Girl Has Suffered With 14-Year-Long Migraine
Migraines are pretty grim, aren't they? Well, imagine having one for the best part of 14 years.
One London woman revealed that she has suffered from one since she was only 13 years old - and is now calling for more research to be done into the chronic condition.
Lauren Murray, a 26-year-old dog groomer, suffers with constant head pain every day, with a few days of the month where she says the pain is unbearable.
Although she manages to go to work most of the time, she says she missed lots of social occasions growing up. She could barely visit one of her friends because a telegraph pole outside her house triggered the pains.
Lauren, who had to give up a career as a professional swimmer, she says she has worked out a few things that trigger the pain to get worse. These include alcohol, caffeine, high sugar foods, garlic and onions, while other coping strategies include listening to classical music, turning lights off and avoiding harsh lights and strong smells.
Around one in every seven Brits is affected by migraines, which means they affect around nine million people in the country, making it one of the most common neurological conditions.
It is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined.
However, only two percent of sufferers endure the chronic form on 15 or more days a month, and even fewer have it permanently.
Lauren, from Surrey, explained: "My mum had always suffered with migraine and before I was born, my dad had one that lasted for six months.
"I guess I'm unlucky in that I clearly have it on both sides of my family.
"Sometimes I feel sorry for myself and think, 'Why me?' - but why does anyone suffer from anything? It's just one of those things.
"You have to adapt your life."
When her headache started, she was still at school and had to take several weeks off.
However, it stuck around and didn't seem to shift, so her mum took her to the family GP. Following this, she visited neurologists and had CAT scans on her brain - but they all came back clear.
Lauren also had an occipital nerve block - a painful injection into the nerves which supply the scalp - before her GCSEs to help her cope, but doctors were still unable to work out what the cause of her illness was, simply diagnosing her with 'continual chronic migraine'.
No medications seem to have helped her, with some even making them worse.
She says GPs should be more alert to her form of the condition.
She said: "It took four years to diagnose and no-one really knew what it was.
"It feels just like a normal migraine, but the intensity of the headache changes. People ask how I cope but it's very much one of those things.
"You either let it take over your life or you choose to stand above it and keep trying to fight through it."
Wise words, gal.
Una Farrell, of the Migraine Trust, advised that anyone suffering from a migraine who cannot get any relief should refer to their GP, adding: "Chronic migraine is a complex neurological condition and it must be having a huge impact on [Lauren's] life.
"It is very rare, but it can be treated."
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