Migraines are not just ordinary headaches.
They are the supercharged, distant relative of a headache, that not only makes you feel like your brain is about to explode but can also cause vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
For most people the only viable solution is to lock yourself in a dark room for a day and hope the pain eventually goes away.
Here are 10 things you need to know if you get migraines.
1. Women suffer from migraines more than men.
Around one in five women in the UK suffers from migraines, but only one in 15 men do, according to the NHS. Patriarchy’s at it again.
2. Migraines are more common than you think.
In fact, migraines are one of the most common chronic health problems in the UK, with around 15% of the population suffering at least once in their lifetime, according to the NHS.
3. They cost the UK economy a lot of money.
With all those people having to lie in a dark room, the UK economy suffers from the effects of migraines too. With reportedly as many as 190,000 attacks a day, 25 million work and school days are lost every year to migraines.
4. They could be caused by static patterns.
Causes of migraines vary from person to person, and while flashing lights have long been blamed for potentially setting them off, a new study has found that static patterns made up of bars and lines (seen in pictures, on screens, in building designs around us) could also be causing the headaches.
5. They could be caused by a Vitamin D deficiency.
Another potential explanation for your migraines is that you might be deficient in vitamin D, a 2016 study suggested. A high percentage of children and young adults who suffer migraines have mild deficiencies in vitamin D, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and coenzyme Q10 - an antioxidant needed for basic cell function.
6. They could be caused by bacteria in your mouth.
One of the strangest explanations for migraines, could be a bacteria lurking in your mouth.
Researchers discovered migraine sufferers have significantly more nitrate-modifying bacteria in their mouths and gut, than those who don’t. This could explain why people report them after consuming nitrate-high foods such as ham, bacon, salami, sausages and leafy greens.
7. Migraine sufferers have increased risk of heart disease.
As if you haven’t got enough to worry about with the pain of a migraine setting in, now studies have linked the condition to increased risk of heart disease.
8. Migraine sufferers have increased risk of brain damage.
As if the heart problems aren’t enough of a blessing, it seems that those migraines are also increasing your changes of permanent brain damage too. Migraines can have a long-term side effect on the brain, a 2013 study revealed, as they increase the growth of lesions in the white matter of the brain, especially if you are sensitive to light during your episodes.
9. Daith piercings could help cure your migraines.
You might not have thought that putting a needle through your fragile ear lobe would help with easing pain, but a growing number of migraine sufferers claim daith piercings (in the innermost cartilage of the ear) are putting a stop to their migraines. Advocates say it works in the same way as acupuncture, targeting pressure points on the body’s surface to ease discomfort. Worth a try?
10. This headband could help cure your migraines.
Oh now we really have heard everything. But anything is worth a try to get rid of that pain, so you might want to consider this headband. The Cefaly headband, (which is basically like a fancy sweatband) uses ‘nerve stimulation tech’ to treat headaches. Give it a go.