Watch what you eat! A new study has found that bacteria existing in the mouth can lead to migraines. This means that certain foods you eat such as hot dogs and lunch meat can be the cause! Research has shown that people who suffer from migraines have higher levels of bacteria. Higher levels of bacteria = higher levels of nitric oxide = migraines!

If this is a reasonable and solid association, it can create new ideas for treatment, such as a special kind of probiotic mouthwash that could decrease the amount of bacteria in the mouth, which would prevent migraines!  More studies are currently being performed, but if you feel that your migraines are serious, here are some ways to know if you should see a doctor.

What Kind of Headache Do I Have?

  • Tension headache: dull pain, tightness, or pressure around the forehead or back of the head and neck.  It may feel like a clamp squeezing the skull. Other symptoms may include tenderness around the scalp, neck, and shoulder muscles.
  • Migraine headache: pounding headache, often with severe pain in the temple area on one side of the head, may extend to the face, sinuses, jaw, and neck. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity.
  • Sinus headache: inflammation of your sinus cavities, often resulting from cold or allergies. These can cause pain and pressure around the nose, eyes, forehead, and cheeks. Commonly confused with migraines because sign and symptoms can be similar.

When Should I See a Doctor?

  • If you experience headaches consistently once a week or more (four or more headaches per week are a risk factor for chronic migraine)
  • You’re getting headaches more than usual and they are more severe than usual
  • Your headaches worsen or don’t improve after proper use of over-the-counter medication
  • You can’t perform normal daily activities, such as sleeping or working
  • Your headaches occur when you cough or exercise

In simple terms, if the migraines make you feel distressed, you should see a doctor just to be safe. If you want to see a neurologist, depending on your health insurance plan, you may need a referral from your doctor. The costs also differ—the amount you pay to see your doctor or specialist can range. If it is so severe that you require emergency care, it will be reassuring to know how much is covered under your health insurance plan so make sure you choose the right insurance plan!

 

For more information: Covered California