Coping with Chronic Illness: *Neck and Back Pain *Migraines *Arthritis *Fibromyalgia*Chronic Fatigue *And Other Invisible Illnesses by H. Norman WrightNearly 1 in 2 Americans suffer from some chronic condition—either an illness like fibromyalgia or conditions such as migraine headaches or chronic neck and back pain. With numbers like these, it’s fair to say we have a health crisis on our hands.
Respected therapist H. Norman Wright, along with Lynn Ellis, a researcher with firsthand experience with fibromyalgia, lupus, and chronic fatigue, shares practical, hopeful answers for those who suffer from what are often called “invisible illnesses.”
Readers will benefit from realizing they are not alone even if others don’t understand what they are experiencing. They will also find
helpful ideas for managing relationships with their doctors and their families
insight into God’s perspective and caring for those who suffer
practical ways to manage the stress, fear, and depression that often comes with chronic illness
Coping with Chronic Illness is the perfect resource for those who struggle as well as for their families and friends, lay counselors, medical professionals, and pastors.
Migraine? Chronic Sinusitis, Dizziness, Ear/Eye Pain/Pressure, Abnormal Hearing/Smell/Taste/Touch
Migraine is the most common disabling brain disorder. Chronic migraine, a condition characterized by the experience of migrainous headache on at least 15 days per month, is highly disabling. Patients with chronic migraine present to primary care, are often referred for management to secondary care, and make up a large proportion of patients in specialist headache clinics. Many patients with chronic migraine also have medication overuse, defined as using a compound analgesic, opioid, triptan or ergot derivative on at least 10 days per month. All doctors will encounter patients with chronic headaches. A basic working knowledge of the common primary headaches, and a rational manner of approaching the patient with these conditions, allows a specific diagnosis of chronic migraine to be made quickly and safely, and by making this diagnosis one opens up a substantial number of acute and preventive treatment options. This article discusses the current state of management of chronic migraine.
In the Global Burden of Disease Study by the World Health Organization, updated in , migraine was found to be the sixth highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability. Migraine attacks sometimes increase in frequency over time. Headache experts divide this process of transition into four distinct states:. As per the International Headache Society, chronic migraine is defined as headache occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than three months, which, on at least 8 days per month, has the features of migraine headache. Studies estimate that about 2. To make a diagnosis of chronic migraine, it is very important to know the exact number of days per month that a person experiences a headache of any kind.
Chronic migraine is a distinct and relatively recently defined sub-type of Chronic Daily Headache. The International Headache Society defines chronic migraine as more than fifteen headache days per month over a three month period of which more than eight are migrainous, in the absence of medication over use. Episodic migraine is the other migraine sub-type, which is defined as less than 15 headache days per month.
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At least once a week throughout my childhood, a migraine would force my mother to retreat into her bedroom. A study from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, released last week in PLoS One , found that chronic migraine sufferers experience as much social stigma as people with epilepsy—a disease that produces far more obvious and dramatic symptoms. Some of that stigma is external—for example, getting treated differently by friends or colleagues. Yet much of the stigma, the study found, is internal. Such subjective experiences of stigma can be as damaging to health as overt discrimination or the loss of social relationships. Egilius Spierings, associate clinical professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. The gold standard for migraine relief is a class of drugs called triptans, which include sumatriptan generic, Imitrex, others , rizatriptan generic, Maxalt , and zolmitriptan generic, Zomig.
Have you ever experienced a migraine headache? Depending on how often you experience symptoms, you may be having episodic migraines EM or chronic migraines CM. If you go weeks or months between migraine attacks, you may have EM. If you have migraine symptoms on 15 days or more per month, and within at least three months, you may have CM, advises the Mayo Clinic. Most people who experience migraine headaches never develop CM. To diagnose EM, your doctor will ask about your symptoms. Migraine headaches are often unilateral and described as a pulsing or throbbing sensation.
With chronic migraine affecting approximately 4 million people worldwide, it is essential for physicians, family members, and patients to better understand just how deep this impact runs. A recent study found five common themes in the lives of chronic migraine patients that we explore below. The first theme that emerged was shame. Individuals who live with an invisible illness face many obstacles on the path to treatment. Not only are these diseases challenging to diagnose—which is reinforced by countless studies that show migraine is mis- and under-diagnosed—but patients often must visit multiple doctors just to get a correct diagnosis.