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Is that splitting headache putting you at risk of heart disease?

by , 20 October 2014

You can see your migraine coming for miles.

First, you'll have blurry vision, spots in front of your eyes and severe light sensitivity.

Then there's the upset feeling in your stomach. The type that leave you wondering if you're going to have to rush to the loo in the next few minutes, or if you're going to remain queasy and nauseous all day.

Then comes the pain. That throbbing, pulsing, debilitating, skull-splitting headache that feels like it'll never end.

It can put you out of action for hours and even leave you feeling under the weather for days.

Once it's gone, you're grateful it's over.

But is it really?

Unfortunately not.

The effect it has on your body is only just beginning…

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Migraines leave you with double the heart attack risk

A study done by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University proves your risk of heart disease doubles if you suffer from migraines.
Dr Lipton, the lead investigator on the study, says doctors shouldn’t see migraines as a single ailment.
Instead, they should view them as a serious heart disease risk factor. Doctors who treat patients for migraines should definitely send their patients for comprehensive screening for any heart conditions!
Especially if their patients are women over the age of 45.
You see, migraines affect three times more women than men. And you’re likely to suffer from them between the age of 25 and 55.
Migraines also have two forms: One with an aura and the other without.
If you suffer from the aura types – visual disturbances like flashing lights, blurred vision, etc. – your heart disease risk is even higher.
In the study, researchers collected data from 6,102 patients who suffered from migraines and 5,243 who didn’t.
Each participant filled out a questionnaire about their overall health, frequency and intensity of headaches and their heart health.
This is when they found people who suffer from migraines are twice as likely to have heart disease. But the participants who suffered from the aura type of migraine had three times the risk.
And their overall risk factors that cause heart disease were higher too…
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Your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar could all be high if you suffer from migraines

One of the reasons researchers think your risk of heart disease shoots up so severely when you suffer from migraines is because of the influence they have on heart disease risk factors.
Because of the inflammation within your system when you suffer a migraine, you’re likely to have high cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar!
These are all common heart disease risk factors and leave you with a 50% greater risk of death from heart disease.
But it’s also what happens inside your brain that can be the link between your migraines and heart disease…

A migraine affects your brain the same way it does your heart

Researchers say the effect a migraine has on brain tissue is similar the effect it has on your heart.
In your brain, the layer of cells lining the tissue – the endothelium – becomes inflamed and, after repeated migraine episodes, it becomes damaged. Because the tissues in your heart have the same cells, inflammation travels around your body affecting other organs. And it could have a devastating effect on your heart.
It’s important, however, that you don’t start stressing about the findings, warn researchers.
The takeaway message here is that you know that migraines aren’t a standalone disease. They could be a warning for other illnesses and ailments, which you can now check!
So next time you visit your doctor, be sure to ask him to set up an appointment to screen your heart just in case!

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