Health Report: Living with migraines

Health Reports

Brief periods of depression, anxiety, decreased appetite are just a few symptoms that often lead to a migraine.

For nearly six million Americans the problem is chronic meaning they have more than 15 a month.

From stress, to changes in your sleep, to alcohol or aged cheese, there’s not just one trigger for a migraine.

“I wish I could say I have a clear reason why somebody has headaches, but there are actually several reasons why someone can have headaches,” said Priyanka Chaudhry, MD a Neurologist at Baylor Scott & White Health.

Migraines affect over 47 million people with 90% needing to take time off from work. One reason may be found in your genes.

“With some of the good looks and other things that your parents pass along to you, you can also have genes for migraines,” said Dr. Chaudhry.

Migraines cost over $70 billion a year in lost work and 75% of all those affected are women.

“A lot of moms will say that I just cannot stop. I have to be functioning for my kids,” said Dr. Chaudhry.

Patients can take two anti-seizure drugs: Valproate and Topiramate to help cope with a migraine.

As for prevention, Dr. Chaudhry said they use to have a lot of preventative medications which were borrowed from other specialties such as antihypertensive, antidepressants and antiepileptics.

Now you can use two beta blockers Inderal and Blocadren for migraine prevention.

Doctors say at least 40% of people with migraines should be on preventative medications, but only 13% are.

Patients can also turn to a new non-drug option called Nerivio Migra. This is an armband controlled through your phone and costs $99 for 12 applications.

Nerivio Migra also keeps you up to date about migraines.

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