Help for your headaches: How to spot the difference between migraines & headaches

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MILWAUKEE -- We all get headaches from time to time -- but how do you know when it's something more? Dr. Akram Dastagir with Aurora Healthcare joins Real Milwaukee to tell us about the differences between headaches and migraines.

So how can you tell if you're having a migraine and not just a bad headache?

What makes migraines unique versus another type of headache is that they come with:
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Sensitivity to light
* Duration - migraines can last from 4 hours to 3 days, or even longer

What are some causes for migraines?

* Stress
* Foods with nitrates and MSG - hot dogs, lunch meat
* Caffeine
* Changes in weather - storm fronts, barometric pressure, strong winds or changes in altitude can trigger a migraine
* Menstrual cycle
* Sleep issues
* Hereditary - most people who experience migraines have family members who do, too.

If you get headaches often or have severe ones, avoid things that you know that set them off, called triggers. Triggers can be specific foods, smells or alcohol. Lifestyle changes should help too. Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, limit stress and eat regular meals since a drop in blood sugar can also cause headaches.


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