My Chronic Migraine and Comorbidities
Last updated: September 2023
There have been many comorbid conditions tied to chronic migraine over the years. Most individuals I have encountered through work with various chronic migraine organizations have suffered from additional ailments. In my life alone, I have dealt with multiple health conditions that throughout research seem to be linked to one another. Personally, I deal with chronic migraine, endometriosis, and fibromyalgia. I still find it astonishing that so many health issues can be connected this way.
My migraine went from episodic to chronic
My migraines went from being episodic to chronic in 2009. Of course, nobody understood the change. Everybody assumed my migraine frequency changed due to the stress of being in my last semester of university. Unfortunately, after I finished my studies, my chronic migraines persisted and even became worse.
I had to adjust to life with daily attacks
My migraines eventually increased to a daily frequency and became extremely intense. In order to try to manage the chronic migraines, I have sought out numerous doctors. These doctors have used a variety of treatments ranging from medications, physical therapy, to Botox injections. While my migraines are not as overwhelming bad on a daily basis as they have been in the past, they definitely still have a major impact on my life. After 11 years of dealing with chronic migraines, I have adjusted my life to somewhat accommodate living with these migraines.
My experience with endometriosis
Endometriosis was honestly my first health issue. I started having complications with my female health extremely young. I started seeking treatment for endometriosis at 14 years old. When I was finally officially diagnosed, I already had Stage 4 endometriosis. Stage 4 endometriosis is the most severe stage of the disease. A study of the comorbid association between endometriosis and migraines showed that “Women with endometriosis had 1.7 times the risk of having migraines compared to women without endometriosis.”1 As a teenager, I did suffer from episodic migraines, predominately while under extreme stress.
My experience with fibromyalgia
I honestly can not even say when my fibromyalgia symptoms started. I was so dead set on not having another medication condition that I tried my best to ignore the additional pain. One of my best friends likely spent a year convincing me that I needed to see a rheumatologist. I was diagnosed in 2013 with fibromyalgia. Despite some doctors' best attempts, my fibromyalgia is still not under control. I have probably tried every medication used as a preventative and anti-inflammatory for fibromyalgia treatment without success. One 2017 study showed that not only is fibromyalgia very common in individuals with chronic migraine-type headaches, but the symptoms can be significantly worse.2
The pain of my chronic conditions
All of these conditions do have one thing in common, aside from having the potential to be linked to one another. None of these conditions have a cure. While some people are lucky enough to find something to help lessen the symptoms, these conditions will never fully go away. I know from personal experience that not everybody will understand the immense amount of pain that accompanies one of these conditions, much less more than one of them.
Have others downplayed your migraine pain?