This I will say is one of the crucial pieces to my “migraine puzzle”. When I first read this in the book – Living Well With Migraine Disease & Headaches – What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You … That You Need to Know, by Teri Robert – it not only educated but comforted me.
When someone says, “I have a migraine.” We automatically think, “Oh their having a severe headache.” And in most cases that is true. However, migraine and headache should not be used interchangeably as if they are the same thing. Migraine is a genetic neurological disorder with headache being only ONE of the symptoms. So a person could be having a migraine attack without having a headache.
See below for some of the symptoms of a migraine taken from www.mayoclinic.org and a poster found on www.migraine.com. Before you consider them I want to conclude by saying, most people only know about the third stage of migraine, the attack, but migraines consist of Four Stages.
- Pain on one side or both sides of your head
- Pain that has a pulsating, throbbing quality
- Sensitivity to light, sounds and sometimes smells
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting
- Cognitive Symptoms
- Neck Pain
- Mood Changes
- Visual Changes
- Food Cravings
- Puffy Eyelid
For more information, please read 8 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Migraine, found on www.migraine.com and How to tell a migraine from a headache on http://www.healthcentral.com. The later link features a video by: Dr. Richard B. Lipton of the Montefiore Headache Center; on it he provides one of the best descriptions I’ve heard of the difference between a migraine and a headache.