Besides severe migraine headaches, what other migraine comorbidities -pain symptoms and health conditions- often occur with migraine attacks? Here is a list of migraine comorbidities, including chronic pain conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, and psychological complications that strongly correlate with migraine headaches.
Migraines result from a neurological disorder that creates excruciating headache pain when triggered by certain factors in food, environment, or hormonal fluctuations.
Besides frequent head pain, some other symptoms commonly experienced by migraine sufferers include nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, eye pain, and hypersensitivity to lights, scents, and sounds.
In understanding and treating migraines, it’s important to separate ailments that occur as a result of migraine attacks (such as migraine headache and dizziness) from ailments that frequently occur simultaneously with migraines, as migraine comorbidities.
Common migraine comorbid conditions include the following:
In clinical studies focused on chronic pain and mental illness, scientists have noted a high incidence of emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and phobias among migraine patients, compared to sufferers of other types of chronic pain, such as arthritis or back pain.
Of all migraine patients, the ones who experience migraines with aura are at highest risk of developing migraine comorbidities that impact cardiovascular health. Heart attack, and hypertension, patent foramen ovale (PFO) are all examples of heart disease that occur most frequently with sufferers of migraines with aura, versus patients of migraines or other chronic headaches.
Migraine sufferers who experience migraines with aura are also more likely than other headache patients to suffer from stroke. The odds for stroke as migraine comorbidity is increased for female migraine patients who experience aura.
Migraines and stroke: How to tell the Difference
Several studies linking migraines with epilepsy have noted a 0-17% prevalence of epilepsy among patients of migraines, and an 8-23% prevalence of migraines in people suffering from epilepsy. For that reason, many anticonvulsive medications approved for treating epilepsy are also effective at preventing migraine attacks.
When chronic pain conditions occur together, such as arthritis and migraine headaches, they cause a reciprocal increase in chronic pain frequency and severity. Men and women with chronic headaches are more likely to suffer from arthritis than non-headache sufferers.
Similarly, migraine patients who get more than 15 headaches per month also suffer from various musculoskeletal pain symptoms (back pain, neck stiffness) at a much higher rate than chronic headache patients who experience fewer than seven headaches each month.
Arthritis Headaches- When Joint Stiffness Triggers Migraines
It’s not completely understood exactly why fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are common migraine comorbidities, but scientists suspect it has to do with hypersensitive neuron activity.
GI problems, including cyclical vomiting, nausea, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, and colitis are other comorbidities of chronic migraines.
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