Migraine is a type of headache that may be accompanied with disturbed vision and nausea. It is believed that there are environmental triggers that can cause a person to have migraines. Recent research suggests that the potential environmental triggers should not always be seen as the real triggers of migraine.
Light and exercises are the 2 triggers that patients believe to cause the migraine with aura. Some researchers in Denmark did an experiment that rather proves that neither caused attacks in the majority of people that were enrolled in the research. The neurologist, Peter Goadsby, said that there are a lot of assumptions made when it comes to what causes migraine but there is no scientific bases for that even though many people accept them as true. He added that many patients will be surprised by the result of this study.
In the research, which was done in the university of Copenhagen, 27 patients suffering from migraine with nausea were selected. According to statistics, in a real population, for every 5 people with migraine one will usually have the type associated with aura. The study participants did believe that light or exercise were the triggers of their problem. So the researchers decided to test the patients’ claim by exposing them to their triggers.
In the experiment the triggers were simulated from 30 to 40 minutes onto the patients. Those who claimed that light was the main trigger of their migraine were exposed to simulations of light while those who claimed that it was exercise that triggered it were asked to exercise until they reach 80% of their maximum heart rate. After the simulations the participants were monitored for about 3 hours.
At the end of the experiment the researchers counted only 3 of the 27 having a migraine attack with aura. One had the attack after exercise alone while 2 others had the migraine after been exposed to both the simulation of light and exercise. Three other participants had a migraine attack without aura. For the participants that were only exposed to light, none of them had any form of migraine attack.
Based on that the researchers concluded that there is a link between exercise and migraine with aura in a least a small percentage of the population.
The study authors, based on their findings, advise that people should monitor themselves and see whether or not the supposed triggers are really having an effect. If after 3 months or more they are not able to see a clear link between the trigger and the migraine, it simply means that the trigger is not really triggering anything.
Neurologist, Jason Rosenberg, after reviewing the study for WebMD, told them that he has many patients that just don’t want to exercise for fear of headaches. He said once a patient has already decided on what triggers the headache, it is difficult to change his mind. He added that there is no scientific proof that sunlight exposure, certain types of food or exercises can trigger migraine with nausea so studies like this can help him push his patients in the right direction.