Migraine headaches awareness month is June, and people all over the world are giving their support by showing purple and learning more about the vascular headaches that all too many people are familiar with on a painfully personal level.
Migraine headaches are suffered worldwide by an estimated one billion people, according to WebProNews. Women are three times more likely to experience migraine headaches than men.
Migraine headaches are described as extremely painful and throbbing headaches which are sometimes accompanied by light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. Some people experience a warning sign that a migraine headache is about to occur, such as restlessness, increased appetite, or tension. Often a migraine lasts for hours and a person is unable to work or live life normally during these episodes.
While no one is exactly sure what causes migraine headaches, it is known that they are a neurobiological disorder, according to Gizmodo. Studies have shown that migraines are actually a disorder of the nervous system typically caused by genetics or metabolism issues.
External triggers, such as bright lights, foods, or even certain smells, often set off migraine headaches. Treatment often involves avoiding these triggers and treating the pain of migraines when they cannot be avoided.
There has been hope in preventing migraines with the use of certain classes of drugs. Triptans, target certain receptor sites in the brain that inhibit or help certain messenger molecules known to be related to migraine headaches. Other drugs may affect serotonin levels in the brain to help prevent migraines. Beta-blockers, like those used in blood pressure medications, may help to control migraine headaches.
Many people are turning to other methods of treating migraine headaches, such as acupuncture, biofeedback, and hypnosis. People are desperate to find relief from these debilitating headaches, and it is not often that a person can find a treatment that works all the time every time when he or she suffers from them.
The National Headache Foundation is a leader in providing educational information about migraines and other headaches to those who suffer from them, professionals who research and treat them, and those who make health policies regarding headaches of all kinds.
The foundation wants people to show purple to show their support to let others know that they are not alone. It also strives to promote advocacy, education, and research in order to facilitate a world without headaches. In fact, “A World Without Headache” is the National Headache Foundation’s theme for June, 2014.
The hope is that one day, through clinical research and advancements in medicine, that migraine headaches could be a thing of the past. Until then, people will continue to suffer around the world from horrible and recurring migraine headaches.
[Photo: The National Headache Foundation]