Unexpected helpers in the fight against headaches: who can benefit from coffee and cola?

Despite the fact that everyone is talking about male celebrities, the typical migraine patient is a woman 35-45 years old.  Such sufferers make up up to 70% of all patients.

Despite the fact that everyone is talking about male celebrities, the typical migraine patient is a woman 35-45 years old. Such sufferers make up up to 70% of all patients.

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From migraine military leaders Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, composers Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, philosopher Sigmund Freud and writer Fyodor Dostoevsky suffered. Do you have a headache too? You can tell if you are in the same company as celebrities by looking at their distinctive symptoms migraine. They are listed in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

1) Headache attacks last from 4 to 72 hours;

2) you have at least two of the following four signs: the pain is very severe (at least 7 points on a scale from 0 to 10), throbbing, one-sided (pain on either the right or left), aggravated by any physical activity (even when walking calmly );

3) you feel nauseous, sensitivity to light, sounds, strong odors increases (one of these symptoms is enough).

Most often, migraines occur with high pain intensity, nausea, discomfort from light/sounds and deterioration of the condition at the slightest physical activity, doctors note.

“In Russia, the prevalence of migraine, according to various studies, ranges from 15 to 21%,” said the head of the department at the press conference “More than a headache: new methods for diagnosing and treating migraine.” Neurological Department No. 2 of the Federal Center for Brain and Neurotechnology of the FMBA of Russia Olga Boyko. – One of the lowest incidence rates of this type of headache is in France (7%), the highest is in India (25%).


Despite the fact that everyone is talking about male celebrities, the typical migraine patient is a woman 35-45 years old. Such sufferers make up up to 70% of all patients. But after 50 years, the frequency and painfulness of attacks noticeably decrease, Dr. Boyko was pleased.

“Hormonal levels play a significant role in the development of migraines, in particular, changes in the level of estrogen hormones (in women, it changes during the menstrual cycle, and after menopause, hormonal storms subside. – Ed.), – explained the doctor.

Also, according to the latest scientific data, migraine provocateurs are often:

– stress;

– strong emotional shock, even positive emotions overflowing;

– lack of sleep;

– hunger;

– consumption of products containing caffeine, cheese, citrus fruits, alcohol (especially red wines).

What about weather changes? Until the end of September and even in October we are promised an Indian summer. At the same time, the difference between day and night temperatures will be at least 15 degrees, the Hydrometeorological Center said. Such “climate slides” certainly aggravate the condition of people suffering from both migraines and other types of headaches, experts from the Federal Center for Brain and Neurotechnology confirmed.


– Migraine develops in people with hyperexcitability of the cerebral cortex. This is an innate feature,” explained the head. Department of Functional Diagnostics of Nervous System Diseases of the Center for Brain and Neurotechnology Elena Baranova.

If you minimize risk factors (see above), you can significantly reduce both the frequency and severity of pain attacks, doctors say. However, in life, most of us have a whole bunch of migraine provocateurs, and it is not possible to get rid of them.

To relieve an attack, medications of two groups are prescribed, said Olga Boyko. First – universal painkillers. They are better tolerated and have fewer side effects. But in case of attacks of high intensity, such drugs help little. Then patients are prescribed specific medications for migraines. As a rule, they allow you to relieve pain within two hours.

– There is also now preventive treatment for migraine. Its task is to minimize the number and intensity of attacks, and ideally get rid of them, says Dr. Boyko. – Doctors use special groups of drugs (monoclonal antibodies).

Another method of prevention is botulinum therapy. Injections are given in the head and neck area and block the release of substances responsible for the development of a painful attack.

Preventive treatment should be carried out continuously (in courses with breaks). And the cost of monoclonal antibodies and botulinum therapy is very high (tens of thousands of rubles), these are the main disadvantages.


When is an MRI of the brain needed?

This summer, a new standard of medical care for patients suffering from migraine came into force in Russia. It is based on the latest scientific data, the main innovation is the procedure for diagnosing the disease, experts said.

Today, the diagnosis of migraine is made based on the clinical picture. That is, the doctor, during the examination and interview of the patient, identifies symptoms characteristic of the disease. Neither X-rays of the cervical spine, nor ultrasound of neck vessels, nor other instrumental examinations are included in the new standard (this corresponds to global approaches to evidence-based medicine). Because with migraine there are simply no specific changes that could be “seen” using such procedures.

“The only exception when an MRI of the brain may be required and prescribed is the presence of so-called “red flags,” explained Olga Boyko. – Such alarming signs include the constant one-sided nature of the pain (with migraines, attacks occur alternately, now in the right, now in the left side of the head) and a very high intensity of pain – it is literally deafening, like thunder, for several minutes. In such cases, using MRI, it is necessary to exclude acute vascular pathologies and other dangerous causes of pain.


Who can benefit from coffee and cola?

On social networks, including with reference to neurologists, you can find advice: if you drink strong tea, coffee or cola at the beginning of a migraine attack, then there is a chance to block the pain syndrome.

“If a person has a migraine, then drinking drinks with caffeine (cola also includes them), on the contrary, aggravates the condition,” explained Doctor of Medical Sciences Olga Boyko. – But with other types of headaches it can really get better.

In other words, if coffee or cola helped you relieve an attack, then in this case you do not have a migraine. At the same time, one person can suffer from several types of headaches at once, doctors note. For example, at one time migraine attacks occur, and at another time a tension headache hits. It is the second most common type of headache in the world.


According to surveys, 20% of men and 25% of women with migraine report that they lose more than 10% of their work time over the course of a year due to excruciating headache attacks.


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