Hashimoto's disease and Migraines?

Ask the Clinician Health Guide May 16, 2010
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    Full Question:

    I found this site my searching for information on Hashimoto disease and Migraines. My daughter is 20 years old and has suffered from migraines since the 4th grade. She gets so ill when she has them she vomits and has to be quiet, no light. They have gotten progressively worst through the years. She had high blood pressure and is taking 3 pills for that. But when she has a migraine her Blood pressure goes up extremely high. I have taken her to a neurologist who sent us to a cardiologist, and between the two of them ran a battery of test. They can find no physical reason the migraines or the high blood pressure. They treat her migraines with Percocet because they both said with her high blood pressure she was not a candidate for the migraine meds. The Percocet are no longer working and now the neurologist wants to try her on a migraine med. Which makes me very nervous.

     

    I, myself was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease. My endocrinologist said that my daughters should be checked for it too. I took her to him and I just got the call that she does indeed have it. He also said that it would have nothing to do with her other two problems. That is why I started researching the subject and came across the name of Dr. Krusz, and it seems to me that Hashimoto's disease, can indeed have something to do with it. I need help. Is there another of the autoimmune disease's that can cause this. This has been very upsetting going through all this with my daughter, it is all weighing on her very heavily. If you can point us in some direction, something that I can have one of these doctors look for, I would be forever grateful. Thank you so much for your time.

     

    Sincerely,
    Janet.

     
    Answer:

    Dear Janet;

     

    Migraine is a neurological disease. The root cause of the disease is thought to be genetics and overactive neurons in the brain that respond when a Migraineur encounters a trigger. Unless Migraines are exacerbated by something such as a tumor, Chiari malformation, or some other physical issue, doctors generally do not find "causes" for Migraine.

     

    Hashimoto's disease and Migraine disease can be comorbid, which means that a person can have both diseases, but neither causes the other. However, Hashimoto's, as other thyroid diseases, can have an impact on Migraines. Any condition that impacts overall health can leave a Migraineur more susceptible to their Migraine triggers. Thyroid and other endocrine hormones can play a notable role in the development of headache and Migraine and in their failure to respond to treatment. You can read more about this in Migraine, Headache, and Thyroid.

     

    Does your daughter know what any of her Migraine triggers are? Trigger identification and management is a vital component of managing Migraine disease. One of the best tools for identifying triggers is a good Migraine diary. You can download a free diary workbook from our article Your Migraine and Headache Diary. Some of us have food triggers; some of us don't. It's advisable to determine if your daughter does, and an elimination diet is the best way to do that. For more information and a workbook on this, see Managing Migraine - Migraine Trigger Foods.

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    If her doctor isn’t able to help, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.

     

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

     

     

    To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column,
     browse the Ask the Clinician archives.

     

    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
     visit our listing of Patient Recommended Specialists.

     

     

    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.

     

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    Last updated May 16, 2010.