The condition is more significant and more detrimental than most people realize. Many people equate the word “migraine” to “a headache”, when actually it is a syndrome that can seriously impact a person’s well-being, sometimes for his or her entire life.
Percent of population reporting migraine Source
The World Health Organization tells us that migraine sufferers are found on every continent, and include both genders, and all social classes, ages, and ethnicities of people. According to various statistics quoted on WebMD, 28 million people in the U.S. have migraine (and more than 300 million world-wide), and each one suffers not only the pain and associated physical symptoms of the headaches, but also potentially experiences difficult relationships, social isolation, challenges finding or keeping employment, financial loss, and other health issues resulting from chronic pain.
Migraine also translates to a huge loss to society through missed school and work days: a study several years ago estimated the financial impact to business at $13 billion annually.
Interesting historical figures such as Van Gogh and Monet, and Lewis Carrol and Edgar Allen Poe, were reportedly migraineurs.
Migraine explains a lot (source)
Today, migraine sufferers can be found everywhere, including the entertainment industry, professional sports, politics, your neighborhood, your place of business, and of course, your family.
When I was a teenager I felt lucky that I hadn’t inherited my mom’s migraine condition, which put her in bed for more than a day with each episode, and afterwards left her nauseous and hyper-sensitive to light, sound, and smell. My best friend’s migraines were so violent and disabling that she had to spend up to a week in the hospital on an IV drip to recover each time. Even then I didn't realize how awful the condition really was.
Do you or someone you know have migraines?
More next week in Part II.