Looking over several Facebook pages related to migraines as well as some message boards, I am continually saddened by the continual search for treatments and lack of discussion on a cure.
And maybe “cure” is not the right word. Somewhere along the lines we decided that migraines were the problem and not just a symptom. Of course, “not just a symptom” is downplaying the experience of someone who suffers from migraine headaches. I truly understand the frustration and hopelessness that goes along with chronic, debilitating headaches.
I am not saying that it’s not the short-term goal. If you’ve ever spent time on some of the social networking sites that relate to migraine headaches, you’ll realize just how devastating and life-shattering migraine headaches can be. Jobs, relationships and lives in general can be restricted to living like a hermit in constant pain.
Ok..let me get this straight. Migraines are really a local manifestation of a systemic problem, which is why we see increased risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke in patients who suffer from migraines.
Other than the obvious brain tumor causing a headache (which is actually not common for some brain tumors like gliomas), the answer is YES. First off, let’s clarify something. Many, if not most, patients who come in telling me they have a migraine do not actually, have migraines.
As a parent, it breaks my heart to think of any child having to worry about things like being loved, fed properly and treated with respect. Unfortunately, the effects of childhood maltreatment can last a lifetime.
This maltreatment can come in the form of nutritional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse or emotional abuse. While I firmly believe that the damage from raising a malnourished child can be greatly reduced or even eliminated by better nutritional choices in the future, the other forms of abuse, however, leave scars that are worn on the inside. These scars can’t be seen with an MRI, CT scan or bloodwork. And far too often as the abused child grows into adulthood he or she may not even recognize the damage that has been done.
Anyone with a neurological condition, whether anxiety, depression, epilepsy, migraines or MS, will tell you that symptoms wax and wane. But why?
While a common occurrence, it seems that few question why this is so. It is considered more as just a course of the condition. But what if the fluctuations of symptoms are not only explainable, but possibly controllable?
At it’s foundation, these two conditions share the same mechanism. I have personally known this for at least a decade, but the information seems to be taking a while to get out there. Which may seem strange because chronic migraine headaches and seizures are both within the realm of neurology. Indeed, over the past few years there has been increasing overlap between anti-seizure drugs being used to treat migraines (Topamax, for example). Taking this even further, anti-seizure medications like Depakote have also been used to treat certain psychological disorders like bipolar disorder.
There ARE answers to eliminating or reducing your chronic migraine headaches, but the solution is not likely going to come in a pill.
Having been active on several of the larger Facebook migraine groups, the attitudes seem to be split. There are those who are seeking answers because they know that there is an answer someone out there. The others are there for support because they do not ultimately feel like there is a solution for their chronic headaches. This group does not like to see the word “cure” anywhere near chronic migraine headaches because they do not believe that there is such a thing.