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HeadWay Issue #201 Is This What You Didn't Tell Your Doctor?
May 21, 2021

In this issue:

Is This What You Didn't Tell Your Doctor?

Recently at Headache and Migraine News

Say what?! Neuroinflammation

Is This What You Didn't Tell Your Doctor?

There is something very important that you might not have told your doctor or specialist. And it may be one reason why you haven't found the treatment you need.

It's so obvious, so simple, and yet amazingly enough, it's often overlooked. The recent interview with Dr. Carrie Dougherty at the Migraine World Summit is starting more conversation on the topic.

So what didn't you tell your doctor? Well, you neglected to mention those headaches.

"That's ridiculous!" you say. "That's why I was there! Of course we talked about my headaches!"

But the fact is, although many patients will mention what they consider to be serious or debilitating headaches, they may not mention the others.

I've heard it again and again. Things like "I don't get migraines anymore. Just a few headaches." or "It's no problem, I just take this medication and they go away." or "Well, those headaches are just normal in our family."

But those "insignificant headaches" may be more serious than you think. They could be an indication that your headaches may get worse if not treated. Those "safe" painkillers you're taking may have long term side effects. The very fact that you need to take a pill shows that the headaches are interrupting your life (Do you have painkillers upstairs, downstairs, in the car, and in your purse? And at your desk? And you have to replenish them regularly?).

If you have headaches, even if they're "mild", that's not "normal", even if it's common in your family.

Another warning sign of more serious problems is if you're "rationing" medications. Either because of insurance concerns, or because your doctor told you that only a certain amount is safe (and by the way, there's a lot of disagreement about what is "safe", but if you're taking meds every week, and they're not prescribed preventatives, it's probably time to see a specialist).

We also need to remember that the difference between migraine and tension-type headache is not as clear-cut as was once believed.

Sometimes patients are so focused on major attacks, that it's easy for them to ignore or not even recognize other symptoms - and that includes lesser headaches.

Giving your doctor a clear idea of all your headaches can help you get better treatment faster. If you're doctor doesn't seem interested, or doesn't have time to listen, find a new doctor.

There may not be instant solutions, but when headaches are taking away your enjoyment of that special event, or making you less productive at work, or if they mean that you're putting more drugs in your body, or if they're getting worse or not getting any better - well, don't ignore the "little things". They might make all the difference in your treatment.

Recently at Headache and Migraine News

Here are a few recent articles from Headache and Migraine News that you might find helpful. If they're useful to you, please share!

Say what?! Neuroinflammation

Neuroinflammation is part of an immune response in the brain and spinal column. It has become an important area of research, because of its links to many diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. But many researchers believe that it may be a foundation to many common diseases.

Just how neuroinflammation is related to various headache disorders is a matter of debate, but chronic inflammation is a danger sign when it comes to basic neurological health. Diet and exercise are very important when it comes to maintaining a healthy brain.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom.  Your password is nomoache.
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