Introduction To Migraine Headaches Migraine had been with us for a long time. In ancient Egypt, 8,500 years ago, people with migraines used to nibble on parts of wormwood and juniper to try to relieve the pain. As medical science progressed, doctors began to prescribe treatments such as placing hot irons on painful spots, cutting a patient's temple and rubbing garlic on the wound and even wrapping an electric eel around a sufferer's head. Fortunately, such 'solutions' are no longer in vogue.
Migraine headaches are truly debilitating disease. Sufferers can be out of commission for days at a time, often when they can least afford to be.
If you experience at least three of the following, your headaches are probably migraines:
Worldwide, 240 million people suffer an estimated 1.4 billion attacks of migraine each year, with the prevalence varying by country, according to the WHA. Twenty four million Americans suffer regularly from migraine headaches. Migraine affects three times as many women as men. Most of them are between the ages of 30 and 45. The prevalence of migraine, according to the Center for Disease Control, has increased 60% from 1981 to 1989.The economic impact of migraine is staggering, with annual cost of the disease estimated at 18 billion dollars in the USA.
Stress, certain foods and beverages and an upset in sleep patterns cause migraines, but 60 percent of all migraines suffered by women are related to the menstrual cycle. These headaches are caused by hormone shifts before and during menstruation. More than half of all female migraine sufferers will stop having the headaches after menopause. But no matter what the cause, millions of us are spending the most productive years of our lives living in fear of a migraine onslaught.
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