Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | 20:01 WIB

A migraine is not an ordinary headache


Migraine Awareness Month

Jakarta, IO –  June is celebrated as “Migraine Awareness Month”. A migraine is a type of headache that causes severe throbbing pain, or a throbbing sensation, usually on one side of the head. Migraine attacks can last hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with daily routines. Migraine is in fact the primary type of headache suffered by the population and causes significant disability, as revealed in an online lay seminar with the theme “Migraine is not an Ordinary Headache” held on Thursday (13/6/2024). 

“According to Global Burden of Disease data, the number of migraine cases globally increased 40% from 62.2 million in 1990 to 87.6 million in 2019. India, China, the United States and Indonesia had the highest number of new cases, about 43.6 % incidence globally. The highest incidence rate was observed in the age group 30-39 years. In Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region, migraine is the second cause of disability in men and women. Indonesia ranks fourth in contributing to new cases of migraine in the world, namely 3.5 million, according to data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations (IHME) in 2019,” said dr. Tiersa Vera Junita, M.Epid, Head of the Brain Disorders Working Team of the Directorate for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (P2PTM) of the Ministry of Health. 

She added that migraines are difficult to treat due to four factors. “First, under-diagnosis. Patients who come with complaints of migraine are not diagnosed as suffering from migraine at the first visit. Second, under-treatment. Migraine management is not optimal so the patient’s headaches are not resolved properly. Third, low in treatment compliance. 70% of chronic migraine patients do not comply with treatment. Fourth, over-treatment. Excessive use of medication causes 80% o f medication overuse headaches (MOH). Hormonal changes, consumption of foods high in salt-sugar-fat, exposure to cigarette smoke, stress, and poor quality sleep can trigger migraines.” 

Dr. dr. Restu Susanti, Sp.N, SubspNN(K), M. Biomed
Dr. dr. Restu Susanti, Sp.N, SubspNN(K), M. Biomed (Source: Priv. Doc.)

High Risk of Recurrence 

On the same occasion, a member of the Head Pain Working Group of the Indonesian Neurological Association (Perdosni), Dr. dr. Restu Susanti, Sp.N, SubspNN(K), M.Biomed, said that the causes of migraines are not yet completely clear. “The prevalence in women is 18.9%, while in men it is 9.8%. The risk is higher in women because the hormone estrogen plays an important role in stimulating the nerves which can trigger migraines. The incidence of migraine attacks in women increases rapidly during puberty, then peaks during the reproductive years, and decreases after menopause.” 

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According to the lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Andalas (Unand), Padang, West Sumatra, migraine attacks can last 4-72 hours with moderate to severe intensity. “It’s got worse when patients doing physical activity. This condition can be accompanied by symptoms of nausea and vomiting and is more sensitive to sound or bright light. In addition, the risk of migraine increases in overweight and obese patients. Migrant sufferers with normal weight have a 3% chance of becoming chronic in 1 year, while patients with overweight are 3 times higher and obese are 5 times higher,” she explained. 

Dr. Restu warned that in women, the duration of migraine headache attacks tends to be longer with a higher risk of recurrence. “The risk of disability in women is also greater with a longer recovery time. Therefore, prevent migraines by avoiding trigger factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle, namely exercising regularly, following a healthy diet, getting enough and regular sleep, managing stress, limiting caffeine consumption, and avoiding alcohol and exposure to cigarette smoke.” (est)


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