Can Stress Cause Migraine?


Migraine is one of the most common problem faced by almost all age group of people. It is basically a medical condition wherein people affected will suffer from mild to severe head ace on one or both sides of head.

There is no specific definition of stress because it is very personal phenomenon. There are different things that cause stress in different people and each of an individual reacts with stress in a unique way. Stress is the body’s reaction to an occasion or situation.


Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye, who invented the word “stress” in the year 1936 and founded research in the field, called it “the non-specific rejoinder of the body to any petition for the charge.”

Stress is your response to any change that necessitates you to modify or react. It is very important to remember that you can control stress, because stress comes from how you will be responding to the stressful events.

What Causes stress?

Generally stress can be caused by something that requires you to adjust to a change in your environment. Your body will be reacting to these changes with physical, mental and emotional responses. We all are having our own ways of handling with change, so the causes of stress can be unlike from person to person.

Common causes of stress includes:

headache from migraine

  • Death of a loved one
  • Heavy traffic
  • Crowds
  • Illnesses
  • Job less
  • Retirement
  • Divorce
  • Money Problems
  • Legal problems
  • Marriage
  • Deadlines
  • Pregnancy
  • Confrontations

When you are not sure of the exact cause of your stress, it may help you to know the warning signs of the Stress. Once you can identify these sings then, you can learn how your body responds to the stress. Then you can also take some major steps to reduce it.

Ways Stress can impact migraines

  • Stress can trigger migraine attacks.
  • A major stressful event, such as death or divorce, may also cause someone’s first migraine attack.
  • In some peoples, stress makes a migraine attack worse.
  • Stress can cause a migraine after the stressful circumstances ends, which will be occurring after the sudden release of the tension, sometimes it is called as “weekend migraines”
  • Stress may cause more frequent migraine attacks
  • Some migraine sufferers say that stress makes migraine attacks last longer.


Why Does Stress Triggers Migraine?

Although the panel is still out on aninfluenced reason stress causes migraines, scientists have discovered several acquaintances between stress and migraines.

One of the theories is that stress can lead to the release of the protein particles which are called as peptides that will makes your blood vessels inflate and become swollen. This begins a series of event which are causing nerve cells to become over stimulated, this is leading to the pain and other symptoms of a migraine.

Researchers have also founded that altered levels of stress hormones in migraine sufferers that may be responsible for the triggering migraines.

One of the study of 250 people founded that those with migraines had higher stress scores than those without migraines. Also, women with migraine were found to have the higher stress scores than men with migraines. Stress grooves were strongminded using the “Perceived Stress Questionnaire.”

One minor study of 13 migraine wounded have founded that the days right before a migraine attack were considerably more stressful than other days.

Ways to Reduce Stress:


  • Eating healthy, well balanced meals
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting satisfactory sleep
  • Learning stress reducing techniques such as yoga or relaxation techniques such as bio feedback.
  • Using progressive muscle relaxation
  • Perceptive behavioral therapy, to help the patients diagnose and deal with the things that are causing them stress, examine their thoughts and modify those that might contribute to the stress or other issues such as depression or anxiety.

For managing the stress one should discuss with your doctor, then he or she can determine if your stress is due to an anxiety disorder, a medical condition, or both and can refer you to a mental health professional, if  necessary. If it is an emergency, then call a crisis hotline, or go to the nearest emergency room.

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