lifestyle changes. Additionally, some find relief with chiropractic adjustments or acupuncture. Talk to your provider about what might be right for you.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Minto or another Infirmary Health neurologist near you by visiting