The statistics on migraines in the UK – statistics like; how many people suffer from them, what age are the sufferers, and what percentage of men in the population/what percentage of women are sufferers, don’t necessarily come out on a regular basis. There has been a recent report with some interesting new figures though. According to the new report on migraines in the UK, published by The Work Foundation in 2018, the prevalence of migraines, and the impact which they have, has increased.
There’s a wide variety of different forms of migraine which manifest themselves in different ways. For example; migraine with aura (a type of migraine which features added neurological symptoms like flashing lights), chronic migraines (a headache which takes place on 15 or more days a month), hemiplegic migraines (in which the sufferer experiences temporary weakness on one side of their body), and the list goes on. Also, even within these different subcategories no one has a migraine the same as someone else’s. The point being that, since all migraines vary, so too do their triggers.
Mostly we’re told that salt is bad for us. Healthcare professionals as well as adverts on the TV and radio are forever telling us to cut back and citing risks like heart disease and stroke. There’s no way to get away from it! However, now there is evidence emerging that a salty diet might help to reduce migraines.
Following experiments undertaken during “pain classes” at Stanford University, Sean Mackey, MD, PhD who led the classes, is hoping that the increasingly detailed imaging technology which is being used in medical treatments and scientific experiments might give us some of the answers as to whether a certain treatment will be effective on a case by case basis.
Before a drug is approved for use by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration (the body which approves medications in the US)) it has to pass rigorous tests, including two well-designed clinical trials. Although costly and time consuming, finding participants to take part in the trials is not usually a problem.
Changing levels of oestrogen, the female sex hormone, has long been linked to migraine attacks in women; but now it has been discovered that high levels of oestrogen in men has the effect of more frequent and intense migraine attacks. (Although, strangely enough, menstrual migraines in women are thought to be caused by falling levels of oestrogen leading up to the start of a period rather than increased levels).
In the past few years there’s been a lot of interest in the proposal that getting a daith piercing could relieve migraine pain for the many migraine sufferers who struggle with attacks on an all too frequent basis. The daith piercing is a piercing through a small piece of cartilage in the inner ear. On the plus side they are relatively inexpensive and can be as decorative or as subtle as you like. On the negative side they can also take a long time to heal, run the risk of infection, and not all migraine sufferers who have had a daith piercing has found the piercing to be effective.
Trials from a recent Phase III clinical trial have had fantastic results and have cut the migraine attacks of its participants in half.
“Your migraine is over? Yes! Now you can come out shopping with us/come to the pub/play football/etc etc.”
Perhaps you don’t like taking tablets, or are unable to? Maybe you need to take medication for another condition that means you can’t take any medication for migraine relief? Maybe you’ve taken all the pain relief you can for the day and you still have your migraine? Or perhaps you just want to try relieving your pain using only natural methods?