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What It’s Really Like To Live With Migraines

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What It’s Really Like To Live With Migraines

For those who have never experienced a migraine, it is hard to fathom the pain of this intense condition. It is more than just a bad headache, since it can last for days and include light and sound sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. Television star Marsha Cross and movie star Ben Affleck are two celebrities that have struggled publicly with migraines. Read on to clear up some common misconceptions about this debilitating ailment.

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There is no simple test to determine migraines

Unfortunately, there is no medical test to help determine whether an individual does in fact have migraines. Symptoms and a family history are the best indicators that a migraine is the culprit for someone who has been suffering. Even then, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of a person’s headaches because there are similar conditions such as cluster, sinus, or tension headaches that can exhibit very similar symptoms. It it important for those who might believe that they are suffering from migraines to keep a detailed journal of their symptoms, including frequency and intensity, to share with their medical physician, since every individual case is different.

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There is no such thing as a common frequency for the symptoms

Depending on the individual, the frequency of their migraines can vary greatly — from once a year to once a day. There are numerous factors that can cause an episode, including the weather, certain types of food, the environment, and stress. Individuals who suffer from migraines can usually anticipate what will bring one on and can learn to find ways to avoid or lessen these situations. With the advancement of technology, there are many different applications and websites that are available to help out those who suffer from this illness.

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There is not one pill that works as a cure-all for everyone

Like any other illness, there are various ways to treat a migraine depending on the individual. For smaller migraines, sometimes over-the-counter pain medications will do the trick. For more intense migraines, there are a lot of different prescriptions that can be given. There are also prevention medications that can help migraine suffers ward off any future episodes and help reduce any associated nausea. Also, just because one medication might not seem to work, it is important to keep trying different ones until you find one that works for your specific case.

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More than just Caucasian women suffer from migraines

It is true that Caucasian women more commonly suffer from migraines, but that does not mean everyone else is in the clear. Women of other races have the chance of developing this condition to a lower degree and men have a lesser chance, but it is still possible. It is believed that women are more likely to develop migraines due to hormones. It is also often believed that women who are high-achievers and have type-A personalities are more likely to suffer. However, women of all temperaments can indeed suffer from migraines.

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There is no proof that chocolate triggers migraines

It is a common misconception that women who suffer from migraines will bring on an episode by eating chocolate. While this can be true for some women, the opposite can be true as well. Chocolate contains caffeine that can actually help to alleviate the pain of a migraine and some women swear by this sweet treat to cure their head woes. The darker the chocolate, the better, since milk chocolate is not as nutritious as its darker counterpart. There are, of course, common foods that can trigger a migraine, including red wine, aged cheese, and any dishes laden with monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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