Supporting Migraine Awareness

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Headaches are a common occurrence for many people but did you know that migraines are the most common and disabling neurological disorder in the UK? More than eight million people in the UK alone suffer — more than those with diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined.

There is no known cause for this neurological disorder but those who suffer can do so for up to 72 hours and see severe disruption to their lives. Anything up 190,000 migraine attacks can happen every day in the UK. Aside from the pain they cause, many can find it frightening due to the side effects. They appear to be more evident in women than men and triggers can include:

  • Stress
  • Lack of food
  • Dehydration
  • Alcohol
  • Hormonal changes
  • Lack of sleep

Absenteeism from migraines in the UK costs around £2.25billion every year and they have been classified by the World Health Organisation as a major health disorder. A sufferer can expect to experience, on average, 13 attacks a year.


Having a migraine means more than just having a headache. There is an intense sensitivity to light and noise, difficulty in concentrating and some people can even experience a tingling or weakness/numbness in their limbs. Other common symptoms include:

  • Visual disturbances such as flashing lights and blind spots
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If you find you have these symptoms, the best way to establish if you have a migraine is whether it affects your daily routine. Those with migraines find they are unable to continue with normal activities.

Managing Migraines

It is the pain and after effects of a migraine that are commonly picked up on, although it is tough dealing with the pain, after suffering a migraine many can still feel as if they have a bad case of flu with minor headaches, fatigue and impaired thinking. Many people will not consult a doctor if they suffer regularly with migraines as they believe that nothing can be done for them. In fact, there are now many treatments that can be provided and they are all individual to the person. What works for one might not work for another.

Migraines start without any warning but there are symptoms that occur to indicate an attack is approaching. These can include:

  • Particular cravings
  • Hyperactivity
  • A change in mood
  • Tiredness

These are known as the ‘prodrome’.

Making a few small changes in your diet and lifestyle can help enormously when controlling a migraine’s severity and frequency.

Why not use the mywellness section of a Health Shield Health Cash Plan to help you with the following:

  • A healthy well-balanced diet with diet advice
  • Regular exercise with discounted gym membership and personal coaching
  • Health assessments to guide you in looking after your health and wellbeing

It would also be worth:

  • Ensuring you drink 2 litres of water a day
  • Limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • Maintaining a regular sleep pattern
  • Ensuring you take regular breaks from screens