More than 60 million people in the U.S. suffer from migraine pain – a neurological and vascular ailment that is much worse than a bad headache. The symptoms can be so debilitating that a person is rendered incapable of functioning in a normal manner. Annually, medical costs for migraines are approximately $13 billion, and the loss in work productivity is in the millions of hours, significantly affecting our population socially and economically.
It was a long-held belief that the primary cause of a migraine was caused by blood vessel problems in the head. Now, it is widely accepted by leading scientists and neurologists in the U.S. to be a neurological disorder of the central nervous system, causing swelling in the brain and blood vessels.
The most common types of migraines are:
A migraine can last for hours, days or even weeks. Sufferers often experience sensory warning signs, which can also continue throughout the migraine.
The most common symptoms of migraine are:
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Nausea and vomiting
- Throbbing/ pounding head pain
- Tight, painful neck muscles
- Inability to perform regular activities
- Seeing auras (colors) or other visual disturbances
A trigger is a sensitivity or irritant to the mind and body by some outside source.
The most common triggers fall in these categories:
- Medication side effects (causing rebound headaches)
- Anxiety and stress
- Caffeine addiction/ withdrawal
- Hormonal changes
- Environmental agitation
- Food allergies