That’s a fair question indeed. How do you know that the headaches you are having are migraines and not just normal headaches?
Millions of people around the world suffer from migraines. In the US alone, 30 million people are suffering from migraines. 3 times as many women have migraines as compared to men.
One may joke that it’s probably the men who give these women headaches…
But all levity aside; this is truly a painful condition and causes suffering for many people of all races, genders and nationalities.
Be Grateful if it’s Only a Headache and Not a Full Blown Migraine
A migraine is much more than a tension headache or a headache that you may get from being in a room with noisy children. Migraines are often much more severe and have accompanying side effects such as nausea, irritability, low blood pressure, auras, sensitivity to light and sound, etc.
Auras are a term that is used to describe the symptoms that accompany migraines. You may see flashing lights, feel weak, see patterns that resemble zigzag formations, blind spots (scotomas) and even partial blindness in one or both eyes (hemianopsia). Some people may also feel a prickly sensation on their skin. This is known as parestheia. Collectively, these are known as auras and are a tell-tale sign of migraines.
Other Signs of Migraines
Are you having difficulty sleeping and getting more irritated about it?
This is another sign of migraines. With most normal headaches, you will be able to pop 2 aspirin and hit the sack. Migraines however, are a whole different animal. The pain from the migraines will prevent you from getting restorative sleep. This will leave you feeling tired and will this will raise the frequency of the migraines and their intensity too. It’s a vicious cycle.
Sinus headaches are another sign of migraines. Most people who complain of sinus headaches are often diagnosed with migraines. So, if you find yourself with a stuffy nose and constantly tearing and battling a runny nose while having a persistent, nasty headache… you just might be having migraines.
Migraines often manifest themselves as a throbbing pain on one side or both sides of the head. This is quite common with many migraine sufferers. Normal headaches do not have throbbing pains.
Food Cravings can be a Sign of Migraines
Do you crave something sweet such as chocolate? You do? Do you often notice that such cravings precede a headache? They do?
There you go… you have migraines. Food cravings that precede headaches are a sign of migraines. An unusual sign indeed, but a sign nevertheless.
Neck Pain is Another Sign of Migraines
Neck pain, neck aches and migraines tend to be close buddies. If you have neck pain that often ends in headaches or you have headaches while having a bad neck ache, you most probably have migraines. There will usually be a throbbing pain at the back of the neck.
These are just some of the signs and symptoms of migraines. There are many more and they vary from individual to individual. Yet, in most cases, you will see a pattern just before the migraine strikes or during the migraine headache itself. Speak to your doctor about these symptoms and in most cases, your doctor will confirm if you really do have migraines or not.