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“Migraines Can Be Serious”

Migraine is a common condition, affecting more than 37 million people in the United States and up to 148 million worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), migraine is around twice as common in women than men. Often, the primary migraine symptom is a moderate to severe headache, and 85% of people with migraine headaches experience throbbing pain. However, for around 60% of people, the pain is one-sided, and about 80% of people experience nausea and 30% vomiting. In addition, almost everyone with migraine has increased sensitivity to light (90%) and sound (80%). Most types of migraine are not serious; however, they can be chronic and sometimes debilitating and disabling if not adequately treated. Migraine is actually a primary headache disorder and is much more than just a headache. In fact, headaches are only one symptom of migraine, and some migraines don’t have a headache at all. Some people might experience a so-called prodrome stage with subtle changes in their daily routine up to a day or two before a migraine sets in — a sort of warning period. A few of the most common prodromal signs are excessive yawning, depression, irritability, and a stiff neck. These warning signs provide an opportunity to initiate treatment very early in the course of the migraine episode, which significantly improves the likelihood that the treatment will be successful. Drinking caffeinated beverages can start a migraine attack, but “caffeine withdrawal” is an even more frequent migraine trigger.

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