There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding migraines…”Migraines are a mental illness,” or “Migraines are just really strong headaches.” Below are some very revealing, interesting facts about migraines that may help you understand better what causes migraine attacks, and how to effectively reduce migraine triggers.
- Migraines are a neurological disorder. Contrary to myths that surround migraines, they are not caused by mental illness, nor constricted blood vessels, and have nothing in common withchronic headaches caused by stress or sinus problems. Migraine attacks occur as a result of a genetic nervous system disorder that is inherited by one or both parents.
- Stress is not a migraine trigger. Scientists recognize virtually hundreds of things that increase your risk for migraine attacks. Migraine triggers may include certain foods, weather patterns, hormonal fluctuations, irregular sleep schedules, and exposure to bright lights and loud noises. Stress indirectly impacts migraine headaches by making various migraine triggers more difficult to tolerate, increasing your sensitivity to things like flashing lights, strong scents, and humid weather.
- Women are most likely to suffer from migraines, and so are war veterans. Women are three times more likely than men to experience lifelong migraine attacks. Surprisingly, another large segment of migraine patients includes soldiers who fought in Iraq, many of which experienced combat-related traumatic brain (CTBI) injury and concussion on the battlefield.
- Migraines increase your risk for suicide. Statistics show that chronic migraine patients are three times more likely to commit suicide than people who don’t get chronic headaches. This may be due to the fact that depression is a comorbid condition of migraines, in addition to bipolar disorder and anxiety.
- Chronic migraines strike millions. Roughly 4 percent of Americans experience chronic migraines that last for at least four hours, and reoccur more than 15 times each month.
- Even children suffer from migraines. Although children usually manifest symptoms of migraine as stomach cramps, there are many scientific reports finding that even grade school-aged children experience pediatric migraine attacks, which may evolve into standard migraine headaches by their early teens.
- Not all migraine attacks result in headache. Silent migraines may include all the standard phases of a migraine attack, minus the headache. Migraines with aura that occur without a headache nevertheless create debilitating symptoms of nausea, visual distortions, vertigo, amnesia, and partial paralysis.
- Not all neurologists are migraine doctors…and not all migraine headache specialists are neurologists, either. To find a good migraine doctor, it’s important to seek somebody who restricts his practice to the treatment of migraines, and keeps up with the most recent breakthroughs in natural and prescription migraine treatments.
- Migraines can be life-threatening. In numerous scientific studies, doctors have noticed a strong correlation between migraines and potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and coma.
- We don’t know what causes migraines. Despite the identification of hundreds of migraine triggers in food, environment, and biochemical reactions, scientists are yet unable to positively confirm the exact cause for migraine attacks.
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