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HeadWay, Issue #173 -- My Migraine Voice, Upcoming Giveaway
February 21, 2019

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In this issue:

Coming Next Month: HeadWay Giveaway!

My Migraine Voice: The Migraine Paradox

Say what?! Cross-sectional

Coming Next Month: HeadWay Giveaway!

Well, no, I'm not giving away HeadWay. :) But there will be a giveaway for subscribers of HeadWay! To be sure to watch for the next issue - you may win something unexpected!

This is only for subscribers. I'll tell you more next month!

In other news, if you want something that's for sure free for all - get your tickets today for the Migraine World Summit. For more information, see Free Tickets to the MWS (and why you should get one even if you can't participate)

My Migraine Voice: The Migraine Paradox

31 countries. 11,266 individuals. What does the largest global survey of its kind tell us about the worldwide impact of migraine?

Every once in a while it's useful to hear what other people are saying about their experience with migraine. It reminds us that we're not alone. It helps us to understand our condition. It motivates us to fight back.

So today we'll take a quick look at the My Migraine Voice survey, and what it tells us.

This survey focused especially on those with frequent (though not necessarily chronic) headache, who had tried preventative medications. Many had tried two or more preventatives, without success.

Not Just A Headache

It's not a surprise that the most frequently mentioned symptoms, aside from headache, were being sensitive to light, being sensitive to sound, and nausea. But people reported, on average, 3 or more other chronic conditions. Most notably - anxiety, insomnia/other sleep disorders, and depression.

Social Impact

64% reported a negative impact on their social life (surely the reality is higher!). Most commonly, missing important events (wedding, grad), being afraid to make commitments, a negative impact on sexual life, and guilt about how migraine was affecting their family life.

There was a paradox here - although migraine had a negative social effect, other people were very much needed for support. Just one example: Over the past 3 months, people reported needing help with things like transportation, cooking, and cleaning. On average, they needed help for more than 4 days a month.

Impact At Work

The impact on work was tremendous. A 13% loss of work time, a 48% loss in productivity. And having to miss work but only getting paid sick days for around half of the days missed.

Perhaps the paradox here is that 70% felt that their work had suffered, and in some cases it suffered dramatically. But only 9% had any kind of disability-related allowance.

In spite of the huge impact migraine had on lives, only 53% had seen a doctor in the past 6 months. Worse, only 40% had seen a neurologist, and only 15% a headache specialist.

Impact On Life

85% of respondents reported that migraine had a negative impact on their lives (again - surely it's 100%!). Negative aspects we haven't already mentioned included feeling helpless and feeling that others didn't understand.

The paradox is that 57% reported at least one positive aspect. What could those possible be?

According to those taking the survey, they found that they had learned how to cope better, and they found that migraine had made them stronger as people.

The Migraine Paradox - We're Better Without It

The bottom line - the survey found that the impact of migraine was huge, and that people generally weren't getting the support and treatment that they needed.

Have you shared your experiences with someone? This might be a great conversation starter. But one thing is certain - it's still time to fight back.

Read a summary of the survey at Neurology Times, or read all the details at The Journal of Headache and Pain

Say what?! Cross-sectional

The My Migraine Voice survey was a "cross-sectional" study. What does that mean?

A cross-sectional study takes a look at the way things are at a moment in time. In other words, for this study the researchers looked all around the world, but they weren't following these people and checking up on them for months and years. It just describes the way things were at the time of they survey.

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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