Most headaches are not due to significant underlying problems but you may be referred if your GP is worried about the nature of your headaches or you are having difficulty controlling them with standard treatment.
Migraine headaches are repeated or recurrent headaches, often accompanied by other symptoms. They can be triggered by certain factors/events/foods. In some people, a visual disturbance called an aura happens before the headache starts.
Other symptoms that may precede or accompany the headache include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, increased sweating, irritability, fatigue, intolerance of light or noise. The headache may last several hours to days.
Prior to coming to clinic for review of headaches it is useful to keep a diary. Write down: when your headaches occurred, how severe they were, additional symptoms, what you've eaten, sleep patterns, menstrual cycles, any other possible factors.
There is no cure for migraine headaches but treatment is aimed at: preventing migraines from occurring, stopping the migraine once early symptoms develop, and treating the symptoms of migraine (e.g. pain, nausea).
For more information about migraines and headache visit www.migraine.co.nz