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Headache-Adviser Newsletter, Issue #018- Conditions Associated With Migraine
July 13, 2009

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Welcome to you if this is your first newsletter.

I have not published a newsletter since early May due to the fact that I have been very busy building a whole new section of the website.

It has to do with.....

Conditions Associated With Migraine

Are you aware of the fact that some conditions in medicine are linked together? At times we do know why this happens if we find the underlying pathologies.

Unfortunately, for some problems we still haven't figured out the connections when certain conditions occur together over and over again.

A wise physician once told me "Well Mary Kay that is why it is called idiopathic..we are the idiots who don't know the pathology!"

Here they are:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are linked to migraine through seratonin. This is one of the receptors in migraine but the majority of these receptors are in the gut.

There are several theories floating around including the "gut-brain" theory about how these two conditions are linked but as of yet, no definite answers.

Anxiety: Once again seratonin is the culprit here! Migraineurs are born with more than their fair share of these receptors called 5HT. One type for migraine, one type for anxiety. When one is firing off, the other goes too! This is one of the causes of anxiety attacks.

Treating anxiety is actually a good way to get your migraines under better control.

Fibromyalgia: The connection here between fibromyalgia symptoms and migraine has not been found. Part of the reason for this is that fibromyalgia has been accepted as a viable diagnosis only in recent years. Before that many patient were told their pain was not real.

Seizures: About 5% of seizure patients have migraine and vice versa. The connection here could be the electrical events involved in both migraine and seizure. Migraines used to be called "mini seizures in the brain."

Mitral Valve Prolapse: This condition is a weakness in one of the heart's valves and can result in palpitations. Again as of yet the connection between this and migraine hasn't been worked out but there are a significant number of migraineurs who have this.

PFO: or patent foramen ovale. This is the small hole between chambers of the heart that we all have at birth. It usually closes in a few weeks for 80% of the population. For migraineurs the percentage is higher for non-closure and even higher again if you have aura.

If you do have migraine with aura frequently, it might be worthwhile to ask your doctor for an echocardiogram which can detect a PFO.

Headaches and Neck Pain: Well I have this myself so I know how much neck pain can fire off migraines. Treating the pain effectively can cut down on the frequency of your headaches.

Take care and I hope you are doing well...

Here's To Headache Free Days

Take care..

Mary Kay Betz, MS RPA-C
Physician Assistant

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