Migraines; if you’ve never experienced one, count yourself very lucky! Many people can tell you many horror stories about migraines and how they hinder them from fulfilling their every day life. Some people get migraines only on occasion and they are the lucky ones.
Many others suffer from Frequent migraines getting them anywhere from once a week to multiple times a day, EVERY day.
If you get migraines, you’re not alone.
- More than 28 million people in the United States have migraines
- Migraines are most often seen in adults 25 to 55 years old
- Women are nearly 3 times more likely to have migraines than men
- About 50% of migraine sufferers go undiagnosed
If you already know a lot about Migraines, I invite you to take this QUIZ to test just how much you really know. You are welcome to come back and learn more!
But What is a Migraine exactly?
According to Wikipedia a migraine is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by moderate to severe headaches, and nausea. It is about three times more common in women than in men
According to the MayoClinic a migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or pulsing in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and be so severe that all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down.
There are 4 different phases of a Migraine:
ProdromeOne or two days before a migraine, you may notice subtle changes that may signify an oncoming migraine, including:
- Food cravings
- Neck stiffnessAuraAuras are usually visual but can also be sensory, motor or verbal disturbances. Each of these symptoms typically begins gradually, builds up over several minutes, then commonly lasts for 10 to 30 minutes. Examples of aura include:
- Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
- Vision loss
- Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
- Speech or language problemsLess commonly, an aura may be associated with aphasia or limb weakness (hemiplegic migraine).AttackWhen untreated, a migraine typically lasts from four to 72 hours, but the frequency with which headaches occur varies from person to person. During a migraine, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Pain on one side of your head
- Pain that has a pulsating, throbbing quality
- Sensitivity to light, sounds and sometimes smells
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by faintingPostdromeThe final phase — known as postdrome — occurs after a migraine attack, when you may feel drained and washed out, though some people report feeling mildly euphoric.
When you develop a Migraine you may or may not suffer from all 4 stages. It is common to only suffer from 2 or 3, or even just one.Have You Suffered from a Migraine? Are you so debilitated that you feel like you are missing out on your life?
Do not worry! There IS hope!
Although the exact cause of Migraines is unknown (causes varying from genetics to environment factors) Migraines have grown to have many common “triggers” that can be tracked, treated, and sometimes prevented.
- Diet induced
- Sugar induced
- low-blood sugar
- Hormonal Changes in Women
- indoor air quality
- Food–alcohol, aged cheeses; chocolate; aspartame; overuse of caffeine; monosodium glutamate (MSG),
- bright lights or Sun Glare
- toxic fumes
- changes in wake-sleep patterns
- intense physical exertion
- over exercising
- poor nutrition
- over powering smells like Perfume
- Certain Medications-especially oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin
The Trick is to create a Migraine Diary. Every time you start to feel the beginning of a migraine, or even after the migraine begins, grab your migraine diary notebook and write down everything you can remember from before the migraine began.
- How was your eating the last few days? What did you eat? Did it contain a lot of sugary/high processed/simple carbohydrates?
- How is your stress level?
- Have you been in any locations with fumes, exposure to gas fumes, paint thinner, pollution, etc
- Have you been watching a lot of TV in dark rooms, playing a lot of video games? Been outside in the sun for long hours without Eye protection?
- Have you been pushing yourself physically lately?
- Have you started any new medications recently?
After a while you should begin to notice a reoccurring trend. And that is the first place to start to treating and possibly preventing your migraines.
If you suffer from frequent Migraines; create your Migraine Dairy and visit with your Doctor to discuss possible Treatment options and prevention methods. Come back and Join us for Part 2 of our Health and Wellness–“Migraines: managing, treating and Preventing” to learn more about treating and possible prevention of Migraines.
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Friday 15th of June 2012
Thank you for all of this great information! I just recently started having migraines (within the last few months). Glad to know I'm not the only one who has so much trouble with them.
Amber @JadeLouise Designs
Thursday 6th of October 2011
Thank you for sharing with us! Wow, I'm so sorry you had to go through such extensive work to finally find relief! I wish there was a magic Cure all pill for everyone. My Sister-in-law gets migraines like crazy and she's been to MANY doctors and none of them could help her, now she is trying alternative options; which seem to be giving a little help.
Thank you for your words of encouragement for others like you! I've been to the point where I was getting migraines every single day; there wasn't a day I didn't have one and they were so bad I had to just crawl into my room in a dark corner and cry. And I had 2 little boys (1-2 yrs old) and a deployed husband at the time...it really does hinder your life functioning abilities.
Thursday 6th of October 2011
I know firsthand the dibilitating effects of migraines. Started experiencing them daily at age 14 and went to many doctors & clinics, tried meds, and finally had eye surgery (real surgery), which brought my headaches down to 3-5 times a week, which I suffered through for 16 years. Got an IUD, which helped with mentrual-related migraines. And finally found a medication that worked that I have to take daily that has reduced my headaches to occassionally (a couple a month). LIFECHANGING. Now I can enjoy my family & life so much more!
For other migraine suffers out there, don't give up looking for something to help you...wish I had found my "cure" years ago.