Migraines: Fact vs Fiction with Dr. Jeffrey Millstein

Migraines: Fact vs Fiction with Dr. Jeffrey Millstein


If you’re one of
the 37 million Americans who suffer from migraines, you know how frustrating
it can be to get one, and even more so, to hear the misconceptions
that people have about them. I’m Dr. Jeff Millstein
with Penn Medicine, and today,
we’re going to find out what’s fact and what’s fiction
when it comes to migraines. Migraines can bring on
a number of symptoms including difficulty speaking, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue,
dizziness or vertigo, and the one that leads us
to our first myth – headaches. Myth 1: A migraine
is just a bad headache. Though many people believe it,
this one is FICTION! A bad headache is just
one of many possible symptoms of a migraine attack. Migraine attacks
can actually occur with no headache at all, which is known as
a “silent” migraine. Migraines exist
in four possible phases and the headache
comes in phase 3. However, it IS possible
to have a migraine without ever
getting a headache. In fact, in order for a doctor
to diagnose a migraine, you must have symptoms
outside of just a headache. Myth 2: Migraines can last
for multiple days. Unfortunately,
this one is a FACT. In children, migraines
typically last about an hour, but for adults,
it could be anywhere from a few hours
to more than three days. If you suffer from migraines, your primary care doctor may be able to prescribe medication to ease your pain. If your symptoms persist
for longer than 72 hours, you should seek
immediate medical attention. Myth 3: Migraines are caused
by psychological factors like stress,
anxiety and depression. It’s widely believed,
but this one is FICTION! While the cause of migraines isn’t fully understood, we do know that migraines
are a neurological condition, not a psychological one. Migraines are caused by a dysfunction
in the nervous system that causes your brain’s
blood vessels to narrow, then expand,
creating a pulsing pain that many people
associate with a headache. Studies have also found that migraines tend to run
in families, pointing to a hereditary factor
with this condition. Stress can certainly play a role
in triggering a migraine, but it is not the cause. Some known triggers
include things like overexposure to certain noises, smells, or light, weather patterns, and changes
in your sleep schedule. If you suffer from migraines, you can talk to
your primary care provider about ways to manage
your symptoms. To learn more about
Penn Primary Care, visit our website… and stay healthy out there!

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