Not Just A Headache

photo credit: r.nial.bradshaw via photopin cc

photo credit: r.nial.bradshaw via photopin cc

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 Knowby 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 and a poster found on 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
  • Fatigue
  • Neck Pain
  • Mood Changes
  • Dizziness
  • Visual Changes
  • Weakness
  • Numbness/Tingling
  • Diarrhea/Constipation
  • Vertigo
  • Food Cravings
  • Puffy Eyelid

For more information, please read 8 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Migraine, found on and How to tell a migraine from a headache on 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.

– Skylar

One thought on “Not Just A Headache

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