Migraines vs. Headaches: Be aware of the different causes, triggers and symptoms Headaches vs. Migraines – Baptist Health South Florida

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Migraines vs. Headaches: Be aware of the different causes, triggers and symptoms Headaches vs. Migraines - Baptist Health South Florida

If you suffer from migraines headaches, the pain is typically described as an intense throbbing or pulsing within a particular area in the brain. However, for some acute migraines may be debilitating and can cause vomiting or nausea, as well as the sensitivity to light and sounds.

What is the point at which a severe headache be considered migraine? Some sufferers experience sensitivity to sound or light with tension headaches. It will be National Migraines and Headache Awareness Month. It is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 15% of U.S. adults report a headache that is severe or a migraine during the past three months.

The primary care doctor can begin the process of making diagnosing a migraine, which might require some tests and documentation the family’s history for migraines. Baptist Health experts on migraines and headaches suggest that patients who keep a journal of their symptoms and “common causes” that trigger their headaches like stress , certain drinks or foods could help narrow their diagnosis.

The risk of developing migraines is three times higher prevalent for women than men and affect over 10 percent of the world’s population.


Pooja S. Patel, M.D., neurologist and director of the Epilepsy Program at Marcus Neuroscience Institute, which was established within Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

“Initially it’s normal to simply say it’s migraine,” explains Pooja S. Patel, M.D., neurologist and director of the Epilepsy Program at the Marcus Neuroscience Institute, established at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, part of Baptist Health. “And after a while, the symptoms get a more evident, and with the help of a doctor, it becomes easier to distinguish between 2 (headaches or migraines).”

The most noticeable distinctions among migraines or headaches are due to their duration as well as intensity, and there are other signs. Migraines are typically considered to be chronic if they happen for more than 15 days in a month for longer than three months. In most cases, migraines are linked to different health problems that are underlying.

“In the world of primary medical care it is a frequent diagnosis and a typical complaint we face,” said Patricia Feito-Fernandez, M.D., a family medicine physician at Baptist Health Primary Care. “Yes there are some connections to other illnesses which we typically encounter frequently with headaches as a broad term. Also migraines are a diagnosis that migraines in certain cases may be linked to other illness processes.”

On an recent Instagram Live show with host Jeannette Kaplun who is CEO and editor at Hispana Global, Drs. Patel and Feito-Fernandez addressed a variety of questions about migraines and. headaches.


Patricia Feito-Fernandez, M.D., a family medicine physician with Baptist Health Primary Care.

Here are a few questions and responses from the show that can be viewed in full here.

Jeannette KaplunWhat do you know about the differentiators between migraine and headache? Do they complement one another?

Dr. Patel: “Headache is a general term that can be used to describe any type of head discomfort. This means that it could be a sign of a medical condition. It could be a symptom on its own. It’s a popular, generic term that can refer to various types of headaches. Migraine is one of the types of headache disorder that is primary. It means that it doesn’t have a reason. Therefore, migraines can have various signs other than headaches. It’s also a disease that is its own. It’s a specific type of headache disorder.

Jeannette Kaplun Does there exist a way that could be done to differentiate between them? Is it acceptable for people to put the two together at times?

Dr. Patel: “Initially, we may all think that it’s headache. As time passes, symptoms start to become a more apparent, and evidently with the assistance of a doctor, you’re able discern among the two. But it can take time as it could take months before you begin to notice other symptoms, or even it can take years. This is why, often instances, migraines do go misdiagnosed for a long time. It could be that it’s something that didn’t seem to be too serious and then they were identified as just headaches.”

Jeannette KaplunWe may not be aware of what chronic migraines or repeated instances of migraines could mean. Could be a more serious problem?

Dr. Feito-Fernandez “The diagnosing of migraines in certain cases may be connected to other disease processes. One of the main ones that we observe is hypertension. This is the presence of high blood pressure. In this particular subset of individuals, we usually observe a significant amount patients with blood pressure imbalances, or hypertensive patients who come in with migraines. In addition, we encounter different diagnoses, including the anxiety and depression and a psychological diagnosis that can be connected to migraines also …

“Another quite common problem we observe is seizures, as there’s some genetic predisposition. We believe there are some patients who suffer from seizures that may be related to migraines. In general, this is what we observe when we see our primary care patients. It’s commonplace and is linked to the other diseases.”

Jeannette KaplunWhat do you think are the most frequent triggers for migraines or headaches?

The Dr. Patel: “You bring an important point in and separating the two things that are the cause and triggers. Migraine is a primary condition and doesn’t have any root reason. This is the essence of migraine. There’s a genetic predisposition to migraine. Therefore, you could be more exposed than others, or you could be more likely to have it more frequently, if relatives have it. It’s a crucial connection. We can see this as common in families of patients suffering from migraines. But what triggers them are not always the same. There can be a myriad of triggers. There are books about how many triggers exist because they are different for each person.

“Common triggers that I observe are clearly hormone changes, stress and the weather. They are three of the most frequent triggers we encounter in migraines. However, a variety of drinks and foods are triggers, and there are differences into play. For instance, one patient may say they’re extremely sensitive to certain foods. While the other isn’t.

“There are common ground that can be found between the two. Alcohol is a major one in which beer and wine could be significant triggers for patients, as could dairy products and chocolate. There are a few common triggers (triggers). However, because they’re different for each patient … we’ll be aware of it when patients suffer from several headaches after eating these specific food items.”

Jeannette Kapluno non-prescription medicines help ease migraines as well as headaches”

Dr. Feito-Fernandez: Yes, they do. I believe this is one of the most significant things we encounter in primary care that leads to being diagnosed with chronic migraines or migraines as the diagnosis. After we have sat down and examine diaries (a patient’s journal of triggers) We then create plans. Based on the plan, there are a lot of the time, over-the-counter medicines do provide a reason for treatment when we’re analyzing the triggers they have.

“And it all depends on the kind of headaches and whether they’re migraines and whether medication can aid them but they may not be as efficient. In the realm of the over-the counter when you walk into the pharmacy, you’re thinking: I’ll just grab anything. This may not occur for the particular patient. Therefore, the headache diary is crucial to keep track of. And when we look at the over-the-counter medications, we tend to commonly use are anti-inflammatories.”

Keywords: Baptist Health Primary Care, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, headaches, Marcus Neuroscience Institute, migraines