If you're a migraine sufferer, you probably go to great lengths to avoid your triggers. But do you really know what they are?
Two small studies were recently released at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society. One focused on whether the weather brings on migraines and the other on whether wine pours on the pain.
Researchers in Taiwan tracked a group of 66 migraine patients for a year. The scientists looked at their personal headache logs and found that temperature change was associated with about 21% of mild headaches but only 4.8% of severe ones. Those temperature sensitive patients seemed to be more sensitive to cold dips.
Meanwhile, researchers in Brazil followed migraine patients who reported painful attacks when they drank wine. Participants were asked to drink four different types of red wine a minimum of four days apart. They were also instructed to keep detailed headache calendars. About half of those subjects reported migraines on at least two of the drinking occasions. About 12% didn't have a single attack. For those who had headaches, Tannat and Malbec wines triggered migraines more often.
The theory was that the different level of tannins in these wines might make a difference.
Migraines can be extremely disabling and costly, accounting for more than $20 billion each year in medical expenses and lost work in the United States. If you suffer from debilitating headaches, talk to your doctor. Help is available.