Profiling is so dangerous, isn’t it? I mean, seriously. As soon as you say something like “most migraineurs are women”, you’re leaving out huge numbers of us who ain’t. Or if you say “migraineurs tend to be fat” you beg all kinds of questions – is it due to the medication they’re taking? The time they spend in bed? Is obesity a migraine trigger? Are we “blaming” people who are overweight? Did I just use the “f-word” in this post??
Sure, profiles are interesting. Maybe they allow us to focus more on women instead of men, since they have more migraine attacks. Wait! I don’t like that idea either. We all need help, and we’re all very different!
But these types of generalities can be useful – as long as we’re careful with them. They can point to tendencies. To possible biological realities of migraine disease. And to possible treatments.
But don’t tell me migraineurs are all depressed, or all women, or all f … frugal… or whatever.
This is actually more of a comparison than a profile. What’s the difference between those with chronic tension-type headache and those with chronic migraine – from The Journal of Headache and Pain.
|Chronic TTH||Chronic Migraine|
|Less common||More common|
|Less likely to be female||More likely to be female|
|More likely to drink alcohol||Less likely to drink alcohol|
|Less likely to smoke||More likely to smoke|
|Less likely to be obese||More likely to be obese|
|Less likely to report frequent acute pain drug use||More likely to report frequent acute pain drug use|
|More likely to be low educated||Less likely to be low educated|
This study may be even more useful in understanding chronic tension-type headache. After all, a lot of the right column is pretty well known. This is particularly true for weight issues (a struggle for migraineurs due to medication, and also a very possible factor in developing chronic migraine) and pain drug use (medication overuse is a HUGE factor when it comes to chronic migraine).
Could alcohol use influence chronic tension-type headache? Or lifestyle issues related to a lower education?
But one of the problems with a study like this is that many people seem to have both conditions. And there is increasing evidence that both conditions are related.
Do you suffer from chronic tension-type headache? Have you found a direct link with alcohol consumption in particular? Or, as a migraineur, have you found weight loss to be a help? Or quitting smoking?