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Three serious health issues tied to migraine headaches

by , 13 November 2017
Three serious health issues tied to migraine headaches
Do you get migraine headaches often? Then you may be more likely to also have one of several other health issues…

Or, you might be at higher risk for developing another condition in the future. Read on for three health issues associated with migraines.

Three health issues associated with migraine headaches

#1: Depression
If you have migraines that occur once in a while, you have double the risk of developing depression than people who don’t experience migraines. If you have chronic migraines – that’s 15 or more days per month – your risk doubles again. This is according to Dr Lipton, a professor and vice chair or neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the United States. In some cases, depression comes first instead of as a result of migraines. This suggests that migraines and depression have something in common like genes or neurology.
 
#2 Stroke
A number of studies have found an association between migraines with aura – the visual or other sensory symptoms that sometimes precede a migraine attack – and strokes caused by blood clots. If you have migraines with aura, you have approximately double the risk of a stroke than the general population, says Dr Lipton. However, that risk is pretty small overall. “Migraine, particularly with aura, is largely a disease of younger women and women are at a lower risk of stroke than men. Even though the risk doubles, it’s still incredibly low,” Dr Lipton says.
 
#3: Epilepsy
Like migraines, the seizure disorder epilepsy can involve both mood changes and sensory disturbances. Having one of these conditions doubles your risk of the other, according to Dr Lipton – but either can come first. “They’re both disorders of brain excitability, where the brain is likely to react to environmental stimuli, to sleep deprivation. Some of the specific genetic causes of migraine also cause epilepsy,” Dr Lipton explains.
 
If you’re concerned about your migraine headaches, be sure to consult your doctor.

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