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Our readers tell us that scent is a major trigger for their migraines. From perfumes and lotions to cigarette smoke, just a whiff of certain scents can bring on an attack.

In this issue of our newsletter, we look at how scents may trigger migraines and-most important-what you can do to minimize your exposure.

We appreciate hearing from our readers! If you have a question or personal story you'd like to share, just let us know.

Amanda DiBenedetto

Linpharma Customer Education
Can You Smell a Migraine Coming?

Different things trigger migraines for different people. For many migraine sufferers, however, odor is a common trigger. The type of odor varies: for some people, it can be a bad odor like car exhaust fumes. For others, it can be an intense smell like paint thinner or even perfume. And for others it might be the scent of cigarette smoke, pesticides or carpeting. Let's look closer at what's going on.

Triggers or symptoms? While smells can be migraine triggers, hypersensitivity to smell can also be a symptom of the migraine itself. Italian researchers, for example, found that many patients who were fine with scents such as perfume and cigarette smoke could not tolerate these same scents during a migraine attack.


What causes "scent sensitivity?" People who have non-food allergies may be more likely to be hypersensitive to odors.  Plus, we're all being exposed to more and more chemicals and fragrances. Over time, even people without allergies can lose their tolerance to a previously tolerated chemical odor. When this happens, exposure to the scent can set off an inflammatory response. Once this happens, the migraine develops along the same pathway as an attack sparked by any other type of trigger.

What can you do?

  1. Identify which scents are associated with your own migraines. Keep a migraine diary and note when each attack begins, how long it lasts, and any food, drink or scents you associate with its onset. Share this information with your doctor to create a prevention plan.
  2. Minimize your exposure. Obviously, you want to avoid (as much as possible) any scents associated with the onset of a migraine. If fragrances are your trigger, for example, using perfume and cologne as well as fragranced products such as deodorants, room fresheners, candles, etc. You might consider asking your boss to create a perfume-free workplace.
  3. Create a migraine prevention plan. The common thread between migraine attacks and hypersensitivity to odor is that both involve an inflammatory response. "Toning" the brain's blood vessels increases their resilience as they expand and contract. This reduces the likelihood that the inflammatory response will lead to a full-blown migraine. Many neurologists recommend natural alternatives to build this resilience, notably the CO2 extract of butterbur root which is recognized not only as a safe, but effective migraine preventative.

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Migraines at the Beach

A beach getaway is one of the pleasures of summer. It can also set the stage for a migraine attack. But it doesn't have to! A little advance planning can help you minimize these common "beach" triggers:

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  • SUNLIGHT. Don't forget to take the umbrella, visor, sunglasses, etc.
  • SMELLS. Prevention! See the article above.
  • CAFFEINE. Minimize colas, coffee and chocolate (and even chocolate ice cream).
  • DRY AIR. Take along a saline nasal spray and moisturizing eye drops.
  • ALCOHOL. - A cold beer or glass of wine on the porch may not cause a hangover, but it can trigger a painful migraine, so be cautious!
A One-Two Punch for Migraine Prevention

Scents. Stress. A nutritional deficiency... You may have more than one migraine trigger. That's why it may make sense to rely on more than one preventative.

Dolovent™, for example, is a nutritional supplement that targets deficiencies in Magnesium, Vitamin B2 and Co-Q-10 that are associated with migraines. Petadolex® is an herbal supplement (a patented CO2 butterbur root extract) that targets the inflammatory response by increasing the toning cerebral blood vessels and increasing blood flow. Both are free of side effects and known-drug interactions, so they can be taken together safely.

However, as when thinking about taking any natural or pharmaceutical product, you should talk with your doctor to find the right prevention plan for you and your own unique triggers. As a first step, you may want to start keeping a migraine diary.

Print this ready-to-use Migraine Diary: CLICK HERE

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nutritional supplement

All-in-one, clinical strength supplement for correcting Magnesium, B2 and CoQ10 deficiencies associated with neurological discomfort.

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