Migraine Comorbidities: Insomnia

Does a lack of sleep trigger your migraine attacks? Do you have trouble sleeping? You are not alone if you answered “yes” to either of these two questions. According to the American Migraine Foundation, people living with migraine are between two and eight times more likely to experience trouble sleeping (sleep disorders) than the general public.…

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Migraine, Seasonal Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Migraine, Seasonal Depression and SAD: Part I As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, it’s common to feel the “winter blues.” But for many—especially those of us battling migraine and other chronic conditions—seasonal depression can go far beyond just feeling down during the darker months. This is something I have a lot of personal…

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Migraine Comorbidities: Temporomandibular Disorders

Pain. Clicking. Popping. These are some common symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMD), which is comorbid with migraine.[1] TMJ disorders can trigger migraine attacks or make a migraine attack worse due to muscle tightening. On the reverse side, some migraine triggers can also trigger TMJ symptoms. As with migraine and many other comorbidities, TMJ disorders are more common in women as in men—by two to five times.[4] An estimated 11-12 million people in the US experience TMJ pain, so it is a fairly common disorder.

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Migraine Comorbidities: Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome

In this blog we are going to look at Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS), another migraine comorbidity and a rare disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of severe nausea and vomiting. Though it is more common in children, it can occur in people of all ages, with the number of adults being diagnosed on the rise. It is a very difficult condition to identify and is often misdiagnosed because its symptoms so closely mirror those of other illnesses, such as gastroenteritis, and occur periodically rather than continuously.

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Migraine Comorbidities: Tinnitus

Pete Townshend, of the legendary British rock group The Who, has talked often of his struggles with hearing loss and tinnitus—a common problem affecting 15-20% of people. [1] Townshend attributes his tinnitus to the use of headphones in the recording studio. For people like Townshend, tinnitus can be an occupational hazard. While sustained exposure to loud noise can cause tinnitus, this “ringing in the ears” condition, which is comorbid with migraine, is generally triggered by an underlying condition such as:
• age-related hearing loss
• ear, head, or neck injury
• circulatory systems problems
• temporomandibular joint disorder (TMI).

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Migraine Comorbidities: Restless Leg Syndrome

Pulling. Throbbing. Aching. Itching. Restlessness. These are just some of the symptoms affecting people with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), also called Willis-Ekbom disease. Comorbid with migraine, RLS causes an uncontrollable urge to move one’s legs, usually to relieve an unpleasant sensation. Moving typically relieves the feeling temporarily, but it is not always as simple as that.

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Migraine Comorbidities: Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of awareness. Migraine and epilepsy are frequently described as highly comorbid conditions and both appear to have a genetic predisposition. The risk of having migraine is significantly higher for those with epilepsy—with one study estimating that risk is up to twice as high as compared to those without epilepsy.

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Migraine Comorbidities: Asthma

Migraine and asthma are comorbid chronic disorders with episodic attacks involving both
inflammatory and neurological mechanisms. According to the American Lung Association, more
than 25 million Americans are living with asthma. Asthma happens when airways narrow and swell, producing extra mucus, which makes breathing difficult and triggers coughing and wheezing. While mild for some people, for others asthma can interfere with daily activities and even lead to a life-threatening attack. Situations that might cause an attack include, but are not limited to, exercise, illness, occupational
triggers, or environmental allergies.

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Migraine Comorbidities: Allergies

Have you ever wondered why you have so many allergies? Did you know that allergies are comorbid with migraine, so you are not alone! Environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, pets and mold can trigger allergic rhinitis or hay fever, a common condition causing inflammation of the nasal mucosa. People who have allergies are more likely to have migraine headaches and allergies can increase the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.

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Migraine Comorbidities: Fibromyalgia

Comorbid fibromyalgia for people with migraine is often an unpleasant reality. In fact, many studies indicate that 20-36% of people with migraine also have fibromyalgia, a painful, chronic disease affecting the muscles, joints, and bones. A recent study found a two-way (bi-directional) association between the onset of fibromyalgia and migraine disease, and vice versa. However, it’s not always known or understood which disease came first. To date, no explanations have been provided for the rate of co-occurrence.

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