I created this post as part of a campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals. I received an American Express gift card for participating.
What You Need to Know About Migraines
Have you ever had a migraine? If not, you may not really understand just how awful they can be. Migraines are not just a regular headache. I have had regular headaches, and migraines are much, much worse.
I have had several migraines throughout my lifetime, and they are absolutely debilitating. I started getting migraines when I was about 12 years old, which means I have suffered with them for over 20 years now.
There are many things that can trigger a migraine – stress, medications, loud noises, bright or flashing lights, foods or beverages, missing a meal, and fatigue. I have noticed that hormonal changes, such as when I have my period, during the first trimester of pregnancy, or in the weeks after giving birth, trigger migraines for me. I also have a hard time with bright and flashing lights. It always bothers me when I am watching a television show or a movie and there is suddenly a very bright light or flashing lights. I have to close my eyes and look away until the scene is over with. Another trigger for me is the weather. I almost always get a migraine on overcast days.
Migraines can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. Mine usually last for 2-3 days and the pain comes and goes in waves. One minute I will be feeling okay, thinking that the migraine has finally left, and then suddenly the pain just comes rushing back and lasts for several hours. It completely disrupts my life, especially now that I have two young kids that I need to take care of. I can’t just leave them alone to go lay down in a dark room, so I am left to suffer through the pain.
Migraines really are truly painful. Symptoms vary for individuals who suffer from migraines, and each attack can feel entirely different. I have birthed 2 kids completely naturally, without medication, and I didn’t take any pain medication after my umbilical hernia surgery 2 years ago, so I know I have a rather high tolerance for pain, but those migraines are no joke. Sometimes it feels like someone is banging on my head repeatedly with a hammer. Other times it feels like someone is poking a screwdriver through my eyeball. I honestly would rather go through a med-free labor again, than to have a migraine. It really is that bad.
Migraines leave me feeling completely useless, as all I want to do is lay down in a dark room until it passes. Standing up while I have a migraine makes me feel dizzy, and I get so nauseous that I don’t even want to think about eating. Watching TV, or typing on the computer or my cell phone is completely out of the question, as the light just bothers me too much. I can’t read anything, as the words just look all blurry to me. I am also very sensitive to sound, which is not an easy thing to deal with when you have two young kids.
Migraines rank in the top 3 of the world’s most prevalent conditions. Did you know that nearly 36 million Americans suffer from migraines, including its various characteristics? That is a whole lot of people! 18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraines. They seem to run in my family, as my Mom and my sisters both suffer from migraines, too.
To learn more about migraines including facts, common triggers, lifestyle tips and more, visit MoreToMigraine.com.