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Anxiety, stress trigger migraine — Neurologist

A consultant neurologist, Dr Rufus Akinyemi, on Monday in Ibadan, said migraine headache could be triggered by anxiety, work overload or stress.

Akinyemi, a Senior Research Fellow at Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, said that “migraine is severe headache that can be debilitating.

“It can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound,”

He advised that people who experienced migraine should know the trigger factors and prevent a full-blown attack by acting upon the warning signs.

He added that “while the exact cause of migraine is unknown, it is however, thought to be due to abnormal brain activity which causes temporary alteration in the nerve signals, chemicals and blood flow in the brain.

“Migraine can begin in childhood or early adulthood. There are those people who are known to have family history of migraine.

“Some people who suffer from migraine can clearly identify the triggers that cause the headaches.”

According to him, potential migraine triggers include physical or emotional stress; work overload; anxiety; dehydration, depression, allergic reactions and the lack of sleep.

Other triggers, he said, include bright lights, loud noises, smoking and exposure to cigarette smoke.

“Some typical symptoms may include headache usually confined to one side of the head during an attack; feeling sick and physically being sick, temperature changes and diarrhoea,” he said.

The neurologist said that while migraine would generally not get worse over time, it could result in more serious complications.

“Although stroke happening as a result of migraine is not usually common, we don’t see many such cases, but it can still happen,” he warned.


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