What Is the Link Between Cold and Migraines?

Posted: 5/25/2018 12:32 PM by Interim HealthCare
A migraine is a kind of headache that can cause severe pain, often on only one side of the head. In addition to pain, migraine can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. They can last for hours or even days. Doctors don’t know just what causes migraines, they think it might have something to do with the brain stem and the way it works with certain nerves. In addition, there may also be an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Now, scientists think that there may also be a gene that affects migraine, and it could be linked to climate.
About the Study
Researchers focused on a specific gene called TRPM8. This gene helps determine how a person responds to cold. They believe that as humans began to move out of Africa around 50,000 years ago and settle in areas with colder climates, like Asia and Europe, their bodies probably adapted. The adaptations likely involved genetic changes.
The scientists discovered that more people had a variance in the TRPM8 gene within the last 25,000 years in humans who lived where temperatures are cooler. The study stated that the colder the area was, the more people had the variant.
Past studies have shown a correlation between the TRPM8 gene and migraine. This latest study indicates that people who live in colder climates may be more likely to suffer from migraines. For example, researchers determined that people who live in colder parts of Europe have the highest rate of the gene variance and also the highest rate of migraines.
Ways to Prevent Migraines
Unfortunately, there’s no way to change the genes of an older adult to avoid migraines, but there are other ways to prevent them, such as:
  • Avoiding Triggers: Avoid things that may bring on migraines. WebMD says, “Red wine, caffeine withdrawal, stress, and skipped meals are among the common culprits.”
  • Quiet Space: When the senior feels a migraine coming on, they should find a quiet, darkened place to rest. Hot or cold packs applied to the head may also help.
  • Caffeine: Doctors at the Mayo Clinic also suggest drinking a caffeinated beverage at the onset of a migraine may help. Small amounts of caffeine can lessen migraine pain and make over-the-counter pain relievers more effective.
  • Sleep: Getting enough sleep may lessen the likelihood of a migraine. 

Elder care can assist seniors who suffer from migraines. They can assist with identifying triggers by helping the senior to write down daily events, foods eaten, and stress levels along with migraine symptoms, which can help identify patterns. An elder care provider can also make the older adult comfortable in a quiet space when a migraine strikes. If the doctor has prescribed medication, an elder care can remind the senior to take it according to the doctor’s directions.

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