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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Migraine: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Headache


Alternate Names : Migraine Without Aura, Vascular Headaches

Migraine | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the condition?

A person can help prevent migraine headaches by:

  • avoiding his or her personal triggers
  • exercising regularly
  • limiting stress
  • A trigger is different from a symptom. A symptom is a condition that accompanies or results from a migraine headache. A trigger is actually something inside or outside the body that can cause or aggravate headache pain. It can be related to something the person does or eats. Other triggers include changes in the weather, fatigue, light, noise, and many other factors.

    Triggers can include:

  • any type of medicine, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal remedies
  • bright or flickering lights
  • changes in the seasons
  • changes in the weather
  • excessive or repetitive noises
  • high altitudes
  • jet lag
  • specific smells
  • Sometimes a headache is triggered by a combination of food and drink. The National Headache Foundation Listing of Trigger Foods includes:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • any pickled, fermented, or marinated food
  • bananas
  • broad beans, lima beans, fava beans, and snow peas
  • caffeinated beverages, such as tea, coffee, and colas
  • chicken liver or pate
  • chocolate
  • citrus foods and drinks
  • figs, raisins, papayas, avocados, and red plums
  • foods or beverages that contain aspartame and phenylalanine
  • freshly baked yeast products
  • meats that may contain nitrates, such as bacon, sausage, bologna, salami, pepperoni, summer sausage, or hot dogs
  • monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, which is found in meat tenderizers, seasoned salt, and soy sauces
  • nuts or nut butters
  • onions
  • pickled or dried herring
  • ripened or aged cheeses, including cheddar, Emmenthaler (Swiss), Stilton, Brie, and Camembert
  • sour cream
  • sourdough bread
  • Medicines used to prevent a migraine headache include:

  • anticonvulsants such as valproic acid and gabapentin
  • beta-blockers such as propranolol and nadolol
  • calcium channel blockers such as verapamil
  • cyproheptadine
  • lithium
  • methysergide maleate
  • tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline
  • What are the long-term effects of the condition?

    Severe and frequent migraine headaches can greatly affect a person's ability to function. A migraine may rarely be linked with a stroke caused by blockage of blood flow in blood vessels.

    What are the risks to others?

    Although migraines are not catching, 70% of migraine sufferers do have a family history of migraine.

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    Migraine: Diagnosis & Tests


    Migraine: Treatment & Monitoring

    Author: Michael Curiel, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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