Migraines are very common. In 1999, there were 28 million migraine sufferers in the U.S. and numbers now are in the $30 millions. It counts for $24 Billion in direct and indirect costs. Most headache sufferers have 1-4 migraines per month and miss 4-8 day/ year. Enough with the statistics….
The frustrating issue with migraines is that they are often misdiagnosed due to the array of symptoms that it presents. In other words, not everyone with a migraine has head pain. About 45% of people with migraines have sinus congestion and sinus pain. These people are often misdiagnosed with sinus infections or allergies. Other migraine symptoms may include runny nose, nausea, dizziness, or one sided facial pain.
The important thing to know about migraines is that it’s genetic. Migarines cannot be cured, but they can be managed. This article addresses ways to treat migraine symptoms and what to discus with your practitioner. One of the main things I stress with my patients is keep a headache diary. It is much easier and more effective to treat migraine symptoms if you know what the triggers are. It will especially help women determine if their migraines are related to their menstrual cycles. Common migraine triggers are food sensitivities, lifestyle changes, medications and weather changes to name a few.
The other point to make is that if you are taking a medication to treat migraines, don’t wait too long to take it. Many people feel pain starting, but think they can handle it, or that this one won’t be too bad, and get hit with a severe disabling migraine. The key is to take migraine medication within 30-60 minutes of onset which has a 90% effective rate.
Also, a deficiency in magnesium has been associated with migraines and headaches. Ask your practitioner to get a blood test called an intracellular magnesium level or you can take magnesium citrate in capsule or powder form. Start with a low dose and work your way up. If you develop diarrhea, then lower the dose.
Migraines with aura increases the risk of stroke. So pay attention to symptoms, and talk to your practitioner about effective treatment.