Migraine claims 25 million sick days


A new study from the charity Migraine Action has highlighted how changing your diet could ease your migraines.  It has found that nerve tissues become more sensitive to the dilated blood vessels, which can trigger a migraine…reports Asian Lite News

Headache The World Health Organisation (WHO)  lists migraines among the 20 most disabling conditions and it is reported that it is the cause of some 25 million sick days every year in the UK.

In light of this report and with a follow up feature in mind, we have outlined below the following medical expert quotes from Dr Guy Leschziner, Consultant Neurologist at London Bridge Hospital who discusses the causes and treatments for migraines and provides three top tips on how to prevent them.

Headaches have a variety of causes – most headaches are entirely benign, but other causes include inflammation or infection of any of the structures in the head, such as the ear, tooth or gums, tumours, blood vessel problems or musculoskeletal causes, he says .

One of the commonest causes of headache is migraine, which has particular features. It is often familiar, and is typically a recurrent, often unilateral headache that is often pulsatile. There may be an associated aura, neurological symptoms that often precede the headache, classically visual problems such as flashing lights, zigzag lines or blind spots. The cause of migraine is likely to be genetic, in that it often runs in families and the changes in certain genes have been found to cause migraines. However, a variety of factors may trigger migraine attacks.

Some people link attacks with foodstuffs such as cheese, red wine or citrus fruit, hormonal changes (migraine associated with periods is common in women), sleep (either too much or too little) or stress. Treatments are either to stop the headache when it starts or to prevent headaches from coming on. If migraines are relatively frequent, the use of drugs to abort attacks is advisable, ranging from simple paracetamol or aspirin to a group of drugs called triptans.

However, regular painkillers in the long run can result in a form of headache called medication-overuse headache, so if the migraines are very frequent or very debilitating, preventative treatment is therefore recommended. This usually involves regular medication but some patients obtain benefits from injectable treatments such as botulinum toxic injections to the scalp, or blocking nerves by injections of local anaesthetic.


Dr Guy Leschziner offers these top three tips on how to prevent migraines: Painkiller – take a painkiller as soon as you feel the headache coming on – it is easier to stop a migraine developing than it is to treat once established. Sleep – sleep if you can – sleep often improves migraine headaches. Talk to your doctor – if your headaches are frequent, don’t be tempted to keep on popping painkillers, talk to your doctor about other options.