In military. Frequent Migraines, hair loss, MRI?

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  • Full Question:

    Hey, I've had migraines randomly since 5th grade. I'm 22 years old now in the military and they are more active than ever. I had 9 last month, 3 this month so far. Basically have 1 - 2 every weekend. These include the infamous aura before each migraine starts.


    I have also started losing my hair around the time of these frequent migraines. When I touch my hair or rub/brush through my hair, strands of hair rain down from my head.


    I have an MRI in 3 days on my brain. But I feel if they don't see anything I'll be hopeless. Please tell me what hair loss/migraines can be caused from if you can. Thanks a lot! Josh.

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    Full Answer:

    Dear Josh;


    There's no evidence that Migraine causes hair loss. Stress can have that effect as can some medications. If you're taking any medications, review them with your doctor to see if any of them could be the culprit.


    An MRI typically comes back "normal" on Migraineurs. Sometimes, some white matter lesions are found, but not always or even in the majority of cases.


    There are a couple of issues to discuss with your doctor:

    • Trigger identification and management. It's important to determine what's triggering your Migraines. It could be foods, problems with sleep schedule or quality, chemicals from cleaning supplies, or any number of other things. Take a look at our triggers page and try keeping a Migraine diary. You can download a free diary workbook from our article Your Migraine and Headache Diary.
    • Preventive treatment. There are over 100 medications and dietary supplements in use for Migraine prevention. It's recommended that preventive therapies be explored when patients have three or more Migraines a month.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



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    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 August 22, 2010.

Published On: August 22, 2010