MYTH: Migraines are headaches

MYTH: Migraines are caused by chocolate, alcohol or coffee

I freely admit that I am a bit of a thrill seeker in a very strange way. I take pride in my ability to deal mentally with my pain. I don’t dismiss it, or ignore it, but I do have a much higher pain threshold for coping with and feeling pain. In my mind I console myself it is my talent and evolutionary gift that balances out my Lupus. Scientifically they no doubt are related in a much more rational way, but I prefer my thoughts.

Last year when I was experiencing the migraine auras and brain growths I never experienced the throbbing and headaches sensations which most associate with migraines. This was partly how it was so difficult to be diagnosed. In fact I had no pain in my body at that point in time.

This time however, things are different. I am much more sensitive to what is occurring within my body, and more open to feeling everything that happens so I can relate it to the Neurology Team. I have been coping with no Topiramate for 2 weeks now. I have had a migraine for approximately the same length of time. This time there is pain. On a scale out of 10 I would put this at a constant 6, rising to 8 each day in the mid-afternoon. In perspective when I broke my nose two years ago it was only 5 of 10.

Now diligently I have started my own investigations so I can better understand my diagnosis and what possible medications do, as well as help the public to better understand these silly ttacks. The facts of this disease are devastating and as I share them perhaps you may see why.

Migraines are chronic neurological illnesses that effect 1/4 of women and 1/12 men. The World Health Organisation suggest they are one of the 20 most debilitating illnesses in the world and cost  the economy $2 billion US world wide each year. YET there is very little research or medicine=based study performed on them. To say you don’t know of anyone who has had a migraine nowadays strikes me as a foolish statement for someone to make.

Only in the last few years it was ascertained migraines are neurological, not caused by a swelling of blood vessels within the brain. The nerves surrounding the blood vessels experience an increase in sensitivity, thus the throbbing sensation felt with the pain as the blood is pumped. This also explains why people often take ill from light, smell, movement, taste and sound sense influences. WORST YET, this is so clearly justification as to why there is no over the counter pain relief available.

MYTH BUSTED: Migraines are over sensitive nerve cells surrounding blood vessels in the brain.

DID YOU KNOW: There is no knowledge yet as to why the nerve cells become more sensitive, but they have identified which genes carry the trait. They are genetic diseases.

MYTH BUSTED: People find relief when they do not have excessive stimuli berating them. This is why some people do find alcohol, chocolate and coffee can be a trigger, but not always or for everyone. This is also why some find relief in cool, dark rooms.

DID YOU KNOW: The visual auras may be caused due to nerves which are directly connected to the optic nerve (I couldn’t find the document to actually confirm this) but the brain pain/ migraine headaches seem to be as common with this disease as visual auras.

Don’t know what these visual auras are? Check the clips out below. (I see a new aura every 10 minutes!)


My sources and furthering reading:

Migraine triggers have genetic roots


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