Over 1 billion people worldwide suffer from migraine headaches. Migraines are the second-leading cause of disability around the globe. And 25% of households in the U.S. have at least one member who suffers from migraines. An estimated 85.6 million workdays are lost due to migraine headaches each year.
Yet, many people who suffer from migraine pain dismiss the condition as just another bad headache. They use OTC painkillers and fail to seek medical care even when symptoms include light and sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
Both genetics and environmental factors contribute to the development of migraines. They occur when changes in the brainstem activate the trigeminal nerve, which is a major nerve along the pain pathway. This tells the body to release inflammatory substances such as CGRP, short for calcitonin gene-related peptide. This molecule can cause blood vessels to swell, producing pain and inflammation.
Medication for migraines may not work
Doctors have an array of prescription medications for preventing and treating migraines. However, many people find that conventional treatment has limitations. These include side effects, high costs, or life circumstances like pregnancy and breastfeeding.
If you suffer from migraines, you do have some options with alternative treatments. It begins with becoming familiar with the warning signals your brain sends you when a migraine is imminent, such as fatigue or mood changes.
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