Concurrent Conditions May Affect Migraine Treatment

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May 28, 2014

Does it bother you to be taking so many pills on a regular basis? Migraine sufferers are more likely to also have a mood disorder, heart condition, seizure condition or sleep disorder. Treating these ailments with medications while also taking migraine drugs can be overwhelming to the body.

Opting for a drug free migraine treatment could be critical in these circumstances. After all, mixing medications can lead to adverse reactions and let’s face it; nobody really wants to depend on popping more pills than necessary for the long term.

According to a recent scientific presentation at the annual 2014 American Academy of Neurology meeting, the process of choosing the right migraine treatment should factor in the impact of these other conditions and medications. These findings were presented by a medical researcher from the University of Texas-Southwestern and were reported on the healthcare professional’s news site

The researcher said it was essential to understand the relationship between migraines and comorbidities (separate disease or condition occurring at the same time) and increased risk factors of developing certain conditions, to determine the best migraine treatment for a patient. The difference between comorbidities and risk factors is difficult to distinguish at times. A risk factor might be the neurobiological basis for developing a headache condition as well as epilepsy.

Psychiatric conditions or mood disorders, such as anxiety, depression and phobias seem to have a relationship with migraines. The article noted that 25 percent of individuals with migraine also have a mood disorder. Migraine treatment should target both conditions when possible. The researcher was quoted to say, “everyone who treats headaches should know a good cognitive behavioral therapist.”

Certain cardiovascular illnesses have also been found to be risk factors for, or comorbid with migraine. People with these diseases, according to the findings, should not be taking triptans, ergotamines or beta-blockers. Drug free migraine therapies or calcium channel blockers could be prescribed instead.

People with epilepsy are two and a half times more likely to also have a migraine condition. And both of these neurological conditions are also accompanied by similar comorbidities. Anti-seizure medications topiramate and valproate are often prescribed to treat migraines.

Lastly, sleep and migraines have a baffling yet undeniable relationship. Sleep disorders can trigger migraines for some people. And many sufferers have to sleep off their migraine attack. Poor sleep quality and migraine headaches might both also arise from the same cause such as consuming caffeine or battling underlying anxiety and depression.

A drug free migraine treatment, like cognitive behavioral therapy, stress management and even a migraine procedure can help limit the number of drugs and the increased risks associated with mixing medications for comorbid conditions.  It may be difficult to determine the precise relationship between comorbid conditions, but when the same treatments can tackle both conditions, you should be on the right track!

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