Migraine is everywhere but often misdiagnosed and mismanaged

Just thought I’d share an anecdote.

I’m currently acting as the manager of my team and had cause to speak to one of the team members about his sick leave. I already knew he was a migraineur but also noted several absences due to ‘sinus problems’. I discussed it with him and suggested it could be one of his migraine symptoms and that he might want to see a neurologist before he get any kind of sinus operation done (as his GP was suggesting). He also gets coat hanger neck pain and brain fog. His GP has him taking pain killers (rebound anyone?).

Thanks to mvertigo and all the great scientific (yet easy to read) papers Scott posts I was able to print those out for him to read.

I recommended he see Halmgyi or Granot and he’s got an appointment with Dr Granot in a few weeks.

I mentioned all this to Dr Granot and he shook his head and got a little worked up that so many GPs know so little about migraine. As one we cried “It’s 10% of the population!”. He also told me that in a recent study, around 78% of people seen by ENTs for ‘sinus problems’ actually had a migraine problem.

Since getting my diagnosis a few years ago and getting more educated about migraine I’ve met several people who are migraineurs and either didn’t realise it or didn’t realise the extent of possible symptoms. My friends are getting better educated too. Sadly my own family still thinks ‘headache’ (despite me never complaining of a migraine related headache in my life - heavy sigh).

Anyway - thanks again to the collective wisdom of mvertigo - great job everyone! :smiley:

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Way to go as a manager in advocating for him! I’m sure he is very appreciative of your referral and knowledge on the subject!

I’ve ‘educated’ many as well–people are so surprised to hear migraine is so much more than a headache.

I’m interested in that ENT study…do you know where we can get a copy?

— Begin quote from “Anne”

Way to go as a manager in advocating for him! I’m sure he is very appreciative of your referral and knowledge on the subject!

I’ve ‘educated’ many as well–people are so surprised to hear migraine is so much more than a headache.

I’m interested in that ENT study…do you know where we can get a copy?

— End quote

Thanks Anne. I think I was meant to ‘crack down’ on him for taking so much sick leave but really, let’s try and help people if we can. And as luck would have it, I am in a position to do so.

Don’t know about the study I’m sorry, didn’t even think to ask. If any of Dr G’s other patients read this post perhaps they could ask on their next visit…? :slight_smile:

Might have been this study though the numbers are even higher:

— Begin quote from ____

In this study, 86% of patients with a self-diagnosis and/or physician diagnosis of “sinus headache” have migraine with or without aura (63%) or probable migraine (23%) as defined by the 2004 International Headache Society Classification Criteria. In this study, probable migraine appears to have been misdiagnosed due to a lack of typical pain features or associated symptoms, whereas distracting symptoms appear to account for the misdiagnosis of patients with migraine.

— End quote

I’ll add the paper to the mvertigo database later but here’s the full article here for now:

[size=130]The Sinus, Allergy and Migraine Study (SAMS)[/size]
Headache 2007
E Eross, D Dodick, M Eross

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1526-4610.2006.00688.x/pdf

Vic, how lucky for this guy that YOU are the manager!!

I thought for most of my life that I was having “sinus” headaches. And my Mom went to her grave thinking that she did too - but she started getting dizzy spells at the exact same age that I was (during perimenopause) when the first dizzy spell hit me.

I know someone where I used to work who got sinus surgery - and who is also a migraineur. Wonder if that surgery was even necessary? Wonder how many people get sinus surgery who don’t need it??? Yikes!!

It’s scary how many docs don’t know more than “one-sided throbbing headache” when it comes to migraine (my headaches are never one-sided, by the way!).

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Maryalice, I just noiced your tag–so for you topamax controlls the dizziness but not the pain? That is interesting, because I have noticed that the topamax has removed my dizziness but not the “numb head” feeling I sometimes get from the migraine. So it’s like the migraine is still there, it’s just different. However, I am pretty lucky–I rarely ever feel any pain with my migraines, so if I can control the dizziness & vertigo I’ve pretty much won the battle. In fact, until I started notriptyline 6 months ago, i had never had a headache in my life that I would have classified as a “migraine” type headache in terms of pain.

I can live with some general head numbness. It doesn’t seem to affect my alertness at all, my head just feels a little “off”.

I should add here that Adam spent years thinking his sinuses were the cause of his MAV. An ENT removed chunks of it from his nasal cavity in an operation (many ENTs love removing things). Of course it did nothing except cause Adam grief and more time chasing a dead end. Now that his migraine is controlled with Zoloft, no sinus problems. Imagine that!

S

Not to disparage a whole class of doctors, but I have had a series of terrible experiences with ENTs. It may be that because of my migraines I present with very odd symptoms . For example, my high frequency hearing is much better than average (which could be related to having migraines). I did find one really good one when was in LA but I had gone through a whole bunch of people before I found him.