Asthma and migraine

Asthma and migraine might seem to be two strange illnesses to link together but there is an increasing amount of evidence to say that similar causative factors are involved.

One way to look at asthma is to think of it as a change in the body’s functioning that is brought about by a simple combination of changes in the environment. First of all there is an asthamatic constitution; some people tend to get wheezy from time to time and others don’t. Usually we find that more than one factor is involved in the production of an asthmatic attack, and in all cases stress is involved. Often two types of stress have to be experienced by the asthma-prone individual before he gets wheezy. The common stress factors are infection and allergy, although stress from other forms can also trigger an attack – for instance, exercise or emotional disturbance. In many cases the asthmatic reaction seems to be put on alert by one form of stress -shall we say by an infection, a cold – and while in this sensitive state a second form of stress – perhaps contact with an allergy-producing factor or even a change in environmental temperature – will trigger the classic symptoms of wheezing and breathlessness.

What holds for asthma also holds for migraine. Migraine can be triggered by the eating of certain foods, by flashing lights, by the observation of disturbing patterns. Changes in the emotions of a stressful nature are also liable to trigger off a migraine.

In both migraine and asthma it might be said that the body is over-sensitive to stress and that an increase in stress moves the victim a little bit further towards experiencing an attack of his symptoms. Learning to reduce stress will obviously be of enormous help in coping with these problems.

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