The Link Between Migraine, Nausea, and Vomiting

Migraine sufferers commonly complain of nausea, vomiting, and aversions of odors or foods. These symptoms are collectively called the "migraine triad." While it is not fully understood why these symptoms occur together in some people and not others, there is a strong association between them.

Researchers have found a connection between these symptoms and their common triggers: motion sickness or vertigo. When your inner ear senses movement, it sends signals to your brain that correlate this movement with external visual cues (e.g., smells). You may be able to avoid nausea from strong smells by sniffing less often; however, this can make avoiding odors more challenging.

Additionally, certain medications can exacerbate nausea and gastrointestinal issues like reflux disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which are also associated with migraines. Read on to learn more about the link between nausea, vomiting, and migraines and how to manage them.

Migraine and its Symptoms

Migraine is a disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of headache that can last from hours to days. About 12% of the world's population suffers from migraine headaches. Women are twice as likely to be affected as men. The severity of migraines varies from person to person and can be mild or severe. Typically, migraine symptoms include a headache, nausea, and vomiting.

There are many subtypes of migraines. The most common is the classic "migraine WITH aura" and "migraine WITHOUT aura," which both include migraine symptoms like a headache and visual disturbances but no nausea or vomiting. People with a rarer subtype of migraine, complex migraine, can experience nausea, vomiting, and dizziness instead of the typical migraine symptoms.

Migraine triggers are different for everyone, but they're often foods, certain odors, or stimuli from other health conditions. Strongly scented products like perfumes, deodorants, or cleaning supplies can cause migraines in some people.

Other common migraine triggers include stress, lack of sleep, and hormonal changes around your period. If you experience headaches that can’t be traced to a known trigger, you must talk to your doctor.

Nausea and Vomiting in Migraine Triggers

Nausea and vomiting are among the most common symptoms of migraine. In some people, these symptoms occur together with a specific trigger. The trigger could be a particular smell, food, or movement.

Some migraine patients can identify the trigger and avoid it. For example, try wearing different clothes or fragrances if you get migraines after smelling perfume. If you get migraines after you eat a particular food, try eating an extra meal. If you get migraines every time you get vertigo, try taking medication.

If you experience nausea and vomiting after consuming a particular smell, food, or movement, you must avoid that trigger. This can be difficult, so if you can identify a migraine trigger, you can prevent it.

Motion Sickness and Vertigo

When you travel in a boat, car, or plane, you may feel seasick or experience vertigo. These feelings are not caused by the movement itself but rather by the perception of movement. People prone to motion sickness often share a similar sensation to vertigo. You can prevent Motion sickness with a few simple precautions.

Avoid eating highly spiced or fatty food; eat small, frequent meals; and drink plenty of water. Avoid things with strong odors like perfumes or potent cleaning agents. If you are prone to motion sickness, try wearing an ear plug while in a vehicle. If you experience nausea after travel, try taking an anti-nausea medication like Zofran.

Reflux Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Reflux disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are conditions in which stomach acid comes back into the esophagus. Acid reflux and spasms in the gut are both associated with migraines and one. There are a variety of things you can do if you have a migraine with reflux or IBS.

For migraine with IBS, try eating smaller, more frequent meals and drinking plenty of water. Try taking anti-nausea medication. For migraines with reflux, try eating less acidic foods like chicken and fish. If you experience nausea after consuming acidic foods, try eating bland foods like crackers or pretzels.

Strategies for Managing the Triad

Migraine is a complex condition with many triggers, symptoms, and treatment options. If you have a migraine with nausea and vomiting, it's essential to know how to manage the symptoms. If you experience nausea and vomiting, try not to sniff or sniff less often. Avoid strongly scented products like perfumes, deodorants, or cleaning supplies, which can worsen these symptoms.

Avoid activities that trigger your migraines, such as strong odors, loud noises, or physical activity. If you experience dizziness, try taking a break from activities that cause dizziness. Try sitting down or relax by moving away from such activities. If you experience pain, try taking a break from activities that cause pain.

What is the Connection Between Nausea and Vomiting?

Migraine and its related symptoms can be debilitating. If you experience the migraine triad and nausea and vomiting, it is essential to know why this occurs. The connection between migraine, nausea, and vomiting is vertigo. Vertigo is a feeling of spinning when you look around. It is a common symptom of motion sickness and an indicator of inner ear issues. The cilia in your inner ear are supposed to move to help your brain receive visual information.

If they are blocked, your brain receives incorrect information, causing dizziness and nausea. Vertigo can be treated with medications like anticholinergic drugs, which block the receptors that respond to vertigo. This will not cure vertigo, but it will help prevent nausea and vomiting that often accompany it.

Summing Up

Migraine is a chronic condition often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. If you experience these symptoms, it is essential to know why they occur. The triad can be managed with several strategies, including avoiding triggers, taking breaks, and taking anti-nausea medication. With constant effort, you can make these symptoms manageable. However, you must be alert about this medical condition if you need to face it anywhere and avoid being in such a condition that can trigger migraine.