Do you know anyone that suffers from migraines? What do you know about it?
Why is it so bad that they can’t just take a Tylenol and get back to work?

I can be the first to attest to how serious and debilitating a migraine is and how it knocks me out whenever I suffer an attack (thankfully not that often!). Yes, I wrote about concussions last week, both are serious but different in their own respects.

Let’s take a moment to learn about it!

What is a migraine:
A recurring headache disorder that range from moderate to severe. Typically of a pulsating nature that lasts between 2 to 72 hours.

The Symptoms:
– pulsating severe pain that usually affect one side of the head
– nausea
– vomiting
– extreme sensitivity to light, sound or smell

Why this is important:
The Migraine is the 3rd most common disease in the world, affecting nearly 1 in 4 households in the US. It affects both men, women (85% of chronic migraine sufferers!), young and old.
It is also the 6th most disabling illness in the world that cause people to go to the hospitals, miss work or prevent them from functioning normally.

What can trigger it?
– many different things (not a fully understood condition) including a mixture of environmental (changes to the weather) and genetic factors (about 90% of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine)
– imbalances in brain chemicals that regulate pain in your nervous system
– hormonal change in women
– certain foods (aged cheeses or processed foods) or food additives (sweetener, or MSG)
– stress (darn it)
– alcoholic drinks
– certain medications

Anything else special about it?
Sometimes there are early warning signs:
– food cravings
– neck stiffness
– increased thirst
– mood changes
– constipation

An Aura may occur before or during a migraine.
– auras are symptoms of the nervous system which manifest via touching sensations (sensory), movement (motor) or speech (verbal)

Examples of Auras:
– hearing noises (the ‘eeee’ noise of after a flash bang)or music
– spots/lights before your eyes
– vision loss
– body numbness
– difficulty speaking

(Thankfully) it tends to peak around our 30s and gets less severe over time and less frequent. There are also prescription pain relieving medications and preventive medications.

There are many great resources on migraines.
Check out the Mayo Clinic, or the Migraine Research Foundation for more info.