What others are saying

Read personal stories about the impact of migraine, and join us on Facebook to share your experiences and connect with fellow migraineurs.

Read personal stories about the impact of migraine, and join us on Facebook to share your experiences and connect with fellow migraineurs.

We know that you or a loved one may experience many challenges as part of living with migraine. You’re not alone. See some of the most common migraine difficulties people just like you are having, along with some of Dr. Susan Hutchinson’s personal experiences.

  Jan G.
“It’s almost surreal in that migraine takes me away from life while in its grip, often unable to function or focus on anything else. Focusing intensely on trying not to throw up. My migraines require total stillness. Any slight motion makes the severe pounding and throbbing even more overwhelming and unbearable, which causes the nausea to severely worsen, and if I’m not absolutely frozen still, it will cause me to throw up.”
  Nicole B.
“The challenges they create involve the decisions I make on a daily basis. Do I cancel my plans knowing I will upset friends or family? Do I have one glass of wine because I really want it knowing it will probably give me a migraine? Do I go on a date during the week with the possibility I will get a migraine going to bed later than normal? I feel like a kid sometimes who doesn’t get to have fun because every decision I make is based on how this will affect my head.”
  Pattie H.
“I know it is hard on my family when I have a migraine, especially as the kids don’t understand that when the headaches start occurring, my head pounds so much that even when they talk, it hurts.”
  Susan G.
“Once I have a migraine, I can easily get another the next day unless I am very careful with my diet and exposure to light or essentially anything that triggers me, so I am very conscious of my actions.”
  Patrice P.
“Migraines have had a HUGE impact on my life. They are extremely painful and can be very debilitating at times. It is difficult to describe the extreme pain that I commonly experience. Sometimes the pain is so severe, it feels as if someone is beating my head with a baseball bat. Although I have a high tolerance for pain, sometimes the pain is SO unbearable. Over a month ago after work, I was unable to drive home because I had a severe migraine attack with nausea. My parents had to meet me and drive me back home. I could not manage to drive, and I could not tolerate the slightest noise. The pain was excruciating, and I felt helpless.”
  Dill B.
“It’s usually nausea with a sharp pain in my head. I have to get away, or there will be a migraine. When is my next appointment? Living with migraines means living with doctors, discriminations and bills. People don’t always believe you. It took a long time for me to be diagnosed. Even now, I have to explain that my migraines are chronic. They happen all the time.”

My experience with migraine

- Dr. Susan Hutchinson

Headache specialist Dr. Susan Hutchinson

As both a headache specialist and a migraine sufferer, I understand the complex nature of migraine. I hear from patients every day about how migraines can impact their daily life. Unfortunately, many people endure the pain of migraine and its numerous characteristics, such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and/or sound, for years before they find the treatment that is right for them. Migraine is more than just a headache, and each migraine can be different from the next.

I wanted to be part of the More To Migraine campaign to help increase awareness of the many characteristics of migraine. My migraine can include nausea and sensitivity to light. Stress and lack of sleep are common triggers. It was important for me to create a wellness plan that took into account both my migraine and my personal interests. For example, I schedule “just for me” time every week to do something important to me, like take a swim class, for example. Balancing all of life’s responsibilities can be draining and aggravate migraine, so I also make sure to ask my patients to think about how they can say “yes” more to activities that make them happy.

My own experience with migraine is what inspired me to dedicate my professional life to helping migraine sufferers. I hope that More To Migraine can provide the tools and encouragement you need to find relief from your migraine.

I encourage you to explore MoreToMigraine.com and the resources it has to offer and to discuss all of your experiences with migraine with your healthcare provider.

Sign up for my migraine tips

Susan Hutchinson, MD, serves as a paid consultant for Teva Pharmaceuticals.

About Dr. Susan Hutchinson

Dr. Susan Hutchinson is a headache specialist and board-certified family practice physician. She founded Orange County Migraine & Headache Center, a practice dedicated to addressing the treatment needs of those suffering from headache disorders. Dr. Hutchinson, herself, suffers from migraine, which gives her unique insight into identifying treatment solutions for patients.

In addition to lecturing nationally on the subject of headache, Dr. Hutchinson has written dozens of articles for medical journals and participated in multiple headache research projects. She is active in the American Headache Society and the National Headache Foundation and immediate post-chair of the Women’s Issues Committee of the American Headache Society after serving as the chair for five years. In 2010, she became the president of The Orange County Chapter of the California Academy of Family Physicians.

Dr. Hutchinson has also written two books on the subject of female migraine, The Woman’s Guide to Managing Migraine: Understanding the Hormone Connection to find Hope and Wellness and Menstrual Migraine (coauthored with B. Lee Peterlin). She received her bachelor’s degree from Miami of Ohio and doctor of medicine from Medical College of Ohio. She completed her internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine, where she trained in the department of Family Medicine.

Susan Hutchinson, MD, serves as a paid consultant for Teva Pharmaceuticals.

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About Migraine

Migraine and nausea

Migraine is more than just a headache. It is an unpredictable neurological condition with symptoms that can be debilitating.

Migraine is characterized by its recurrent attacks, lasting between four and 72 hours, of moderate to severe headache pain that can be throbbing or pulsing and often strike one side of the head. These headaches may be accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound as well as nausea and vomiting.

Women are three times more likely to have them than men. In fact, migraine most often begins affecting sufferers around puberty and most affects those aged between 35 and 45 years. While most migraineurs experience migraine attacks only once or twice a month, over four million people in the U.S. live with chronic migraine, suffering at least 15 migraine days per month.

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Migraine Fast Facts

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Common Triggers

In the world of migraine, everyone’s different. What triggers migraine for one person won’t necessarily trigger it for the next. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your triggers so you can learn the best ways to avoid them and better anticipate when a migraine may hit. Some of the most common triggers include:

Stress triggering migraines

Stress

Consider relaxation and breathing excercises to reduce stress.

Fatigue migraine trigger

Fatigue

Aim for 7-8 hours of
sleep every night.

Hormonal changes in women triggering migraines

Hormonal changes (in women)

For women with migraines, an estimated 60% of migraines are menstrual-related.

Strong smells triggering migraines

Strong smells

Create a migraine diary to track the smells that trigger your migraine so you can learn to avoid them.

Alcohol migraine trigger

Food or alcohol

Red wine, chocolate and aged cheeses are known food triggers.

Common migraine triggers
Eating habits triggering migraines

Fasting

Don't skip meals. Eat at approximately the same time each day. Meals should be balanced with an adequate amount of protein to help slow down absorption of carbohydrates and help keep blood sugar levels even.

Bright lights triggering migraines

Bright lights or glares

Consider wearing a hat and sunglasses when going outdoors.

Weather change migraine trigger

Weather changes

Changes in barometric pressure and humidity are two environmental triggers.

Loud noise triggering migraines

Loud noises

Loud and abrupt noises have been known to trigger migraine in some people.

Sleep disturbance triggering migraines

Sleep disturbances

Make a sleep routine - go to bed and wake up at consistent times every day.

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It's Not All in Your Head

Migraine experiences may differ from person to person, but a majority of people tend to experience nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light/sound along with their headache. Make your doctor aware of these and any other components of your migraine. Keeping track of your experiences can help you and your doctor find a treatment option.

In a national survey (American Migraine Study II), people with migraine reported the following symptoms:

Migraine symptoms include throbbing pain and sensitivity to lightMigraine symptoms include sensitivity to sound and nausea
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Lifestyle Tips from Migraine Expert Susan Hutchinson, M.D.

There are many ways you can help manage migraine. Here are several options you may want to incorporate along with your prescription medication(s) as part of your overall migraine management plan.

Migraine diet
You and Your Diet

Never skip meals and try to eat at approximately the same times every day. Focus on making your meals as balanced as possible—incorporating plenty of protein at each meal to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates.

Migraine and exercise
The Importance of Exercise

Regular exercise should be part of everyone’s lifestyle, but especially female migraine sufferers. Exercise has been found to decrease the frequency of migraine in clinical studies, along with reducing stress and helping with sleep.

Migraine and sleep
Proper Sleep Habits

Try to go to bed and wake up at consistent times each morning and night to get 7-8 hours of sleep, even on the weekends. Maintaining a regular sleep pattern can help reduce the frequency of your migraines.

Susan Hutchinson, MD, serves as a paid consultant for Teva Pharmaceuticals.
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Teva Pharmaceuticals and Migraine

More To Migraine is designed to raise awareness about migraine, and how it's more than just a headache, to help migraineurs talk with their healthcare providers about their individual migraine experience.

Migraine is a challenging, complex and debilitating condition, and Teva Pharmaceuticals is committed to supporting people living with migraine through resources like More To Migraine.

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