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Migraines: It’s Not All in Your Head

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danielsmith2Migraines are one of the most debilitating and enigmatic of all chronic conditions. Over 30 million people suffer with migraine headaches. That’s one out of ten Americans. They dramatically affect quality of life in the short term, as 75 percent of sufferers (called “migraineurs”) must postpone activities and 50 percent of migraineurs are completely incapacitated. Over $17 billion are spent annually in the US on migraine treatment, and about 22 millions dollars lost each year in productivity due to migraine absenteeism.

Migraines vary from person to person, but share a number of common characteristics. Most commonly, they present incapacitating pain. They often present with nausea. They can be unpredictable. Prodromes (such as yawning, slurred speech, hunger pains or frequent urination) can begin an hour or two before the pain, but in rare cases can occur up to two weeks before the onset of the migraine. Auras occur about twenty minutes before the pain and often present as sensory distortions.  Click here to continue reading…

 

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