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Question
Posted by: i and t | 2006/11/09

chronic migraines

what causes chronic migraines? can it be caused by my liver?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear I and T,

Liver dysfunction has been known to trigger migraines, but the commonest cause of chronic migraine is the medication that is used to take away the pain of migraine.
One of the main problems with taking painkillers for headaches is that it often leads to Medication Overuse Headache (MOH), which causes chronic migraine. MOH is a problem that occurs in headache sufferers who have to take painkillers on a regular basis - the headaches become more frequent and more severe! Because of this, the patient increases the dosage and takes the drugs more often, and a vicious circle is set up, making the headaches worse and worse, and more and more frequent. This can happen with any of the painkillers, but is far more likely to occur when the medication contains more than one drug, and especially if it contains caffeine or codeine. When the three are combined in one pill, there is an even greater likelihood of MOH developing. The worst culprit is a substance called ergotamine, which is sometimes included in the “migraine kits” commonly available from pharmacies. Please examine the box or insert of the medications you use, and check what they contain. And remember - MOH can also occur with prescription headache medication.

The answer therefore is not to rely on medication or painkillers! The correct way to deal with the problem is to have a proper diagnosis of the causes of the headache. If the causes are treated, the headaches no longer occur, and it is no longer necessary to rely on potentially harmful “rescue” medication.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic on 0861 678 911 (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Kitty | 2006/11/17

My 15 year old daughter suffers from migraine headaches which I stand to be corrected may be caused by excess cheese eating, coke, black coffee, dairy products and chocolates. Is this true? She gets headaches that cause nausea and vomitting. Pleas help.

Reply to Kitty

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