Nutrition and Healing
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Dr. Glenn Rothfeld’s Nutrition & Healing is intended to provide cutting-edge health information.
Nothing on this site should be interpreted as personal medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before changing anything related to your healthcare.

Your headache may end up hurting your heart

If you suffer from migraines, then you’ve learned to spot the signs right away.

After that first stab of pain, there’s the ringing in your ears… and then comes the nausea.

The next thing you know, you’re laid out on your bed with the lights off for hours just hoping you don’t lose the entire day to this agony.

As bad as those attacks are, the latest research indicates that they might not even be the worst of it.

A study published in The BMJ shows that those debilitating headaches may actually be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) — right up there with your family history, high cholesterol, and more.

Out of roughly 115,000 women studied, researchers found that those who suffered migraines had a 50 percent greater risk of heart attack or stroke or needing major cardiac surgery than women who experienced no migraines.

When you break down the risks individually, they were increased by 39 percent for heart attack, 62 percent for stroke, and a whopping 73 percent for heart surgery.

Women with migraines were even 37 percent more likely to DIE from heart attack or stroke!

Previous studies have linked migraines, especially those that come with the signature “aura” — dizziness or ear ringing — to both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes.

This study focused on women, but that doesn’t mean that guys are off the hook. More studies are needed to figure out whether the risks may differ based on gender.

And while the women were pretty young at the beginning of the study — aged 25 to 42 — they were studied for 20 years, which put them in the range of middle age and senior years by the end of the study.

There’s no telling how the risk may have increased if the study had gone on any longer!

If you suffer from migraines — as nearly 18 percent of the U.S. population (including children) do — talk to your doctor about your heart health.

But be wary of the drugs he might prescribe to ease your pain from migraines. Over half of folks who walk into a doctor’s office or hospital with a migraine leave with prescriptions for dangerous opioid drugs.

Not only are they extremely addictive and easy to overdose on, but if they aren’t used properly, they can even make your problem worse!

When you’re in the throes of a migraine, it’s hard to imagine a worse pain. But instead of popping pills, try visiting a medical acupuncturist. This time-tested treatment can relieve pain in all shapes and sizes.

And if you’re trying to reduce your risk of CVD by quitting smoking (which is a good idea), acupuncture can also help curb your nicotine cravings.

Source:
Women with Migraines More Prone to Heart Disease
(livescience.com)

Women with Migraine and Heart Disease, Stroke Risk
(webmd.com)

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