Migraines have afflicted humans for centuries, from ancient Egyptians and Julius Caesar, to Elvis Presley and you. If you’re one of the 28 million Americans suffering from migraines, you know the unique agony. Armed with the information from this guide about diagnosis, treatment plans, prevention, medications and behavioral therapies, perhaps you’ll be able to reduce the severity and frequency of your own headaches.
It's estimated that up to 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men suffer from migraines. But what exactly are migraines, and what causes them? How much do we know about preventing and treating them? There's plenty of information to be had online; in this section adults will find support and information for themselves, and parents can find information about children with migraines.
- Reading all this information about headaches can give you a headache! That's because as a migraine sufferer, you most likely have vivid sense memories of the pain and anxiety produced by migraines. Reading detailed descriptions of migraines (the physical pain, difficulties with medications and side effects, insurance problems) might feel as though it's all pointing you back toward the pain, so read text, especially text presented on a computer screen, in small doses.
- You don’t have to be a doctor to understand online information on migraines. Even places such as the Mayo Clinic write about this condition in layman’s terms. Although articles geared toward medical professionals might detail what seem to be intriguing breakthroughs and connections, don't hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse for a helpful “medicalese” translation.
- Use this guide to do research and seek preliminary relief, but do not substitute this information for the advice of a medical professional.
For an overview of migraines …
(Migraine Awareness Group: A National Understanding for Migraineurs) is the National Migraine Association. The Web site offers a good overview of different aspects of migraine, such as diagnosis, treatment, management, disability and impairment, and managing your career and family when faced with migraines.
offers an abundance of material in a clean layout. One highlight includes the "Top 101 Migraine and Headache Questions and Answers," providing an excellent overview of migraine symptoms and triggers, treatments, hormonal issues, and more.
The National Women's Health Information Center
provides a comprehensive overview of migraines in women, with a particular focus on the role that hormones play. Find articles on the different kinds of migraine headaches, and how menstrual cycles, pregnancy, birth control pills, and menopause might affect migraines.
For children and migraines …
The National Headache Foundation
offers a great introduction to migraine disorders in children. There are two guides, one for parents and one geared toward children and teens, and each is written in simple, straightforward language. The guides walk you through the ins and outs of triggers, diet, managing stress, and various treatment options.
has only one page on migraines for children, but the site is still worth a look. With a colorful, organized design and kid-friendly language, the article starts with a pronunciation lesson on “migraines,” and progresses in an easily understandable way to migraine causes, treatments, and prevention suggestions.
shows how women process pain differently than men, with an emphasis on the role of hormones in headache pain. In addition, the site offers comprehensive information on migrane causes, treatment, management and more.
Though there is little consensus on migraines’ causes, or how best to prevent them, there is ... read more »
The personal toll of this disorder can be enormous; it includes work absences, unmet familial and ... read more »
As mentioned in the support section, suffering from this disorder can often be extremely isolating. ... read more »
Advances in treatment of migraines run the gamut from building endorphins and serotonin levels ... read more »
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