What are the precipitating factors in pediatric migraine headache?

Updated: Jan 02, 2019
  • Author: J Ivan Lopez, MD, FAAN, FAHS; Chief Editor: George I Jallo, MD  more...
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Answer

Distinguishing between headache causes and triggers is important, since the latter act merely as precipitants of the headache condition, most often migraine. Factors that precipitate migraine headache include the following:

  • Stress/anxiety

  • Menstruation

  • Oral contraceptives

  • Physical exertion/fatigue

  • Lack of sleep (sleep apnea may also be a primary cause of headache)

  • Glare

  • Hunger

  • Foods/beverages with nitrates, glutamate, caffeine, tyramine, salt

  • Reading/refractive error

  • Cold foods

  • High altitude

  • Drugs such as nitroglycerin, indomethacin, and hydralazine

  • Chemicals, such as tyramine in cheese, chocolate, nuts, and monosodium glutamate

  • Epilepsy - Children with epilepsy are at an increased risk of developing migraine headaches


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