Dr. Rosemary Leonard answers a question on migraines in the company of Emma Howard.
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Emma Howard: Hello we're answering question on health and medical problems. I'm joined by Dr. Rosemary Leonard. Hello! Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Hello! Emma Howard: I have got a question for you Rosemary from a woman with a very common problem. She says, she has been getting migraines lately and she just simply wants to know what could be the cause. Dr. Rosemary Leonard: The first thing she needs to do is keep a diary of when that happening because in women it can be related to the menstrual cycle and particularly you can get them in the run up to having a period, or just during or after period and if you're on the over contraceptive pill, it can also be related to that or it could be to do with the menopause. And occasionally it can be triggered by HLT but that's less common now. Then she also needs to look at her general lifestyle. Does she tend to get a migraine when she is very tired, when she is over working, when she is stressed? Also looking at the other lifestyle factors like flashing lights can sometimes set off a migraine to some susceptible people. And then you need to look at foods. The classic ones for causing a migraine are chocolate, cheese and red wine. And you have a lots of migraine sufferers who say, those are the food that triggers, that set them off. But it can be a variety of things. So it's matter of keeping a diary and seeing what you have eaten. And sometimes it can be a very minor ingredient like cinnamon does it, or some food additives can also trigger migraine. So those are things you should look at. Emma Howard: And do we abuse the term? We have a bad headache; we say it's a Migraine? What would your definition of a migraine be? Dr. Rosemary Leonard: It's more than just about headache is my definition. It's something that's disabling. If you have a migraine, you can't go to work. It's usually on one side of the head only, it may be preceded by what we call an aural, which is visual flashing lights or a funny taste in the mouth or sometimes sound. And then a really, really bad thumping headache, which is usually on one side of the head, may be both, that can go on anything from a couple of hours to a couple of days. And during that time, the best thing you need to do is lie in a darken room and sitting at work is not an option, you just can't do it. Emma Howard: Thank you Rosemary. Well if you have a similar problem, we hope we might have given some help. But remember it's always best to go and see your own doctor for medical advice. Thanks for watching. We'll be back with more health questions and answers.