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8. Other factors behind headaches

 Are there any particular medical conditions that might mean I am more likely to get a headache?

 Headache is a very common symptom and may occur coincidentally with other disease processes or be directly related to those processes. For example, poorly controlled diabetes or an overactive thyroid gland may lead to an increase in headache symptoms.

Anxiety and depression are not uncommon in migraine sufferers – but which comes first?

Any infection from the common cold to meningitis may be associated with headache symptoms. There is a very definite association between stroke and migraine, migraine with aura being a much greater risk factor than migraine without aura. In some instances a stroke may lead to migraine symptoms developing.

At my first visit to the specialist, he asked me how old I am. How is that relevant?

Age is important because certain headaches are associated with particular times of life. People at different ages can have an increased risk of developing medical conditions that may give rise to headache symptoms.

I started getting migraines a few years ago, when I was 22. Is how old I am likely to affect my migraine?

Anyone can get migraine, irrespective of age. Migraine tends to occur for the first time when you are in your 20s to 40s. It should occur less often once you get into your 50s and 60s but it can still occur.

I hardly ever used to get headaches until I moved to another job. Can the job I do affect my headache?

Your job may affect your headache, if you let it. Posture, meal patterns, fluid intake and stress may all push your migraine threshold down. Poor posture, certain lighting conditions or situations, prolonged periods of driving and working shifts may all contribute to headache symptoms. It is not the job itself that may contribute to headache symptoms but how you manage and cope on a day-to-day basis.

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