I know a thing or two about migraines. In fact, if you were a reader back in 2013, you may remember my post, When the Pill is a Pain: Birth Control After Birth. In the article, I described my struggle with migraines – even recounting my very first episode, which I can still recall vividly – and my theory with respect to the use of oral contraceptives.
It’s been four years since I wrote the article, and I’m happy to report that since discontinuing the pill, I have not experienced a migraine with aura. However, I still suffer through unilateral, pulsating head pain on a fairly regular basis, normally triggered by changes in hormones and even weather. And while I’m not entirely certain they would all be classified as migraines, I’ve learned to manage my symptoms and am often able to minimize my down time.
Do you, or does someone you know, suffer from migraines? You can find a quick migraine test on www.migrainecanada.org, a website dedicated to education about migraines, brought to you by the Canadian Headache Society. Here, you’ll also find helpful links, videos and other tools to help you understand more about this debilitating condition.
I’d also love for you to join a very informative Facebook Live, hosted by Migraine Canada and taking place on Wednesday, June 21st at 9PM EST. Dr. Sian Spacey and Dr. Elizabeth Leroux will talk about headaches, migraines and their symptoms and treatment options. The chat will be approximately 15 minutes – everyone is welcome to attend!
In anticipation of Wednesday’s chat, I found a few points on www.migrainecanada.org I’d love to share:
1. A person is subject to migraine attacks because there is something different about their biochemistry, not because they have psychological problems or because they don’t know how to handle stress.
2. Most people with migraine have intermittent headache attacks with pain free intervals lasting days or even months between attacks. However, some individuals with migraine will eventually develop very frequent attacks and even daily headaches. When this happens, several possible causes need to be considered.
3. Migraine is more than just a headache. Many people with migraine will have nausea and even vomiting with their attacks. Others experience marked sensitivity to light and sound during their headaches. A minority of people with migraine, up to a third, will have neurological symptoms an aura before some or all of their headaches, like disturbed vision or numbness and tingling. Fortunately, these symptoms are temporary and usually last less than an hour. People often worry that they are having a stroke when they occur, but unlike a stroke, aura symptoms generally do no harm.
4. Migraine is considered a Primary headache type. This means that it is not caused by or is secondary to other medical conditions, such as head trauma or brain tumors. These other conditions can cause headaches, but these headaches are not called migraine headaches. The relationship between other conditions and migraine can be complex, however. For example, some people will find that a head injury makes their migraine worse, or they may even experience migraine-like headaches for the first time after a head injury.
Wishing you all a healthy (and migraine-free!) day! Hope to see you at the chat. Click here to access Migraine Canada on Facebook.