Migraines are a neurological disorder that occurs most often in women- three to one, according to current research. Not only does sex determine your proneness for migraine attacks- fierce pounding headaches, nausea, and light sensitivity- but also when it comes to migraine symptoms and triggers, male and female migraineurs are from two different planets.
The X factor
Recently, Australian researchers made a breakthrough discovery- they found a link between the X chromosome and migraine disorder. Specifically, X chromosomes sometimes interfere with a gene responsible for maintaining iron levels, starting a chain reaction of iron deficiency, less oxygen in the brain, and ultimately, a migraine attack.
Since women have 2 X chromosomes to males’ one X chromosome, it’s no surprise that the tendency to get migraines is so far tilted towards the female.
PTSD and male migraines
Although women are more likely to suffer from PTSD (from child abuse, incest, or alcoholism) than men, and despite the fact that women are three times more likely to get migraine headaches than men, the correlation between PTSD and migraines is somehow significantly stronger in male migraine sufferers.
Studies show that men are four times more likely to suffer a combination of migraines with PTSD than women who get chronic migraines.
This is the first time scientists have seen an emotional disorder have a stronger impact on male chronic headache sufferers than their female counterparts.
Theories abound, but as of yet, no scientific explanation is available that explains the correlation between male migraine sufferers and PTSD.
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