A new study has found that the complete family suffers from chronic migraines if any of its members, either a spouse or parent, suffers from the pain.
The researchers conducted a study in which they found that the most chronic migraine sufferers complained that their severe migraine pains have a huge impact on their family relationships, sexual intimacy and other activities.
Lead study author Dawn Buse called the results as ‘not surprising’ but expressed need to quantify the degree to which families were affected.
Buse is a clinical psychologist and director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City.
“I hear firsthand about the tragic effect that chronic migraine has on every aspect of people’s lives, including work and home life,” Buse said.
Buse said that those who don’t suffer from such painful conditions can never understand how it can affect the entire family.
Buse said, “It’s very important to bring this data to light, to show that chronic migraines are burdensome and difficult, not only for the people who live with it but also for the people they love.”
Chronic migraine is a health condition in which the person suffers migraine headache for 15 or more days a month. The researchers call it a recurrent throbbing headache that affects only one side of the head. It is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision.
Report says around 38 million Americans suffer from migraine pain. Out of the 38 million, around 3-7 million have chronic migraine.
The researchers in partnership with a survey company ‘Research Now’ studied participants with migraine.
Nearly 1,000 people including 812 women, who met the criteria for chronic headache, were part of the study. The participants and their spouses and children answered web-based questionnaires.
It was found that the people with chronic migraines often felt worried, guilty and sad about how their condition affects those they love, Buse said.
According to the researchers, almost 75 percent of chronic migraine participants said they thought they would be better spouses if they didn’t have chronic migraines. However, almost 60 percent felt they would be better parents without the illness.
Most participants with migraines said they feel guilty as their headaches make them more easily annoyed or angered.
Hoping that the study helps people better understand migraines, Buse said, “I think the results may surprise some who hold the view that migraine is ‘just a headache’ and hopefully shed light on the far-reaching effects of this debilitating condition.”
Migraines in Women
If talked about the women, the frequency of headaches among women increases during the menopausal transition. This was found during a research, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society. The meet was held from June 26 to 29 in Los Angeles.
The research was led by Vincent T. Martin, MD, of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, and colleagues. They analyzed data for 3,603 women, who were in the average age group of 45 years. The researchers studied the effect of menopause on the frequency of headache attacks in women with migraine.
Following the study, the researchers found that 8 percent of premenopausal women were in the high-frequency headache group in contrast with 12.2 percent of perimenopausal women and 12 percent of postmenopausal women.
“We believe that both declining estrogen levels that occur at the time of menstruation as well as low estrogen levels that are encountered during the menopause are triggers of migraine in some women,” one of the study author said in a statement.