After suffering from migraines and auras for most of my adult life, I discovered there are at least two dangerous myths about migraines that could cost you dearly. These myths can save your life. This myth can delay your diagnosis by as much as 20 to 30 years. Other symptoms of migraines include headaches, blurred vision and speech problems, blurred vision, pins-and-needles feelings, mood swings, crying jags, irritability or sudden, overwhelming depression, stomach, neck, or shoulder pain (instead, head pain), and even yawning spells and strange smells.
A “migraine headache” may not cause any head pain, if at all. It all depends on the location of the brain affected by the blood flow disruption. We wish! Although a migraine may only last a few hours, the pain can last up to three days. When you add in the strange prodromal warning signs, the migraine auras and the flat, post-migraine recovery phase, a particularly severe migraine can last as long a hurricane.
I once heard a Nashville singer and actor talk about how they had entertained so many people while having a “nasty migraine”. Excuse me? Let’s define “nasty” more accurately as it pertains to real migraines. Sounds hurt so bad it feels like a pickaxe through your skull; lights burn your eyes like molten iron and your neck or head feels like it’s being crushed by trolls.
You tell me, do you think someone suffering from a severe migraine could perform on stage for 20,000 screaming fans? Almost everyone gets headaches, not everyone gets migraines! Pure fantasy! There are natural remedies like feverfew, coenzyme Q10 and magnesium that can help with migraines. There are prescription narcotics and over-the-counter painkillers that can help.
There are anti-emetics such as triptans, ergots, and serotonin receptor antagonist drugs that can stop migraines. Recent developments in drug companies have led to the discovery or reintroduction of preventive drugs such as antidepressants, beta blockers, and anticonvulsants. These drugs can help reduce the frequency or chance of getting a migraine.
These treatments may work depending on the individual, but they don’t always work for everyone. Although it might not be true, real people with real families have actually committed suicide to relieve their pain. Although most doctors are good, it can take many years or even a lifetime to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for migraines.
Poor diagnosis and treatment of migraines can cause life-threatening complications and even death. The annual cost of migraines in the United States is $1-billion for medical expenses and $15-billion for lost productivity. Migraine is a costly business. They are expensive, but they don’t have to be. Understanding the symptoms of migraines will help you to diagnose the problem.
Proper diagnosis is the first step towards proper treatment. Once you have a clear understanding of the problem, you can start to find the right solution. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. If necessary, insist on a referral to a neurologist. A professional who is knowledgeable will know that migraines are not just a one-sided headache.