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The Impact of Migraine

Over 37 million Americans live with migraines. But what is the real impact? And how did we get here?

This infographic presents a snapshot of the impact of migraine — on our communities, workplaces, and families.


  • Teresa
    7 years ago

    New to the site. I am a ruptured cerebral brain aneurysm with subarachnoid hemorrhage survivor. Celebrated my 1 year “anniversary” in April. I am so blessed to be a survivor however,…..I experience daily headaches which progressively increase in severity as the day goes on. Everyday, for over 1 year……ugh! Every evening is so painful. About 5 of 7 days, the headache turns into a migraine. I usually take Relpax 2 days/week. I also take Oxycodone daily. Having headaches is so painful, frustrating and isolating. I know you will all understand. My neurologist has tried so many meds over the past year, no improvent. She is considering DHE now. Any thoughts? Does anyone else have a similar history to mine. Oh, my head hurts! ~(:/. !!!

  • ithurts99
    6 years ago

    my medical history is very complex like yours and it seems like I’m always at odds with the neurologists over drugs. I happen to be somewhat familiar with the subarachnoid thing as I managed a MRI clinic for three years. I would just like to say that this is a rare condition and for it to happen to you like it did is quite rare – you are indeed lucky even though it doesn’t feel like it. I’m just going to throw out this idea. It’s just a thought and only my opinion. In situations like yours much of the pain can be “learned”. So some options might be things like biofeedback or a very good CTM acupuncturist. Someone who can help you break the learned cycle and once you’ve broken the cycle you have other options. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am in no sense saying your pain is not real and certainly I’m not saying it’s imaginary. Unfortunately it’s not that hard to be trapped in pain cycles but it is hard to break out of them. Just something to think about if this even applies to you. Wishing you all the best.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    7 years ago

    dougl012 My biggest concern for you in reading this is the amount of medicine you’re having to take to find any relief. Believe it or not, taking pain medicine and even triptans can be counter productive to us with Migraine! In fact, these medicines can cause changes within our brain that result in a condition called Medication Overuse Headache. I actually really hate that name because it makes it sound like we’re addicts that are taking pain meds just because we want to, when the fact is, patients take them for the reason they were designed – pain and Migraine attacks. They are not misusing the medicine for any other purpose, but they are taking so much of it that it is causing changes in brain pathways that result in MOH. This is VERY common.

    Here is a link that might be helpful:

    Are you seeing a Migraine and headache specialist? This might be the most important thing you could do for yourself. Here is a link that helps you find one closest to you: I know it seems that a neurologist would be the best place to go, but the reality is that they get little training in headache disorders and Migraine, and a specialist who deals with these diseases and disorders every single day, keeping up with the latest and greatest treatments etc is really the best thing you can do for yourself.

    I am wondering too if you have looked at eliminating other triggers, and if you are on preventive medicine yet? Here is some information that might be helpful to you on those subjects:


  • caradrouin
    7 years ago

    So many migraines. We have poisoned our environment and our food supply. Additives in our food: more and more and more. Food manufacturers are “cleaning up” labels by re-naming things people don’t want to eat anymore. MSG has so many disguises. I can’t eat out. I can’t go to potlucks. I can’t eat lunch at a friend’s.

  • Luna
    6 years ago

    When going to family potlucks I took my own meal. My expected contribution was fruit salad but I needed to eat more than that. They had no problem with this solution. For other types of potlucks I’m with Nancy, take a dish you can eat.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Hi caradrouin,

    Those of us who have food triggers do have to been very careful, they seem to be everywhere. Many of us make accommodations for ourselves when it comes to food triggers. There are a few spots, depending on where you live, that are pretty good about keeping their food “clean.”
    When it comes to potlucks, try making something that you can eat, rather than what others want to eat. That’s what I do now – that way I’ll at least have one thing I know will be trigger free. Same goes for eating at a friends house. You could discuss your limitations with her and see if she is understanding and can accommodate your needs, most friends will. I have a good friend who is a fabulous cook but usually will have something for me that I can eat. Whether it is just salad without the raw onion, or fish tacos without the flour tortilla, she is careful about lunches.

    As hard as it is to make these lifestyle changes, we are better off because the end result should be a reduction in migraine frequency and severity. But I have to tell you, it is not easy. We are here for support and information, and lots of understanding and compassion.

    Hang in there,

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