Posts Tagged ‘Headaches and dizziness’

Migraine Headaches and Dizziness- Stop the Ride, I want to get off!

Monday, November 28th, 2011



As if migraine headaches weren’t bad enough…here come headaches and dizziness to spoil your day!  Migraine vertigo can be part of your migraine symptoms, or it can signify a comorbid vestibular disorder.


What is Migraine associated vertigo (MAV)?

Migraine attacks include a wide range of symptoms, including extreme dizziness.  A significant percentage of migraine sufferers also experience vestibular migraines- migraine headaches that come with symptoms of vertigo.


Go Ask Alice: Migraine Auras in Wonderland

What are the symptoms of migraine associated vertigo?

It is important to use descript terms when explaining vertigo symptoms to your doctor or headache specialist, so that he will be able to differentiate between true vertigo, which is a vestibular disorder, and other conditions common with migraineurs, such as anxiety or Meniere’s disease.

Migraine patients usually describe vertigo symptoms as:

  • Severe dizziness
  • Rocking or spinning sensations
  • Light-headedness
  • Wooziness
  • Imbalance
  • Fatigue
  • Feebleness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Motion sensitivity
  • Feeling of ear fullness
  • Tinnitus, or ringing inside the ear
  • Muted hearing

Ménière’s disease and MAV

There is a high correlation between migraine illness and Meniere’s disease, as stated in this Japanese study on migraine-associated vertigo and Meniere’s disease released by PubMed.  The main difference is duration- migraine vertigo symptoms can linger for hours, day, or even years, where vertigo associated with Meniere’s disease generally lasts for 24 hours, and no longer.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo, and usually the cause of vestibular migraines.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

Small strokes, or transient ischemic attacks, are another cause of vertigo that your doctor will be able to diagnose with testing.

Motion sickness

It is worth noting that migraine patients are extremely prone to motion sickness while traveling, which is another common cause of light-headedness, headaches and dizziness.


Fluid leaks in ear

Sometimes, vertigo and tinnitus symptoms indicate leaking fluid in your inner ear.

Anxiety attacks and depression

If you suffer from chronic migraines, then you might also experience feelings of anxiety, nervousness, depression, or panic.  Vertigo is one of many symptoms of an anxiety attack, with others being breathlessness, sweating, uncontrolled thoughts, paranoia, and heart palpitations. People who suffer from depression often experience panic disorder as well.

Treatments for migraine headache and dizziness

If headaches and dizziness are chronic, then your neurologist or other headache specialist might prescribe a migraine treatment such as Topamax, antidepressants, or beta-blockers.  Alternatively, natural therapies and ingredients for migraines that help include:

  • Exercise, including yoga, Tai Chi, and low-impact aerobics
  • Migraine prevention by diagnosing migraine triggers
  • Stress management, including guided meditation, biofeedback, and deep breathing
  • Herbs and vitamins designed for natural migraine management, such as butterbur, riboflavin, coenzyme Q10 and magnesium for migraines.

Read more about migraine symptoms:

Why do Migraines cause Nausea and Vomiting?


Does migraine-associated vertigo share a common pathophysiology with Meniere’s disease? Study with vestibular-evoked myogenic potential- PubMed- NCBI

Epidemiology of vertigo, migraine and vestibular migraine

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo- Mayo Clinic

Ménière’s Disease [NIDCD Health Information]

Image credits, from top:

Mykl Roventine, AlicePopkorn, Renee Silverman

Avoiding Migraine Triggers- Here, There and Everywhere

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011


Migraine triggers are everywhere; over 100 migraine headache triggers identified by researchers trigger symptoms of migraines like severe headaches and nausea, in addition to neck pain and sensitivity to things like food, hormones, work environment, stress, and the weather. What’s a person to do when migraine headaches are always around the bend? Find out how to detect common headache causes, and how to keep headache triggers at bay.

Chocolate for Curing Migraines- 10 Astonishing Cocoa Facts

Be a migraine headache detective

One helpful tool for identifying your migraine triggers is keeping a migraine diary. Log into your headache journal every day, and keep track of important data for the day, such as what you ate, how you were feeling, what the weather was, what medication you took, how well you slept the previous night, and any other clues that you think might be relevant to your migraine symptoms.  Here are some tips to get you started- 10 Clues your should Include in your Headache Diary Today

Common migraine triggers, and how to avoid them

A common misconception is that one migraine trigger alone can cause severe headaches.  Actually, migraine triggers are not lone culprits; it’s a combination of stimuli such as food, weather, and stress that together create the environment for a migraine attack when you least suspect it.  The more migraine triggers you manage to control in your environment, the better your chances of living the rest of your life without migraines, or at least with significantly fewer and less severe headaches.


Foods that trigger

When discussing dietary migraine triggers with your neurologist, it’s important to note that foods that cause headache symptoms in others, such as chocolate, might be fine for you to enjoy.  Similarly, you might be the only person you know who ever gets chronic migraine symptoms from eating nuts or milk products.  Following a restrictive migraine diet is the only way to track your reaction to certain food triggers.

The most common food triggers for migraines are:

  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Dried or smoked meats, such as lox, smoked salmon, anchovies, salami, hot dogs, and sausages
  • Alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer
  • Ripened fruits, such as figs, raisins, bananas, red plums, and avocados
  • Beans
  • Foods that have been fermented, marinated, or pickled, including olives, sauerkraut, tofu, and dill pickles
  • Yeasted breads and cakes
  • Dairy products
  • Foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Sweets


Chocolate for Curing Migraines- 10 Astonishing Cocoa Facts

Change- not such a good thing after all

AVOIDING MIGRAINE TRIGGERS- HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE, WWW.MIGRAVENT.COMHave you ever taken a catnap in the middle of the day, and woken up to a monstrous migraine?  If you suffer chronic migraines, then you’ve probably noticed that you fare best with consistency- going to sleep at the same time every night, waking up at the same time each morning, and eating regularly scheduled meals.  You thrive on routine. That is because change of any kind usually provokes a migraine attack.

  • Avoid changing your sleep patterns.  Don’t alter your routine, even during long weekends or vacations.  Don’t sleep late, and avoid taking naps.
  • Don’t skip meals, and don’t let more than four hours go by without having a bite to eat.
  • Women, be aware of hormonal changes, such as menstruation, pregnancy, nursing, starting new birth control, menopause, and perimenopause
  • Weather changes cause migraines, too.  Weather fluctuations, such as temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure are typical migraine triggers.  You can’t avoid the weather, but isolating environmental migraine triggers from other headache causes will help you learn how to manage your migraines better.

Moody migraine triggers

Stress is one of the most influential migraine triggers.  Overwhelmingly, stress is the cause of most headaches, in addition to life-threatening ailments such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and morbid obesity.

  • AVOIDING MIGRAINE TRIGGERS- HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE, WWW.MIGRAVENT.COMIt’s important to understand that “good stress” and “bad stress” alike may cause migraine symptoms.  So, landing that perfect job or getting a holiday cash bonus might provide financial relief, but it won’t necessarily provide migraine relief.
  • Depression is a common symptom of migraines that also creates stress, thus causing a vicious migraine circle.  Antidepressants might provide relief from depression and anxiety, but you should discuss any possible drug interactions with a headache expert, such as a neurologist.
  • Practice stress-relieving exercises such as yoga and meditation.
  • Take natural headache ingredients, such as magnesium for migraines
  • If necessary, seek counseling for stress reduction.

Read more about migraine triggers:

Migraine Weather Triggers- Seasonal Migraines in the Fall

13 Reasons your Migraines Hate the Summer Season

Sinus Headache Remedies from the Kitchen- Eat This, Not That

Perfumes and Migraines: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Stinky


What’s Really Triggering Migraine Pain? – Health News Story – WDIV Detroit

Migraine Triggers- University of California, Berkeley PDF

Cure Together- Avoidance of Triggers is Best for Migraine: Results of Patient Study Comparing 180 Treatments

How to avoid a migraine?

Migraine Causes- Mayo Clinic

Image credits, from top:

photostock, happykanppy, Robert Cochrane, Suat Eman, Carlos Porto, winnond