Stress at work to blame for soaring number of Britons suffering migraines
Nearly 40 per cent of doctors are concerned at the number of patients suffering the chronic headache
90 per cent believe increase is related to work stressMany sufferers also don't take enough preventative measures, warn doctors
18:21 GMT, 26 November 2012
18:21 GMT, 26 November 2012
The number of workers suffering from migraines is soaring because of growing stress at the office, according to a survey.
Nearly 40 per cent of GPs are concerned at the number of patients suffering the chronic headache and 90 per cent believe the increase is related to work stress.
London-based GP Dr Sarah Jarvis said: 'The impact of stress on our health can never be underestimated.
'Where there's a migraine attack, then for a lot of my patients, there's normally stress involved.
The number of workers suffering from migraines is soaring because of growing stress at the office, doctors have warned.
'Certainly, there are a number of reasons stress may have increased over the years, as a result, migraine prevalence may be increasing and I have seen this among my own patients.
'Avoiding stress can be difficult, but it is only through sustained lifestyle changes, alongside medication, that migraine can be controlled.'
Experts believe that widening of blood vessels in the brain causes the throbbing pain of migraine.
The survey of 100 GPs, conducted by migraine treatment Imigran Recovery, also found that triggers including certain foods such as cheese and chocolate (86 per cent), excess caffeine intake or withdrawal (80 per cent) and drinks containing alcohol (69 per cent) commonly trigger migraine attacks.
More than half of GPs agreed that sufferers are not doing enough to avoid migraine triggers and, as a result, some can go their whole life without getting their condition under control. Without changes in lifestyle, avoiding triggers and taking medication, migraine cannot be fully controlled.
Nearly 90 per cent of GPs surveyed believe the increase is related to work stress
GPs also reported a lack of patient
awareness about treatments, with 77 per cent believing that migraine
sufferers are unaware of the range of treatments available.
Often sufferers have misplaced faith in painkillers, unsuccessfully trying to control the condition. Drugs such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin, are overused by some migraine sufferers, according to 87 per cent of GPs. As a result, three quarters agree Medication Overuse Headache can be common amongst sufferers.
According to a separate study of 3,000 migraine sufferers, 86 per cent of sufferers take no preventative action between migraine attacks. This could explain why nearly half of migraine sufferers feel helpless, believing that migraine is untreatable.
Dr Jarvis added: ‘Treatments, such as sumatriptan-based products, can relieve symptoms of a migraine attack, but it’s also important that patients take preventative steps between migraines.
'I often suggest starting with a migraine diary to help pinpoint the triggers. Almost always small lifestyle changes will help, for example taking regular exercise, regular sleeping habits, eating a healthy diet and avoiding caffeine.’