Statistically women are reported to have three times as many migraine attacks as men. However, this divide may have less to do with gender triggers, and more to do with the fact that men don’t seek the advice of or diagnosis by medical professionals, so their incidence is not properly reflected in the numbers. According to The National Migraine Association, approximately 70% of men with migraines have never been properly diagnosed.
If you’re a man, or know a man in your life, with migraines, here are some important things to know:
- Men with migraines have increased risk of heart attack: Men who experience migraine attacks have a 24% increased risk of suffering from major cardiovascular problems and a 42% increased risk of suffering a heart attack. Seeing a doctor for migraines means better monitoring of your condition.
- Don’t confuse a sinus headache for a migraine. Although symptoms may be similar, make sure you are properly addressing your illness. Medication for a sinus headache could even be making migraines worse – not to mention you’re missing out on effective migraine relief medication to help ease the pain. Try topical pain relief options, such as Stopain Migraine pain relieving gel, which is applied to the back of the neck behind each ear up to four times daily, with no known side effects. It can be used in conjunction with oral medications since there are no known drug interactions.
- Sports and migraines. Men who played/play contact sports can have increased risk for migraine due to concussions, whiplash and sudden jolts. The post-traumatic headache after a concussion is no joke, and any concern over this should be discussed with a physician and activity limited until you’ve been cleared by a doctor. Additionally, if you play sports or workout regularly, make sure to stay properly hydrated, since dehydration can also set off an attack.
- Lifestyles can affect migraines. Alcohol consumption, lack of sleep and diets rich in processed meats, nitrates and condiments high in MSG can all be migraine triggers, so take note on what you are eating and drinking daily to manage migraines, and keep a regular sleep routine. Monitor food triggers at your fingertips by downloading the free MigraineChecked app for your smartphone that can help you identify food ingredients that may trigger a migraine.