Migraines Would Likely Develop Into Anxiety Disorder, A New Study Says

First Posted: Apr 12, 2017 03:49 AM EDT

A new study suggests that migraines could develop into anxiety disorder compared to people who do not have migraines. This could lead to a more harmful effect on mental health.

The findings of the study were printed in the journal Headache last month. The study was led by researchers from the University of Toronto. The study also indicates that men who suffered migraines were two times would likely develop anxiety than women with migraines, according to The Huffington Post.

Dr. Esme Fuller-Thomson, the lead author of the study and a professor of social work at the University of Toronto, said that they were astonished at the finding of the study. It is previously thought that women have a heightened risk of anxiety disorders than men. On the other hand, in the new study, the researchers theorized that men who suffer migraines are more vulnerable to anxiety disorders because they less likely take medication for pain than women. As a result, the migraine symptoms lead to intense anxiety disorder.

The study involved 2,200 Canadian adults who suffered from migraines and almost 20,000 adults without migraines. The scientists examined their mental health. The results showed that 2 percent of people without migraines experienced anxiety disorder compared to 6 percent of them with migraines.

It is theorized as well that lack of support for those who have migraines could be a contributing factor leading to anxiety disorder. The medical professionals should treat their patients with a migraine seriously. Dr. Fuller-Thompson emphasized that doctors and other health professionals must be mindful that their migraine patients could suffer mental health problems like depression and anxiety disorders. He further said that patients with migraines must undergo screening and referral to the mental health professional as they are particularly vulnerable.

A migraine affects about 36 million Americans and millions of people in other parts of the world. It is a condition in which the patient suffers from an intense and painful headache. Other symptoms include the sensory warnings like blind spots, flashes of light, nausea, vomiting, tingling in the arms and legs and sensitivity to light and sound.

Treatment for migraines includes medication. It is also advisable to alter lifestyle to reduce migraine frequency. These include having enough sleep, drink plenty of water, have regular exercise, avoid certain foods and reduce stress, according to Medical News Today. 

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