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The Math of Migraines

Scott LaFee on

It's estimated that more than one billion people worldwide suffer from migraines, which doctors define as a headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

It's estimated that 157 million workdays are lost annually in the United States to debilitating migraines, which can last hours to days.

There are four stages of a migraine:

No. 1: Prodrome: Symptoms, such as mood changes, constipation, food cravings, increased urination and neck stiffness, that appear one or two days before, signaling the onset.

No. 2: Aura: Some people experience visual phenomena, such as flashes of light, sensations of pins and needles in the arms or legs or numbness in the face or body before or during a migraine. Auras are reversible symptoms of the nervous system.

No. 3: Attack: The actual migraine and its symptoms.

 

No. 4: Postdrome: After the attack, feelings of exhaustion and confusion can occur, though some people may report feeling elated.

Get Me That, Stat!

There's a reason the tobacco industry advertises when and where it can. It works. Consider a 1920s ad for Lucky Strike cigarettes that targeted women. It touted cigarettes as a diet aid: grab a smoke instead of dessert. The Lucky Strike brand enjoyed a 300% increase in sales in the first year of the ad campaign.

Mark Your Calendar

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