Migraines are a neurological condition and are not just headaches. The recurring pounding or throbbing in the head is often followed by nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, and strong smells. Sufferers of migraines have a hard time completing tasks or performing physical activities. There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding migraines such as ”Migraines are a mental illness.” or “Migraines are just really strong headaches.” These are in fact false and we are here to clear things up. Here are 10 eye-opening facts about migraines.
1. Migraines increase your risk for suicide.
Several studies show that chronic migraine patients are three times more likely to commit suicide than people who don’t get chronic headaches. The risk is even higher with people who experience aura or other sensory symptoms. Although it’s not clear why migraines induce harmful thoughts, experts believe that it could be due to depression, since depression is a comorbid condition of migraines.
2. Medication can make migraines worse.
Although migraine medications are supposed to help ease the pain, overuse can adversely affect us. Studies have shown that frequent use of migraine medications can result in what’s known as “medication-overuse headaches”. This worsens the pain and sends a person into a spiralling vicious cycle in which they continue to try taking different medications for. The only way to prevent this is to take any form of medication, no more than twice a week. If your migraine becomes progressively worse while you are at work, hopefully there will be someone who has gone through first aid training courses, who will be able to help you deal with these symptoms effectively. Without the assistance of companies such as Coast2Coast in Brampton, many people may not know the basic skills to be able to help anyone in need. With something like a migraine, just know, there is a solution to dealing with this and it is not always to do with medication.
3. Migraines can be hereditary.
Often when a person has migraines, another person in their family will also suffer from migraines. Statistics show that more than 70 percent of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine. According to migraine.com, if one parent is a migraine sufferer there is a 40 percent chance that their children will also have migraines. If both parents are migraine sufferers, there is a 90 percent chance their children will have migraines.
4. Migraines are the 3rd most common disease in the world.
It might be surprising to hear that migraines are the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone who suffers from migraines. 18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraines, and it is most common between the ages of 25 and 55.
5. Change in your stress level can induce migraines.
If you think that finishing off that huge project at work or getting a week away from the kids is going to reduce your migraines, you are wrong. Dawn Buse, PhD, a health psychologist with Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, conducted research and discovered that when a person’s mood rapidly changes, they have a 20 percent higher risk of migraines. He explains that these “let-down” migraines are caused by a sudden, dramatic drop in hormones.
6. Veterans who deployed are more likely to suffer from migraines.
Unfortunately, Veterans are more likely to develop migraines or other persistent headache disorders than their civilian counterparts. In fact, one study showed that 36 percent of Veterans who had completed a 12-month deployment to Iraq were either diagnosed with or exhibited symptoms of migraines.
7. Even children can suffer from migraines.
Although children usually manifest symptoms of migraines as stomach cramps, there are many scientific reports finding that 10 percent of grade school-aged children experience pediatric migraine attacks. By the time those children are teenagers, it may evolve into standard migraine headaches. One report showed that some children outgrew migraines by the age of 25.
8. Sex can trigger migraines.
Yep, you heard that right. Research shows that intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, and sometimes even just arousal, can actually cause a migraine. This type of migraine is more common in young or mid-life men. One way to prevent these migraines is to stop taking part in any form of sexual activity. Since this is not always the best solution, doctors usually prescribe blood pressure medications known as beta blockers to prevent these migraines.
9. In some cases, people experience “auras”.
Some people with migraines experience a more distinct migraine warning sign in a second phase, called the migraine aura. Auras are usually visual but can also be sensory, motor or verbal disturbances. Visual auras are the most common. According to Mayo Clinic, a visual aura is like an electrical or chemical wave that moves across the visual cortex of your brain. Around 25 percent of the sufferers experience numbness or tingling in the hands or face, or blotches of light or darkness disrupting their vision. These typically occur anywhere from 10-30 minutes before a migraine develops.
10. Migraines impact your personal and social life.
40 percent of migraine sufferers also deal with depression and are at risk of anxiety, bipolar disorder and panic disorder. Sufferers are often afraid to set firm plans with friends and family members since they can never predict when an onset of a migraine may occur. It is estimated that more than 50% of people dealing with migraines remain undiagnosed.
Do you suffer from migraines? Let us know through the comments section.