By Danielle Miller for GalTime
There are few things more impeding than physical pain. As migraine sufferers will attest, migraine headaches can cause the fast pace of life to slow dramatically and, many times, can even bring things to a screeching halt.
June is National Migraine Awareness Month.
In addition to producing vast, physical discomfort, migraine headaches also interrupt daily routines and postpone important commitments, causing many sufferers to feel frustrated and less in control of their lives.
Dr. Michael Sellman, Chief of Neurology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, reports that migraine headaches are routinely the most frequent medical complaint seen in his office.
“Migraine headaches typically begin in adolescence or young adult life. They can be genetic in nature and inherited from mother or father.”
While both women and men suffer from these headaches, Sellman reports that women tend to be more likely to experience migraines at some point during their lives. “Women get migraine headaches three times more often than men. It is estimated that 15% of all women get migraine headaches and 5% of all men,” explains Sellman.
“There are multiple causes of migraine headaches. About 15% of migraines occur shortly before a woman's menstrual cycle. Certain foods have been implicated to trigger a migraine. These include chocolate, strong cheese, onions, oranges and tomatoes. Red wine and sometimes beer frequently precipitates a migraine attack. Rapid changes in barometric pressure (impending rain storm) can trigger a migraine headache,” says Sellman.
For many individuals who suffer from migraines, stress is both a symptom and a trigger. Stress can cause migraines and obviously migraines produce extreme stress.
Sarah Bayle, an editor and project manager, who has experienced migraine headaches since middle school, describes the onset of a migraine as a full-body experience.
“Migraines are horrible, full-body pain experiences. During an attack, my body vibrates, and I feel like I am being simultaneously jabbed with pins while my head is slammed against a concrete wall over and over and over. Even the quietest noises begin to sound like bombs imploding. But the pain is not the worst part.”