Trigger versus Cause

Migraine is a disease. It is a genetic vulnerability to periodic attacks that frequently include moderate to severe head pain, light and sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and a lot more.

Frequently, people will say, “I have a migraine.”

“No, you do not,” I clarify, “What you have are the symptoms of a neurological attack as a result of an incurable disease known as Migraine. These attacks are set off by environmental factors called triggers.”

Each person with Migraine disease has a unique set of triggers. Identifying and avoiding triggers is an important part of good migraine management. Some people are fortunate enough to discover a trigger they can avoid. Others find a diet or lifestyle change that helps protect them from trigger exposure.

When this happens, it can feel like a cure. I certainly understand that feeling. My own experience with Botox has made me a lot more resistant to even my toughest triggers. My strongest trigger is thunderstorms…not exactly something I can avoid. Yet with regular Botox treatment I stay symptom-free through many of the worst thunderstorms.

But it’s not a cure.

If I stopped getting treatments, I would once again experience migraine attacks during thunderstorms. At any time, this treatment could stop working. The results would be the same.

It’s cause for celebration anytime we find a way to significantly reduce our symptoms. We just need to remember that our treatment success is simply that – a successful management of symptoms. By all means, tell the world. Have a party.

But please, don’t ever claim to have found the cure for Migraine disease. That’s an insult to every migraineur still fighting to find the key(s) that will unlock his or her success story. We owe it to our fellow migraineurs to speak honestly about the prognosis of the disease.

Every migraineur deserves to know the truth…

Migraine is a genetic, neurological disease characterized by periodic attacks. These attacks frequently include a wide range of neurological symptoms such as moderate to severe headache on one side, photophobia, phonophobia, nausea, and so much more. These attacks can occur a few times each year or every day. They can appear and disappear with or without explanation. There is no known cure. The best scientists don’t even know what causes it.

If someone can’t articulate the basics to you in this way, then start questioning their knowledge of migraine disease.  Don’t believe anyone who tells you they know the cause or offer you a cure.

If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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