Migraines are a type of headache and neurological disorder causing recurrent episodes of throbbing, pulsing pain on one side of the head. An estimated 39 million people in the U.S. experience migraines, but given that this condition is widely underdiagnosed, it likely affects an even larger portion of the population.
An extensive range of factors can bring about migraines. Known as migraine triggers, these factors range from changes in weather and alcohol to certain medications and hormonal fluctuations. One important migraine trigger affects all of us at certain points in life: stress.
Stress and Migraines
Up to 80% of people with identifiable migraine triggers report that stress is a common trigger. Unfortunately, this can create a vicious cycle, as many people experience increased stress levels from migraine episodes. Migraines can lead to missed work and social events, as well as an increased risk of other mental health concerns.
How Does Stress Cause Migraines?
Stress is thought to contribute to migraines by altering the chemicals in your brain, including serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates pain and mood. Chronic stress can lower levels of serotonin, potentially causing or prolonging migraines.
Managing Stress with Migraine
Stress management is important for everyone, as it supports your overall health. However, in migraine-prone individuals, stress management is essential to prevent flare-ups.
Tips for managing stress with migraine include:
- Practicing deep breathing
- Prioritizing sleep
- Limiting screen time
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet
- Foster relationships with loved ones
Managing your stress levels can help improve your overall wellness, prevent lasting pain, and lower your risk of chronic conditions. However, if severe stress-related migraines persist, regenerative therapies may offer relief. Browse the provider database at Regenerative Medicine Now to find a PRP or stem cell doctor near you and learn more about the therapies available to you.