Changes in hormone levels are a potent trigger for migraine attacks but only less 10% of suffers are classified as having “menstrual migraine”. This can mean that any woman who suffers with migraine has the potential to have an attack around menstruation or at other points in the cycle where hormone levels fluctuate.
Medication overuse headache happens when people take painkillers too often to treat a migraine and can actually cause more headaches instead of treating them.
I like to think of preventative medication as a sort of “reset” button: they make you less likely to have a migraine. Essentially the aim of any preventative treatment is to reduce both the severity of the migraine and the frequency of attacks.
Triggers can be internal or external and are essentially any change or event which causes a migraine to occur.
So you’ve established you suffer with migraine. So what do you do?
“I’ve come to see you about my headache.” It’s a phrase that leaves many GPs with a feeling of dread. Headache is a bit of a nightmare. Most people with a severe or new headache are terrified about the worst case scenario: Cancer. Doctors worry about missing other critical headaches and, once they’ve been ruled out, trying to reassure the patient that the headache is unlikely to be sinister but…what do they do about it? What’s the diagnosis?