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Here's What's Happening In Your Brain When You Get A Migraine

For example, how and why they're such life ruiners.

1. Migraines are more than just bad headaches.

The word "migraine" has come to be synonymous with a really bad headache, but it's actually a genetic disorder. If you're diagnosed with migraines, it means you're genetically predisposed to have a lower threshold for migraine-causing stimuli (called triggers), says Dr. Merle Diamond, president of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago.

About 45–48 million Americans suffer from migraines, and the average person gets three attacks per month, each one lasting an average of about 10 hours, she says. Migraines do mean really bad headaches, but they also mean an assortment of other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and sound.

2. Some migraines have a built-in warning called an aura.

3. But the most common kind have no warning sign at all.

4. For some people, the first phase of a migraine is days before the actual headache hits.

5. During the attack phase, the pain is very bad.

6. After the headache pain subsides, most people are left with a migraine hangover.

7. Migraines happen when someone with a genetic predisposition to migraines is exposed to a trigger (or triggers).

8. Triggers can also include food, hormonal changes, and even the weather.

9. WTF is happening in a migraineur's brain to wreak all this havoc? Two neurological events.

10. When it comes to treatment, you can take rescue meds when you feel a migraine coming on.

11. You can take preventive meds, too.

12. Keeping your daily routine as regular, calm, and balanced as possible also helps.

13. If you think those terrible headaches you've been missing work for might be migraines, see your doctor.

And remember: Hugs help!*