Migraine Myths and Reality

Myth #1:
Migraines are easily recognized and diagnosed by doctors.

Reality:
Migraines are among the least properly diagnosed and most mistreated of all illnesses.

Up to 70% of migraine sufferers have never been properly diagnosed with having the illness. Migraines remain seriously underestimated and misunderstood, even among doctors treating the problem.

Myth #2:
Migraines are annoying and uncomfortable, but theres nothing life-threatening about them.

Reality:
Migraines can induce several life-threatening conditions such as stroke, aneurysms and coma.

27% of all strokes experienced by those under the age of 45 are preceded by a severe migraine headache. 25% of all cerebral infarctions are associated with migraines. In addition, studies have also found links between migraines and epileptic seizures.

Myth #3:
Migraines are nothing more than really bad headaches.

Reality:
The headache is really just a symptom of a disease and the cause of the migraine pain is the opposite of the cause of the headache pain. Migraines are a disease that are genetically based. Those with a single parent who experience migraines themselves have a 50% chance of developing migraines.

Myth #4:
Migraines are psychological in nature, caused by external environmental factors.

Reality:
A migraine is a neurological disease, not a disorder.

Migraines truly are neurological diseases, caused by physiological and not psychological triggers. Migraines happen when cranial blood vessels dilate, causing nerve endings to release serotonin, a crucial factor in the development of the headache.

Myth #5:
Only women suffer from headaches.

Reality:
Women, men, adults and children all suffer from migraines.

While its true that the overwhelming majority of migraine patients are adult women, a significant number of suffers are male and an increasing number of children are being treated not just for migraines but for a particular type called abdominal migraines.

Myth #6:
Theres no doubting about whether that headache you are suffering is really a migraine or not. If you have got a migraine, you will know it.

Reality:
Millions of people suffer from migraines without having been correctly diagnosed or thinking that its just a regular tension headache.

Myth #7:
If you aren’t suffering from the most severe symptoms like nausea and auras, then its probably not a migraine.

Reality: Only 20% of migraine suffers experience the kind associated with auras. And many never experience the more extreme symptoms such as nausea or vomiting.

Myth #8:
My headaches are triggered by allergies or changes in the weather conditions; therefore they are probably sinus headaches.

Reality:
Allergic reactions and changes in the weather can trigger migraines, but they are never the cause. In addition, migraines are offer accompanied by symptoms such as a runny nose or watery eyes that can be mistaken for sinus-based headaches.

Myth #9:
Migraines are caused by stress and tension.

Reality:
Again stress and tension can be triggers for migraines, but unlike tension headaches, migraines are not actually caused by any rise in your tension or stress levels.

Myth #10:
Only hypersensitive, uptight, perfectionist, compulsive types get migraines.

Reality: Research has been concluded that there is no such thing as a particular personality type who develops migraines. Therefore, put to rest all misconceptions you may have about a so-called “migraine personality.”

Myth #11:
You can make the pain go away and feel better if you take more medication.

Reality: Far from providing relief, exceeding the recommended dosage of migraine medication may do far more harm than good. In fact, taking more medicine than recommended could result in even more serious health problems.

Myth #12:
People who complain about migraine headaches are just lazy slackers trying to get out of work.

Reality: Migraines are one of the most disabling diseases around. It disrupts lifestyles, affects relationships and is the cause behind over 10,000 annual visits to a physician each year. Most people who take days off from work due to migraines would be more than willing to trade in the pain for the work.

Myth #: 13
People bring migraines on themselves. Its psychosomatic, man.

Reality: Only to the extent that heart disease or diabetes is brought on by sufferers. Migraines have a physiological cause that takes place inside ones head. That does not mean that it is all in your head.

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