Stress causes 71% of migraine attacks
The migraine It is a disease that affects especially between 20 and 50 years and has a great medical, social and economic impact. The Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN) estimates that more than 3.5 million people suffer from migraine in Spain and of them, almost a million suffer from it chronically, that is, they have a headache more than 15 days a month.
The data from the FIRST Study, conducted in Spain by members of the Headache Study Group of the SEN, suggest that more than 70% of patients with migraine have a severe disability and 14% have a moderate disability. But despite the high disability, many patients have never consulted their doctor about their pathology or, if they have, they have not received adequate treatment.
The migraine, did you know ...?
1. Only 17% of patients with migraine who come for the first time to the neurologist use a correct medication for the symptomatic treatment of their crisis
2. 25% of patients suffering from migraine he needs preventive treatment, but only 5% receives it.
3. At least 25% of patients they have not consulted their medical condition with the doctor and 50% leave the follow-up after the first consultations.
4. Each year, 3% of patients with migraine Chronify their illness, mainly by self-medication.
5. 3% of migraine patients chronify their disease and 6% of patients go from having a low frequency episodic migraine to a high frequency one.
Migraine, the first reason for neurological consultation
It is estimated that the The prevalence of migraine is 12-13%, although the consultations of primary care only 4.5%. Dr. Patricia Pozo Rosich, Coordinator of the Headache Study Group of the Spanish Society of Neurology notes that "one of the main problems of not consulting the disease with the doctor is that a high percentage of patients who have never consulted usually use free dispensing drugs, without the consequent medical control and this is one of the main factors that significantly increase the risk of chronification ".
When the migraine becomes chronic, more days with pain occur than days without pain. This supposes a great impact in the personal and social environment, seriously affecting the quality of life, disability and daily activity. These patients are twice as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and chronic pain, compared to others that their migraine is not chronic.
The origin of migraine, why does my head hurt so much?
The genetic basis is at the origin of migraine. Thus there are people more vulnerable to the pain system. However, other environmental factors, such as hormonal, sleep, stress and other alterations, modulate the expression of these genes involved in the excitability of the brain, in the memory of pain or in moods, which makes the complex The pain network of the limbic system is in a permanent state of instability. Migraine attacks are triggered by the addition of several of these factors, triggering the activation of the trigeminovascular system of our brain.
In the case of episodic migraine, the system is able to return to a state of equilibrium, but in the case of chronic pain, the repeated attacks themselves could lead to permanent dysfunction of this complex network, which would prevent the restoration of the pain. balance of the system.
Solutions to prevent migraine attacks
Preventive treatment is what works best when the migraine is difficult to control and increases in frequency and duration. However, some external factors can act as precipitants and avoid them, if possible, should be part of the treatment.
According to data from the FACTOR Study, conducted in Spain by the SEN to almost 1,000 patients, 97% of the participants identified at least one precipitating factor of their migraine attacks. 71% recognize the stress as a trigger, the 75% of women point hormonal changes by menstruation, pregnancy or menopause and the 68% of respondents sleep disorders.
Environmental factors (59.55) mainly due to changes in weather (33.5%) or overexposure to the sun or clarity (22%), are the fourth most indicated reason, followed by certain dietary behaviors (55%) - fasting and alcohol consumption (31%), mainly- and those related to physical effort or activities (21%).
Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice: Dr. Patricia Pozo Rosich, Coordinator of the Headache Study Group of the Spanish Society of Neurology