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Migraine and Headache Terms

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Stress: your reaction to any change that requires you to adjust or respond

Symptomatic relief medications: drugs used to relieve symptoms associated with headaches, including the pain of a headache or the nausea and vomiting associated with migraine; these may include simple analgesics, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, antiemetics, or sedatives.

Temporomandibular joints (TMJ): the joints where the jaw attaches to the skull, just in front of the ears

Tension-type headaches: the most common type of headaches among adults, thought to be caused by tightened muscles in the back of the neck and scalp; tension-type headaches are usually triggered by some type of environmental or internal stress.

Toxin: a poisonous substance

Transformed migraines: coexisting migraine and tension-type headache; transformed migraines are chronic, daily headaches with a vascular quality

Trauma: a physical injury

Trigeminal nerve: the chief sensory nerve of the face

Trigger: a factor that can set off a migraine in people who are predisposed to migraines; some common triggers include emotional stress, sensitivity to specific chemicals and preservatives in foods, caffeine, changing weather conditions, changes in female hormones, tension, excessive fatigue, skipped meals, or changes in normal sleep patterns.

Tumor: an abnormal mass of tissue that may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous)

Tyramine: a substance found naturally in some foods, formed from the breakdown of protein as foods age; generally, the longer a high-protein food ages, the greater the tyramine content. Many aged cheeses, red wine, other alcoholic beverages, and some processed meats have been reported to be high in tyramine. Eating foods with tyramine can trigger migraines in some people. People taking MAO inhibitors must be careful not to eat foods containing tyramine, as this can cause increased blood pressure.

Vasoconstriction: a narrowing or closing (constriction) of a blood vessel

Vasodilation: a swelling or opening (dilation) of a blood vessel

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Ann Edmundson, MD, PhD on June 24, 2012
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