Millions of working days are lost each year through migraines and it has been estimated that just about all of the population have had attacks from time to time. Persistent sufferers are said to have included Lewis Carroll, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, Joan of Arc, Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Jefferson.
The symptoms vary a great deal from patient to patient but usually, in addition to a searing headache, many patients vomit. Before this headache there may also be a warning 'aura'. It is also common for some sufferers to see flashing lights and visual disturbances.
Migraines usually begin in the sufferer's teens and may persist throughout the unfortunate victim's life. But the precise cause of migraine, is something of a mystery. Attacks are triggered off by many different things. Sometimes a specific factor can be the cause, such as chocolate, cheese, oranges, lemons, shellfish, alcohol, tobacco, bananas or fried foods.
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.