On menstrual migraines, pregnancy and strokes

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On menstrual migraines, pregnancy and strokes

Post by Tee on Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:42 am

By: Rafael Castillo M.D.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Friday, November 4th, 2011

Several months ago, a young would-be mother, who was in her first trimester of pregnancy, was referred to our clinic for a pounding headache, which was attributed to a high-normal, at most marginally elevated blood pressure. Even before her pregnancy, she would have migraine attacks, especially when she’s under stress.

The character of the headache was classical migraine—throbbing pain felt on one side of the head, preceded minutes earlier by visual symptoms like seeing “weird white spots or wavy lines floating in the air,” as the patient described it. This is the typical aura of migraine headache, usually felt half to one hour prior to the onset of the headache.

We assessed the patient’s problem to be primarily due to her migraine, which caused her blood pressure to increase, rather than the other way around, that is, elevation of the BP causing the severe headache. It’s important to distinguish this, particularly in a pregnant woman because the treatment is totally different.

Women, generally, are more predisposed to migraine than men because of the influence of hormonal changes throughout the woman’s lifecycle. According to the literatures, 70 percent of migraine sufferers are females. Some would have “menstrual migraine,” so-called because it occurs during and around the menstrual period, and this occurs in about one-third of the time in female sufferers.

http://business.inquirer.net/28481/on-menstrual-migraines-pregnancy-and-strokes

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