Much More than a Headache: Living With Chronic Migraine

    A real impediment for living life to the full

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    Disabling, poorly managed in daily clinical practice, affecting more people than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. This is the migraine, a disease that can become a real impediment for living a life to the full.

    In chronic conditions, it should be noted that migraine headaches can occur for 15 days or more and for at least three months. Ask yourself: could you lead a normal life during this time with severe throbbing pain in your head, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light, certain scents, and/or sounds?

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    These symptoms make migraine a disabling disease; however, there are still those who think that it is just a “simple headache” and minimize its impact on the quality of life of a patient and their families. And it is ironic that a disease so prevalent, disabling and costly for those who suffer from it has so little importance in society.

    A stigma to overcome

    Although migraine can occur at any age, it especially affects people between 20 and 50 years of age, with a prevalence in women. In the world, it is the third most frequent pathology and the seventh cause of disability (the fourth in women).

    Headaches, nausea and vomiting, among other ailments, are not the only things that migraine sufferers have to endure; also, they must face a pathology that negatively impacts their interpersonal relationships, as well as their academic or work performance. And all this without an accurate medical diagnosis on some occasions.

    Added to the above is the lack of understanding towards the patient who suffers from this pathology; a person who may be absent from work for several days or who misses meetings with friends or family because of a migraine episode that forces them to isolate themselves.

    Such is its affectation to all areas of a patient’s life, that migraine has been associated with disorders such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain, as concluded by an investigation published in the Journal of Neurology.

    Giving voice to patients

    For all this and much more, it is time to give a voice to patients and neurologists specialized in migraine. Together, they can contribute to generating greater awareness in Costa Rica about this disease.

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