Migraine is a debilitating neurological condition. It generally begins in puberty and runs in families. Migraine headaches are estimated to affect 45 million to 49 million persons in the United States.

While breakthroughs are being made to help migraine sufferers, the issue is still widely misunderstood. Here is a list of seven facts about migraines that you should know about.

1. Migraine is much more than a severe headache
Migraines are not completely understood, but researchers believe they are a neurological condition caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. They create intense pain (referred to as an attack) that might be throbbing or pounding. However, unlike headaches, they are frequently accompanied by additional symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and auras. Auras can take many different manifestations, including:
- Flashing spots
- Wavy lines
- Vision distortion
- Unusual odors
- Intense ringing in the ears
- Feelings of tingling in your face or hands

2. Migraines can cause pain across the entire head
Although migraine pain is generally felt on one side of the head. However, it can also be felt in the front or back of the head, behind the eyes, or behind the cheekbones, which is why migraines are occasionally confused with sinus headaches.

3. Migraine can be prevented.
When a migraine is mild, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin might be beneficial. If these therapies do not work or if the migraines are severe, a neurologist may prescribe medication.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Aimovig, a novel migraine-preventative medication, in 2018. Aimovig is a monthly injectable that works by inhibiting the action of a molecule implicated in migraine episodes.

Botox injections are an additional FDA-approved option for chronic migraine prophylaxis. These preventative measures act by inhibiting the production of inflammatory pain molecules that cause migraines.

4. Migraine is not detectable on imaging examinations
CT scans, MRIs...have you had them all? Is this all normal? At the very least, you don't have a tumor, do you? Migraine has two mechanisms: chemical and electrical. They are not seen on normal brain imaging. And this adds to the skepticism and stigma. «Can you prove that you have migraines»? Fortunately, research has advanced, and we now understand many of the pathways that cause migraine episodes.

5. Migraines affect women more often than men
Three-fourths of the one billion individuals on the planet who suffer from migraine conditions are women. Experts believe this is due to the cyclical nature of female hormones. According to studies, NHE1, a protein that controls the passage of protons and sodium ions across cell membranes, is an important component of migraine headaches.

NHE1 production in women is likely to vary much more than in males. That might explain why women are not only more likely than men to suffer from migraines, but also experience them more frequently and intensively, and have more difficulty responding to therapy.

6. Migraines can be associated with other serious medical issues
When compared to the general population, people who suffer from migraines have a higher risk of stroke and other cardiovascular problems. The risk of stroke is increased more when the migraine is accompanied by an aura and in women aged 35 or older, particularly those who take oral contraceptives or smoke. Researchers aren't clear why stroke and migraines are related, but a history of migraine with aura should be regarded as a significant risk factor for stroke.

7. The triggers of migraine vary
Migraine triggers may be confusing for both doctors and patients. They differ from patient to patient and may arise from unexpected and unrelated sources. Some of the most common factors include stress, too much or too little sleep, dehydration, alcohol, and coffee.

Some people have migraines after eating certain foods, such as cheese, while others are sensitive to changes in meteorological conditions, such as barometric pressure. Some migraine sufferers control their symptoms by identifying and avoiding triggers.

Author's Bio: 

I am Amelia Grant, a journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness, and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.

Our attention to ourselves, to our daily routine and habits, is very important. Things that may seem insignificant, are pieces of a big puzzle called life. I want to encourage people to be more attentive to their well-being, improve every little item of it and become healthier, happier, and stronger. All of us deserve that. And I really hope that my work helps to make the world better.