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Whether you've been diagnosed with chronic migraines, think you may have the condition, or care about someone who does, you'll find The Everything® Health Guide to Migraines an important guidebook to improving physical and emotional well-being. The impact of migraine goes well beyond the attack period; it can have far-reaching repercussions at work and home, and it can affect every facet of your life, from the food you eat to the social activities you choose to participate in.

Migraine is a painful and debilitating neurological condition that costs Americans billions of dollars in health care spending, lost workplace productivity, and reduced quality of life. More than “just a headache,” a migraine attack is a severe episode of prolonged head pain that is frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, sensitivity to light and sound, sensory changes, and mental confusion. And migraine doesn't begin, or end, with head pain. A migraine attack is often preceded and/or followed by a constellation of symptoms, and the entire episode may span a period of several debilitating days. This can result in significant disability for anyone experiencing frequent migraine episodes.

Migraineurs — those people living with chronic migraines — come in all shapes and sizes. While women are three times as likely to experience migraine as men, the condition can strike men and women, young and old. It's estimated that 28 million Americans have experienced a migraine headache. And more than half remain undi-agnosed — either due to a misdiagnosis or a reluctance to seek help. Getting a proper diagnosis may well be the most challenging step of migraine care.

There is a wide spectrum of effective treatments available for migraine, from acute analgesics that treat an attack already in progress to prophylactic medications that prevent migraines from occurring in the first place. Some complementary therapies, including acupuncture and certain vitamins and herbal supplements, have also shown promise, as have biofeedback and progressive relaxation. And there are exciting and promising new therapies on the research horizon.

Knowledge is your most important tool in managing this condition. Documenting your migraines with a headache diary, identifying potential triggers that may be causing your attacks, staying abreast of new treatment and research developments, understanding your treatment regimen, and being a smart health care consumer all contribute to successful outcomes for the migraineur. Knowing how to find an experienced health care provider who will be a partner in your care is also key. This book contains all these tools, along with practical information on lifestyle and advocacy issues surrounding migraine disease.

Living with a chronic condition can be emotionally difficult for both you and your friends and family. Migraineurs may experience depression or anxiety as a result of their condition, and healthy coping may become a challenge. This is why it's important to have a support network; again, knowledge makes things just a little easier. Share this book with those people that you care for so they can understand both the health and lifestyle implications of migraine and get tips on how they can help you survive, and even thrive, with chronic migraine.

  1. Home
  2. Migraines
  3. Introduction
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