Long term effects of migraine

In recent months, studies have begun to raise concerns about the cumulative effects of migraine.  Once upon a time migraine was just considered to be a bad headache that just had to be endured, or perhaps dulled by drugs.  Now we know that it’s not just a bad headache (sometimes it’s not a headache at all!), and it may do more damage than was once believed.

Researchers are finding things like mini-strokes going on in the brain, risk of future strokes, and heart problem-like symptoms (although not actual heart problems).  These studies are vague reasons for concern and future study.  If migraine is causing minor brain damage (as some research seems to show), what will the effect be over time?  Are some migraine attacks worse than others for these problems?  Or does this point to another link that we don’t yet understand?  Regarding this concern, HealthDay reporter Mark Bloom writes:

Migraine should be conceptualized not just as an episodic disorder but as a chronic-episodic and sometimes chronic progressive disorder, wrote Drs. Richard B. Lipton and Jullie Pan of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In other words, we shouldn’t consider migraine attacks to be something that just comes and goes, but something that keeps coming back and often keeps doing worse damage.

Don’t forget, the pain itself can cause a great deal of damage.  You may find knots and tightness in your muscles, emotional concerns, a lack of proper exercise, the effects of medications on the body.  Your body may be going through a lot more than you think – much more than just pain in the head.

So as the research continues, let this be motivation for all of us to not just "put up with it", but to fight back.  Time may only be making things worse.  What’s your "spring resolution" going to be?

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6 comments… add one
  • Ted Nov 12, 2011

    Great thanks for the encouragement. I’ve been dealing the a Chronic daily migraine for 28 months now. There 24/7 never leaves, with no relief at all. 🙁

  • Tasha Nov 12, 2011

    I have been suffering chronic daily migraine for 23 months now. They have been completely resistant to any medications. At most medication makes the change. I already have an abnormal MRI, assumed to be from my migraine problems.

  • becky Feb 16, 2015

    I am 23 and I had my first migraine at 11 and they never stopped since, getting them twice a month to 3 times now 2 times a week I have had every medication going, now on tablets for epileptics n another for as and when which isn’t working, I have Ct scans nothing shows and now my neurologist says well he can’t do anything for me, so this post gives me a lot of hope,

  • philip tamang Nov 6, 2015

    Since five years I have been going through severe headache. I am conform that its because of migraine. what should i do to fight back with migraine???

  • chris shaw Aug 28, 2016

    I have had cluster headaches now for 4yrs and the pain I the eye and side of my face is more than I can take

  • Paul Fleming Aug 7, 2017

    I suffer from cluster headaches and only get relief by inhaling medical oxygen. Best and quickest relief for me.

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