Migraine Information Boston MA
Brigham & Women's Hospital Neurosurgery
Lahey Hitchcock Medical Center Neurological S
Medical School: Univ Of Chicago, Pritzker Sch Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1995
Hospital: Tufts New England Medical Center
Accepting New Patients: Yes
5.0, out of 5 based on 2, reviews.
Medical School: Bangalore Med Coll, Bangalore Univ, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Graduation Year: 1992
Personal Journey - End the Migraine Pain
by Lynn Ginsburg
If there was one thing in life I never wanted to encounter firsthand, it was a migraine headache. When friends who suffered from them would try to describe just how agonizing they could be, I could only sympathize and gratefully acknowledge how lucky I was to be spared that kind of recurring pain.
Unfortunately, my luck ran out. When my first migraine struck, it started out just like any old headache. I experienced a dull ache near my sinuses—nothing to cause any great concern. But the pain slowly evolved into a red hot, stabbing sensation all over my head. I started to feel dizzy and noticed a strange, shimmering quality to my vision. The pain grew so severe that the slightest movement made me feel acutely nauseous. This was unlike any headache I’d ever had before. And then it hit me—my symptoms matched those of a migraine, and as the searing pain swept over me, I clearly understood what my poor friends had been experiencing all these years.
Fortunately, my migraines—caused by a tumor on my pituitary gland—were only temporary. After surgeons removed the growth, the migraines went away permanently. Other sufferers aren’t so lucky. Their migraines recur frequently over the course of their lifetimes.
What is a migraine?
According to Christina Peterson, MD, author of The Women’s Migraine Survival Guide (HarperResource, 1999) and president of HEADquarters Migraine Management, a consulting firm in Portland, Ore., a migraine is a recurring headache lasting four to 72 hours that may also be accompanied by nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, pain that’s made worse by routine physical activity and pain that is throbbing or pulsating in character. “Twenty percent of migraines are preceded by an aura or other neurological warning sign that is visual in nature,” Peterson explains.
Seymour Solomon, MD, director of the Headache Unit at Montefiore Medical Center and professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., says that a migraine may be characterized by an imbalance of the biochemistry in the brain and may also involve swelling or inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain. “The environment or the body itself can be the triggers, but the causes of many migraines are unknown, and an attack can occur without any obvious external cause,” Solomon says.
About 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, according to a study from the American Headache Society, and the World Health Organization reports that about 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men worldwide suffer from migraines.
Conventional medical doctors commonly prescribe abortive drugs (usually triptans) to stop migraines. These drugs, unfortunately, can only stop a headache once it starts (they can’t prevent it from happening), and they are indicated for patients who suffer migraines at most a few times a month. People who suffer more than that generally take a variety of preventative medications. “The success...
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