8 Things You Should Know About Migraines


1. There Are Different Types Of Migraines

Migraine headaches aren’t all the same. Some people have chronic migraines, which are migraines that occur 15 or more times a month. There are also menstrual migraines, which can happen before, during, and/or after your period. Some migraine suffers experience a visual disturbance called an aura before an attack, while others have ocular migraines, which interfere with vision but don’t cause pain.

2. Migraines Can Decrease With A Good Routine

People who live with migraine headaches spend a lot of time identifying and managing their migraine triggers. For most patients, this would include avoiding all artificial scents and fluorescent lighting, getting enough (but not too much) sleep, avoiding excessive travel, managing stress, and eating regular meals, as well as drinking a lot of water.

3. Regular Pain Medication Doesn’t Work On Migraines

When someone says they have a migraine, they may be offered an OTC pain reliever by a well-meaning person. These types of meds are as effective as breath mints for dulling migraine pain. Most migraineurs under the care of a doctor take either a preventative medication, a rescue medication, or both. However, rescue medication only work if they are taken at the first sign of a migraine. If this window is missed the pain might warrant a trip to urgent care.

4. Half Of All Migraineurs Are Never Diagnosed

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, half of all patients who suffer from Migraines (migraineurs) are not diagnosed throughout their illness. This may be in part because in 2015 the amount of federal funds allocated to migraine research amounted to just 50 cents per migraine sufferer. That’s not even enough to buy a cheap cup of coffee.

5. Migraines Can Change Brain Structure

While migraine headaches are rarely a sign of an underlying neurological disorder, they can actually also change the structure of the brain over time, according to a study published in the journal Neurology.

According to the report, one reason this may happen is because of disruption of blood flow to certain areas of the brain during a migraine attack.

6. Overuse Of Migraine Meds Can Cause Rebound Headaches

Migraines and rebound headaches can be a vicious cycle brought on by an overuse of migraine medication, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health reported.

“As each dose of medicine wears off, the pain comes back, leading the patient to take even more. This overuse causes your medicine to stop helping your pain and actually start causing headaches.”

7. The Cause Of Migraine Headaches Is Unknown

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health noted that the cause of migraine headaches is unknown. Because of this, each patient must work to identify and manage their specific triggers. “A combination of triggers — not a single thing or event is more likely to set off an attack. A person’s response to triggers also can vary from migraine to migraine.”

This means that no two migraines are the same and that it could simply be identified through a process of elimination.

8. Migraine Headaches Can Take An Emotional Toll

As with most, if not all chronic pain conditions, living with migraine headaches, and the constant fear of having a migraine, as well as the physical effects it may cause in any day to day life, it can also take a toll on mental health.

In fact, the emotional toll if can cause can be so severe that Harvard Medical School reported that a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting found that migraineurs are 41 percent more likely to experience depression than those without migraines.

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