Why Do Women Get More Migraines than Men?

National Migraine Institute Posted on August 27, 2018 by Staff Researchers have found a potential mechanism for migraine that may explain why women get more migraines than men. The study, in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, suggests that sex hormones affect cells around the trigeminal nerve and connected blood vessels in the head.  They found that estrogens, which are at their highest levels in women of reproductive age, are particularly important for sensitizing these cells to migraine triggers. “We can observe significant differences in our experimental migraine model between males and females and are trying to understand the molecular correlates responsible for these differences,” explains Professor Antonio Ferrer-Montiel from the Universitas Miguel Hernández, Spain. “Although this is a complex process, we believe that modulation of the trigeminovascular system by sex hormones plays an important role that has not been properly addressed.” Ferrer-Montiel and his team reviewed decades of literature on sex hormones, migraine sensitivity and cells’ responses to migraine triggers to identify the role of specific hormones. Some (like testosterone) seem to protect against migraines, while others (like prolactin) appear to make migraines worse. They do this by making the cells’ ion channels, which control the cells’ reactions to outside stimuli, more or less vulnerable to migraine triggers. Some hormones need much more research to determine their role. Estrogen, however, stands out as a key candidate for understanding migraine occurrence. It was first identified as a factor by the greater prevalence of migraine in menstruating […]

Read More →

Pain Warriors

As Ambassador for U.S. Pain Foundation I want to share the latest news on a meeting offered by U.S. Pain Foundation and Coilition for Headache and Migranes Patients. Melinda Sandor Ambassador-Texas U.S. Pain Foundation. Dear pain warriors, Those with chronic pain, including migraine and headache disorders, can have an especially tough time finding a doctor they click with. Have you ever wanted to find a way to better communicate with your doctor, get the most out of your visits, and maximize your treatment plan?If yes, please join us this Thursday, June 13, at 7 pm ESTfor an intimate conversation between neurologist and headache specialist Abby Chua, DO, and patient advocate Katie Golden. Dr. Chua and Katie will discuss what patients and doctors can learn from one another, and offer tips for interacting.Dr. Chua is a headache specialist at Hartford HealthCare Headache Center in Connecticut. She also is program director of their Headache and Facial Pain Fellowship Program, one of the few such programs in the country. Dr. Chua brings a special level of compassion to her practice as a person living with vestibular migraine, and advocates tirelessly on behalf of patients. Katie lives with chronic migraine disease, and has emerged as a leading voice for the patient community. She is the Migraine Advocacy Liaison for U.S. Pain Foundation and a member of the steering committee for CHAMP. She was the recipient of the Impact Award 2017 for the Association of Migraine Disorders and writes […]

Read More →

INVISIBLE PROJECT: MIGRAINE THIRD EDITION NOW AVAILABLE

As an Ambassador for the U.S. Pain Foundation I invite you to read the latest issue of Invisible Project. Melinda Sandor Ambassador-Texas U.S. Pain Foundation June 3, 2019/ U.S. Pain Foundation/ 0 Comments In time for Migraine & Headache Awareness Month, U.S. Pain Foundation has released its third edition of the INvisible Project focusing on headache and migraine diseases. The publication depicts the reality of life with pain, and why people living with headaches diseases need and deserve more help, treatment options, and research. It also serves as an inspiration to those living with the disease, offering hope and resources. The magazine features profiles of 10 inspiring individuals, including: Danielle Byron Henry: On March 24, 1999, at age 17, Danielle took her own life due to migraine disease; a life lost to unbearable pain from a serious neurological condition. In 2019, her family observed the 20th anniversary of her passing. The family honors Danielle’s life and legacy through the Danielle Byron Henry Migraine Foundation, which was formed in 2016. The foundation provides support and care for all those with migraine disease. Tom Sayen: Since the age of 17, Tom has lived with blinding headache pain. It took 48 years, and endless nights of unbearable pain, for him to find the correct diagnosis of cluster headaches.  He has become an advocate, ensuring that all individuals living with cluster headache are provided with the necessary education and treatment. Melissa Carlson Kelly: Melissa serves as […]

Read More →

Anesthesia for Chronic Pain?

  Ketamine is an anesthesia used since the 1960s and has since been proven to work for Chronic Pain and Mental Illness. My pain levels have been through the roof and walking the last 15 days has been difficult. I made the decision to try something radically different. I had my first Ketamine treatment was yesterday. I  read about the LSD […]

Read More →

Fibromyalgia Thoughts #2

The pain has moved to my lower body, it attacks every joint and muscle I have. For the past 10 days, my leg has caused a big problem, it’s hard to walk. Any pressure on my leg makes me scream out in pain. I can’t stand up by myself unless there are objects strong enough to pull me up. My husband isn’t a little guy and it takes two or three tries because I start to cry out. I have no idea what is happening, this level of pain is new for me. It’s not so much the level but the time in constant pain. I’ve been going to bed between 4:30-6:30 p.m. every night thinking resting is the only answer. So far that seems to be the case. I can now move my knee closer to a normal sitting position. Try getting on and off the toilet, it’s been a painful 10 days. I’ve forced myself to bed in order to get better. I’m not looking for total pain relief, that’s not my goal. Right now I want to be able to get out of a chair by myself. The rest of my body feels the normal everyday dull pain, my shoulder still screams out at night. Pain meds, topical patches and ointments the doctor gave me on Friday have provided no relief. I’m laying in bed with one leg balancing the computer, trying not to walk any more than […]

Read More →

PAIN COMMUNITY UNITES TO RESPOND TO FEDERAL DRAFT REPORT

May 1, 2019/ U.S. Pain Foundation The 90-day public comment period for the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force’s (PMTF) draft report came to a close April 1, with more than 6,000 individuals and organizations submitting feedback. Among those to comment was the Consumer Pain Advocacy Task Force (CPATF), a coalition of pain patient-related nonprofits, including U.S. Pain Foundation, which submitted a 25-page joint letter. In addition to U.S. Pain Foundation, the CPATF letter was signed by the Center for Practical Bioethics; CHAMP (Coalition For Headache And Migraine Patients); Chronic Pain Research Alliance; For Grace: Women In Pain; Global Healthy Living Foundation; Headache and Migraine Policy Forum; International Pain Foundation; Interstitial Cystitis Association; RSDSA (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association); and The Pain Community. “We are very grateful that so many patient organizations joined together to respond to this report with one, unified voice,” says Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain Foundation’s National Director of Policy and Advocacy and the only patient advocacy representative on the PMTF. “While the draft report holds a lot of promise, from the patient perspective, we had a number of important suggestions for ways to improve or expand on its recommendations.” Of note, the CPATF letter commends the draft report’s emphasis on individualized care and encouraged further emphasis of that point. CPATF also urges PMTF to go further and recommend that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) formally revise and reissue their 2016 guidelines on opioid prescribing […]

Read More →

CLEARING UP 12 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT MEDICAL CANNABIS FOR PAIN

April 18, 2019/ U.S. Pain Foundation   Ellen Lenox Smith is Co-Director of Medical Cannabis for U.S. Pain and a U.S. Pain Board Member. She lives with two rare conditions: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and sarcoidosis. After years of struggling to find pain relief without side effects or adverse reactions, she discovered medical cannabis. A retired school teacher, Ellen is now a renowned patient advocate and works tirelessly to encourage safe, fair access to all treatment options, particularly medical cannabis. She has spoken at numerous conferences on cannabis access and been featured widely in the media on the topic. She is also the author of two books: It Hurts Like Hell!: I Live With Pain—And Have A Good Life Anyway and My Life as a Service Dog. Below, she clears up common myths surrounding medical cannabis for pain. MYTH #1: ALL  PEOPLE WHO USE CANNABIS MUST BE “STONED” OR “HIGH.” Truth: this only happens if you use too much medication. People living with pain get pain relief; people using it socially and not in pain, get high! In addition, medical cannabis is made of two components: THC, which causes the mental effects associated with feeling high, and CBD, which produces bodily effects. Various strains of cannabis have different ratios of THC and CBD, which means that not all strains create as much of a “high” feeling. MYTH #2: EVERYONE WHO USES THE SAME STRAIN EXPERIENCES THE SAME RESULT TO USING IT. Truth: Each body can have […]

Read More →

PAIN CONNECTION ADDS FOUR SUPPORT GROUPS AND NEW MONTHLY CALL

May 1, 2019/ U.S. Pain Foundation   Finding community support is essential to living with chronic pain. With that in mind, Pain Connection, a program of U.S. Pain Foundation, continues to expand its in-person and conference call support group offerings nationwide. Along with three existing monthly “Pain Connection Live” support group calls, there will now be a morning call on the third Thursday of each month from 10-11 am EST. The first call will be May 16. Existing calls are held on one evening, one afternoon, and one Saturday each month. To learn more or register for a Pain Connection Live call, click here. In addition, four new in-person support groups have been added in CA, AL, and NJ. All support groups are led by a person with pain who has received intensive training from Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, Clinical Director of Pain Connection. Costa Mesa, CA  Date: Second Tuesday of each month. The next meeting is May 14. Time: 11 am – 1 pm Location: Panera Bread at 3030 Harbor Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA. (Meet against the back wall.) Contact: Kristie McCurdy, MSN, RN, at CRPSsurvivorsOC@gmail.com San Francisco, CA Date: Second and fourth Friday of each month. The next meetings are May 10 and May 24. Time: 12 – 1 pm Location: 1701 Divisedero Street, 5th floor conference room, San Francisco, CA. (Elevator available.) Contact: Cessa Marshal at cessamarshall@yahoo.com or 415-637-1812. Pell City, ALDate: The first meeting will be May 2. Time: 6-7:30 pm. Location: The Brook Besor Coffee Shop, 4204 Martin St. S., Cropwell, AL […]

Read More →