5 Things You Didn’t Know About Migraines

migraineMigraines can be a real challenge for sufferers. Torturous head and neck pain often cripples people for hours or even days once a migraine sets in. Much research has been done to develop cures or treatments for the painful condition. Despite this, many people are unaware of the real nature of migraines. In an effort to spread awareness and dispel myths, here are five things you probably never knew about migraines:

1. Not all migraines result in a headache.

Silent migraines (also known as acephalgic migraines, visual migraines, or migraine aura without headache) give the sufferer all of the symptoms of a migraine – without the headache. The symptoms of a silent migraine include the sensation of needles or numbness in hands, arms, feet or face, hallucinating, seeing bright spots or flashes or extreme nausea and dizziness. While they lack the terrible pulsating head pain of most normal migraines, silent migraines are debilitating to sufferers, and help doctors prove that migraines are not totally caused by the constriction of blood vessels in the brain, as many researchers previously believed.

2. Women are more likely to suffer from migraines than men.

In fact, three out of four migraine sufferers are women. Doctors aren’t sure about the reason why. However, the most frequent migraine sufferers are women between the ages of 20 and 45. Women who suffer from migraines also tend to report migraines that are much more painful than men, and with worse symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

3. Stress makes you more susceptible to migraines.

The National Headache Foundation claims that while stress does not directly cause migraines, stress makes sufferers more susceptible to triggers. 

4. Some forms of migraines can be inherited. 

For years, people thought that migraines were just severe headaches or a psychological condition. However, in the mid 1990s, studies were completed that show that sufferers of migraines were nearly always related to other sufferers of migraines. Since then, some forms of migraines have been known to be genetic and inherited. One such condition is known as Familial Hemiplegic Migraine or FHM. 

5. Migraines can be life-threatening.

Unlike simple tension headaches, migraines can be life-threatening. Migraines can induce many dangerous physical conditions – like strokes, coma, aneurysms, or even in extreme cases, death. In fact, 27 percent of all strokes suffered by people under the age of 45 are caused by a migraine. Some doctors also believe that migraines and epileptic seizure disorders are related. If you suffer from migraines, be sure to consult a doctor about your pain, and don’t write it off as a simple headache. Being aware and on top of your condition can help save your life.

Many people are not aware about the seriousness and severity of migraines. To increase public awareness and be able to offer the best care possible, doctors and scientists are doing more each day to better understand the condition and find better treatments. Have you or your loved ones with migraines reached out to your doctor or specialist? 


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Image credit: CrzysChick

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