What is it?  A migraine is a headache with throbbing pain that is usually worse on one side of the head. The pain is often severe enough to hamper daily activities and may last from four hours to three days if untreated.

Statistics: More than one in 10 Americans, including one in 6 women, have migraines, but many have been told mistakenly that they have a sinus or tension headache.

Nearly 30 million Americans get migraines, which can range mild to severe headaches.

Important Facts: Foods, stress, and hormones can be migraine triggers.

Types of Migraines:  An optical migraine causes you to see zigzags or blind spots or blurred vision often in one eye, but no headache pain; it typically lasts an hour or two. Classic migraines, which start with a warning sign or aura and can be quite painful and can last a day or two. Common migraines, those that do not have auras first, can last three or four days. With this type of migraine, the pain in your head may be only on one side.

Belly Fat Linked to Risk of Migraines: study shows excess belly fat may increase risk of migraines for men and women under 55.

Warm Weather May Trigger Migraines: research suggests that a temperature increase is the biggest weather-related headache trigger.

Migraine Treatments: A lot of people are using oral magnesium for migraines. Typically, a doctor writes a prescription for magnesium oxide because that gets absorbed through the GI tract and gets into the bloodstream. You don’t want to take Milk of Magnesia, which is a magnesium product that is a laxative, because it does not get into the blood supply.

Do’s/Don’ts- People with migraines should pay attention to migraine triggers. Remember that prevention is sometimes the best treatment.

  • Don’t get overly tired
  • Don’t miss meals
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t eat certain foods like red wine, aged cheese, chocolate, soy sauce, and processed meats

Common Myths:  Will a High Dose of Aspirin Relieve Your Migraine?- “Patients who suffer from migraine headache pain have known for a long time that taking a few aspirins, sometimes combined with a little caffeine from a cola or a coffee is a cheap and effective migraine treatment.”

Migraine headaches are more common than people realize. We now know that most ‘sinus headaches’ are probably migraines. If you have migraine headaches, an OTC medication like aspirin may be adequate treatment.

‘Placebo Effect’ May Be Common in Headache Treatment — Study Shows Many Patients Feel Better Even When Their Medicine Is Just a ‘Dummy Pill’.