Reprinted with the kind permission of Cort Johnson and Health Rising.
Migraines are common, greatly under-diagnosed and can be devastating. Studies suggest that over 50% of fibromyalgia patients may suffer from migraines and many may not know they have them. One ME/CFS researcher even thinks the underlying brain abnormalities in ME/CFS, FM and migraine are similar – and uses migraine drugs to treat some of his patients.
The online Worldwide Migraine Summit occurring later this month is different from most online summits: top-heavy with neurologists and directors from major medical centers, it has an academic cachet we’ve rarely seen in these venues.
Online Health Summits have become something of a big deal over the past couple of years. They provide patients free access (if they watch them each day) to ideas and therapies they might not have. They've also become somewhat predictable in their lineups of alternative health MDs and practitioners.
The "Worldwide Migraine Summit" from April 23rd-29th is different. It's got some alternative health practitioners, but it's also packed with doctors from prestigious institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, UCLA and the Harvard Medical School. Eleven neurologists and four directors of University Departments are speaking.
With support from major non-profit groups such as The American Migraine Foundation, the National Headache Foundation and The Migraine Trust, this Summit is different indeed.
The lead talk on the "Top Ten Myths of Migraine" by a Professor of Neurology will almost explode the myth that migraine is rare. The 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study found that migraine was the sixth highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability (YLD). Over 36 million Americans are affected. About 15% of women and 6% of men are believed to suffer from migraine, and that number goes up considerably for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Migraine Connection
A large Spanish study found that over 50% of fibromyalgia (FM) patients met the criteria for migraine – and many of them likely had no idea that they had this affliction. (More FM patients met the criteria for migraine than for chronic fatigue syndrome.) The penalty for having fibromyalgia and migraine was a harsh one as well which included significantly increased risks of also having chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and depression as well as hypertension (p<.004), asthma (p<.01), irritable bowel syndrome (p<.02), and PTSD (p<.005).
Dr. Baraniuk, a chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), Gulf War Illness and FM researcher believes similar brain issues may underlie all these diseases. Baraniuk has even used migraine medications successfully in ME/CFS patients who don't have migraines.
Other doctors have found treatments used for migraine helpful in ME/CFS/FM as well. Dr. Katherine Downing-Orr and Dr. Goldstein before her, uses nimodipine, a calcium channel blocker often used for migraine relief, in her treatment protocol for ME/CFS. Dr. Teitelbaum uses magnesium, a popular supplement in FM and ME/CFS, to help his patients with migraines.
Many people with FM or ME/CFS may experience migraines without realizing it, which brings us back to the week-long Migraine Summit. It features several talks on diagnosis: "Recognizing and Treating Four Types of Migraines," "Rare Migraine Types: Vestibular, Hemiplegic, and Complications," and "How to Make Sure that You Have Migraine,"
Many more talks on a wide variety of treatment options are being given including "Best and Worst Supplements," "Calming the Hypersensitive Brain," "Avoiding the ER," "New Migraine Therapies Under Development," "Neuromodulation Devices That Can Ease Pain," "Best Acute Treatments You May Not Have Tried," "How Sleep can Relieve and Trigger Migraines," "Migraine Treatments for Kids," and others.
Unlike many experts on Online Health Summits, many of the presenters are academics, presumably with nothing to sell.
Registering for the Worldwide Migraine Summit will give you access to the complete talks from each day or you can buy the entire Summit and download all the talks and listen to them at your leisure.
Register and/or buy the 7-day Summit here. (Health Rising will receive a portion of sales of the entire Summit.)
About the Author: ProHealth is pleased to share information from Cort Johnson. Cort has had myalgic encephalomyelitis /chronic fatigue syndrome for over 30 years. The founder of Phoenix Rising and Health Rising, he has contributed hundreds of blogs on chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and their allied disorders over the past 10 years. Find more of Cort's and other bloggers' work at Health Rising.