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What Not To Say To Someone With Migraines

Acephalgic Migraine Or Migraine Without Headache

What NOT to say to someone with vestibular migraines

Acephalgic migraine is also known as migraine without headache, aura without headache, silent migraine, and visual migraine without headache. Acephalgic migraines occur when a person has an aura, but doesnt get a headache. This type of migraine isnt uncommon in people who start having migraines after age 40.

Visual aura symptoms are most common. With this type of migraine, the aura may gradually occur with symptoms spreading over several minutes and move from one symptom to another. After visual symptoms, people may have numbness, speech problems, and then feel weak and unable to move a part of their body normally. Read on to get a better understanding of acephalgic or silent migraines.

Also known as menstrual migraines and exogenous estrogen withdrawal headaches, hormonal migraines are linked with the female hormones, commonly estrogen. They include migraines during:

  • your period
  • pregnancy
  • perimenopause
  • the first few days after you start or stop taking medications that have estrogen in them, such as birth control pills or hormone therapy

If youre using hormone therapy and have an increase in headaches, your doctor may talk with you about:

  • adjusting your dose
  • changing the type of hormones
  • stopping hormone therapy

You Just Need To Get Out More

I am constantly hearing that if I just get out of the house and live a more active life, Ill feel better. Believe me, if it were that easy, Id be running around all day. When people suggest this, they insinuate that staying home is the problem, not my illness.

People with psoriatic arthritis need to listen to and follow the needs of our bodies. Sometimes that means staying home more often than our friends and family prefer. But their desire to get us out more shouldnt be a reason to push ourselves when our bodies are desperate for rest.

Instead Say: Im Here For You

Being there for your loved one as they navigate long-haul COVID-19 can mean many things but whats most important is letting them decide what that might look like, since it will likely change and shift depending on what theyre currently going through.

When were too effusive in offering support to someone with a chronic illness, it can feel patronizing and leave the other person feeling alone and misunderstood, Torres-Mackie said. Theres a difference between offering help and making the assumption the person definitely needs help.

If youre worried about saying or doing the wrong thing, checking in with a simple, Is there anything I can do for you? can go a long way in not only showing support, but in validating their experience, Needle said.

The same goes for filling in any blanks theyve expressed theyre struggling with, like lacking the energy to pick up groceries or feeling winded when they take their dog for a walk.

Its not on you to make them feel better and making that your mission could pressure them into pretending they do for your sake. But if you focus on little, no-strings-attached chores or errands that make their day to day easier and lighten their load, you might end up doing just that.

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Things Not To Say To A Person With Migraine

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You responded to our original Things not to say article with more frustrating comments youve heard from misinformed people about migraines. So we\’ve included them in our updated graphics below.

Although lowering stress levels is good for anyone, this will not eliminate our attacks which are both genetic and neurologic in nature. Saying this will cause additional stress to us though, because we have enough to deal with in our lives without feeling guilty and judged by those we care the most about.

Does stress impact the frequency or severity of your migraines?

Chronic migraineurs use an enormous amount of energy trying to look as normal as possible, and we want to know that we have been successful. However this statement sounds condescending and judgmental to the chronically ill as if we must not have a real disease because you cannot look at us and see the ravages it has caused in our lives.

What type of migraine do you experience?

While modifying ones diet can help eliminate certain triggers and help prevent migraine attacks, there is no diet to cure or prevent migraine.

Do changes in diet impact your migraines?

A standard headache may only last a few hours, but a migraine attack can actually last several days, which can have a severe impact on a persons everyday life.

What’s the longest you’ve experienced throbbing pain during a migraine attack?

Is the numerical pain scale an effective way to measure pain?

Isnt Getting Older Fun

18 Things Not to Say to a Person with Migraine

Even though this is often said in a sarcastic tone, when I hear it, what it really sounds like is someone telling me my PsA is inevitablethat my pain is due to the natural aging process. This one goes hand-in-hand with saying someone is too young to have arthritis. Age has nothing to do with my diagnosis. Psoriatic arthritis does not discriminate.

My diagnosis occurred in my early thirties. People said I was too young to be in so much pain, need a mobility aid, or have arthritis. Twenty years later, my pain and need for a wheelchair are minimized in others eyes because they see me as just another older person.

Either way, saying someone is too young or insinuating that PsA is a part of getting older takes away from the severity of this autoimmune disease.

I dont want my friends and family to feel like they have to watch every word that comes out of their mouths. We all say the wrong things now and then. However, I do want them to know when something they say hurts, and the reason for it. My hope is that the more we talk about these things, the less people will say them to us, and the more supported we will feel. And of course, there are things you can say to help your loved one feel supported. One of the most caring things someone can ask is, How are you coping? It expresses a concern about me, not a judgment regarding my health or physical status. It helps me feel seen and allows me to open up about my experiences on my terms, in my own words.

Read Also: How To Treat Migraine Naturally

Choose Your Words Carefully When It Comes To The Complicated Condition Of Migraines

If youre not among the 12 percent of the U.S. population and 10 percent of people worldwide who experience migraines, consider yourself lucky. However, no matter how much you think you know about migraines, every sufferers experience is different.

Next time youre talking with a friend whos dealing with a migraine, avoid sounding insensitive by steering clear of these seven comments.

Its just a headache! Tension-type headaches involving mild to moderate pain these are your standard, everyday headaches are very common. Migraines, on the other hand, are completely different. They often come with very severe head pain that can extend to the face and neck and last up to 72 hours, plus a whole host of other migraine symptoms including aura, sensitivity to light and sound, chills, nausea, vomiting, tingling and weakness.

You should try ____ . There are countless suggestions for migraine prevention out there, and chances are, if youre dealing with a veteran migraine sufferer, theyve tried many tactics. Migraine triggers vary from person to person, so the fact that your co-workers cousins hairdresser doesnt eat aged cheese or hot dogs because of her migraines wont necessarily benefit the person youre talking to.

Just take some deep breaths and de-stress! Though stress is a common migraine trigger, telling someone to reduce their stress level will not help them if they are in pain right now. Your advice to relax could add insult to injury.

Migraine Can’t Be Prevented

We didnt create migraine disease by not eating the right foods or stressing too much, and we cant fix the disease by eating better or stressing less. It isnt a disease that can be prevented. If it were, the millions of us who live with it on a regular basis would have signed up for that treatment a long time ago. I expect someone working in the health field, especially in client and patient support, to know this. I’m hoping, as migraine education and awareness becomes more widespread, that soon they all will.

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I Had A Migraine One Time But Every Day I Don’t Know How You Do It

Despite well intent, this may leave a person with Migraine disease feeling misunderstood, hopeless, defensive, and isolated. Migraine is very individual and every person with Migraine has unique qualities to their disease. It is useful to offer understanding but there is no use in comparing pain.

One of the problems that people with severe and disabling Migraine have is some people are so ignorant to believe that what they have, which is much less severe, equates to what another person has who may have completely disabling daily Migraine and be unable to do anything but lie motionless in bed day after day. The two conditions are not the same. Because of that wide variation, people with less imagination aren’t empathetic or understanding about people who have a more severe form of the disease,”

Dr. William Young told Migraine Again Podcast host Paula K. Dumas.

You Just Spend Too Much Time In Bed You Would Feel Better If You Got Up And Exercised

THINGS NOT TO SAY TO A MIGRAINE SUFFERER // And what you should say or do instead

Hi. I’m twenty years old. I don’t want to spend my entire life laying in bed! I want to be out, making memories! So if I’m laying in bed because my whole body is weak from the constant pain and you tell me to get up and go for a run, well, just look at Stephen Colbert up there to see what my reaction will be…

Read Also: How To Stop A Migraine Fast

Theories About Migraine Pain

Older theories about migraines suggested that symptoms were possibly due to fluctuations in blood flow to the brain. Now many headache researchers realize that changes in blood flow and blood vessels don’t initiate the pain, but may contribute to it.

Current thinking regarding migraine pain has moved more toward the source of the problem, as improved technology and research have paved the way for a better understanding. Today, it is widely understood that chemical compounds and hormones, such as serotonin and estrogen, often play a role in pain sensitivity for migraine sufferers.

One aspect of migraine pain theory explains that migraine pain happens due to waves of activity by groups of excitable brain cells. These trigger chemicals, such as serotonin, to narrow blood vessels. Serotonin is a chemical necessary for communication between nerve cells. It can cause narrowing of blood vessels throughout the body.

When serotonin or estrogen levels change, the result for some is a migraine. Serotonin levels may affect both sexes, while fluctuating estrogen levels affect women only.

For women, estrogen levels naturally vary over the life cycle, with increases during fertile years and decreases afterwards. Women of childbearing age also experience monthly changes in estrogen levels. Migraines in women are often associated with these fluctuating hormone levels and may explain why women are more likely to have migraines than men.

To The Fighters Who Battle Migraines Daily:

Remember that some people say these words too because they genuinely care. Most of the time people dont understand how their words hurt so it is our duty to educate them. Sometimes, all it takes is looking at things from a different perspective. Turning all your negative thoughts into positive ones like how Lynette has done will assuredly bring about a happier and more care-free life. Remember that some people say these words too because they genuinely care. Most of the time people dont understand how their words hurt so it is our duty to educate them. Sometimes, all it takes is looking at things from a different perspective. Turning al your negative thoughts into postive ones like how Lymette has done will assuredly bring about a happier and ore care-free life. My moms first question

From all of us at the Migraine Buddy team, we wish everyone a migraine-free day ahead of you ?

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    How Are Migraines Diagnosed

    To diagnose a migraine, your healthcare provider will get a thorough medical history, not just your history of headaches but your familys, too. Also, they’ll want to establish a history of your migraine-related symptoms, likely asking you to:

    • Describe your headache symptoms. How severe are they?
    • Remember when you get them. During your period, for example?
    • Describe the type and location of your pain. Is the pain pounding? Pulsing? Throbbing?
    • Remember if anything makes your headache better or worse.
    • Tell how often you get migraine headaches.
    • Talk about the activities, foods, stressors or the situations that may have brought on the migraine.
    • Discuss what medications you take to relieve the pain and how often you take them.
    • Tell how you felt before, during and after the headache.
    • Remember if anyone in your family gets migraine headaches.

    Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests and imaging tests to make sure there are no other causes for your headache. An electroencephalogram may be ordered to rule out seizures.

    What Not To Say To Someone Who Has Long

    18 Things Not to Say to a Person with Migraine

    For people with long-haul COVID-19 , navigating the unrelenting health issues theyre facing is enough of a challenge. The last thing they need are words of support intended to encourage and motivate, but that really minimize and invalidate their experience.

    The majority of people in my life are supportive of what Ive gone through since getting COVID, Rachel Needle, a COVID-19 long-hauler and licensed psychologist at Whole Health Psychological Center in Palm Beach, Florida, told HuffPost. But there have also been a number of people who have made hurtful comments and been dismissive of my fears and medical issues.

    The main reason you might find yourself saying unhelpful, even hurtful, things as youre trying to support someone with long-haul COVID-19 is a lack of understanding.

    Psychologically, the less able we are to put ourselves into other peoples shoes, the less able we are to empathize and therefore offer genuine support, said Naomi Torres-Mackie, clinical psychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and head of research at The Mental Health Coalition.

    Another reason is fear. When you feel you dont have the right words to support someone and you let that fear get the best of you, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Fear can make you avoid the topic altogether, blurt things out without thinking it through or engage in toxic positivity, Torres-Mackie said.

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    At Least You’re Not Dying

    What NOT to say to someone with migraine.

    5) At least youre not dying

    Unfortunately migraine does take lives each year through rare migrainous strokes, suicide and death from accidental overdose, depression, medical mistakes, side effects and related accidents.

    Chronic migraine patients are the group most at risk of these potentially fatal health issues and professional help should be sought if migraine is affecting your quality of life.

    Whats A Migraine What Does A Migraine Feel Like

    A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that its the sixth most disabling disease in the world.

    Also Check: How To Get Rid Of A Migraine Quickly

    What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline

    The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.

    The phases are:

  • Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the preheadache or premonitory phase.
  • Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people dont experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time.
  • Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word ache doesnt do the pain justice because sometimes its mild, but usually, its described as drilling, throbbing or you may feel the sensation of an icepick in your head. Typically it starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other side.
  • Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. Its often called a migraine hangover and 80% of those who have migraines experience it.
  • It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.

    What To Say When She Says She Has A Headache

    Things Not To Say To Someone With IIH or Migraines

    Youve been looking forward to seeing your girl all week, and when she opens the door you are greeted with her wince of pain. Shes got a headache and your date needs to be cancelled. Dont worry about it too much because below weve listed down the things you can say to help her deal with her headache.

    1. Want me to get you an aspirin? Its not the most romantic response, but it sure is a practical one! Yes, she can obviously get the aspirin herself, but offering to get it for her will make her feel better. Just keep in mind that if shes PMSing, its best not to ask her if she wants aspirin. Instead, just tell her youll get to save her the trouble of having to answer a dumb question.

    2. Hey, you remember that thing we were talking about the other day? Distraction is a nice way to help keep her mind off the pain. Talk about pleasant things and stuff she likes to talk about to help her get through her headache. For instance, you might mention that new painting class she wants to try out or that new restaurant in town. Keep her mind on pleasant thoughts and make plans for future dates that you know shell love and it might ease the pain.

    5. Ive got a minty salve that might just make it go away. When her headache is pretty mild but still annoying, you can offer to give her a quick scalp massage. Minty salves have a soothing scent that also helps alleviate headaches, and when paired with the movements of your deft fingers against her scalp, its absolutely heavenly!

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