7 misconceptions about migraine

7 misconceptions about migraine

Often underestimated or even misunderstood by those around patients, migraine is subject to many preconceived ideas. An update on these with Dr Gérald Kierzek, medical director of TipsForWomens.

In Europe, 10 million patients suffer from migraine, a chronic disease characterized by a unilateral, throbbing headache, sometimes preceded by an aura and occurring in attacks. The problem ? Despite its impact, major uncertainties remain about it. The list of the worst preconceived ideas circulating around migraine…

“It’s just a bad headache.”

Fake. Migraine cannot be compared to a simple headache.

It is a real chronic, multi-factorial disease, which can be accompanied by increased sensitivity to light and sounds (migraine auras). So it’s not “just a headache”recalls Dr Gérald Kierzek.

“Migraine is not a serious illness”

This is perhaps the most widespread misconception.

And yet, migraine attacks can be debilitating and prevent you from carrying out daily activities.“, assures the medical director of TipsForWomens.

“Migraine is a female problem”

Fake. Men are also affected.

Men are also affected by migraine, although there is a prevalence among women, due to different factors, hormonal (catamenial migraine) and genetic.“, specifies the medical director of TipsForWomens.

“Migraines are only triggered by food”

Fake. If certain foods can indeed trigger a migraine, many other factors (weather, light, fatigue, hormones, medications, intense stress, etc.) can be at the origin.

Certain foods can protect against a migraine or, conversely, trigger it. This is why I recommend keeping a migraine diary, noting the nature and frequency of attacks, but also what you did during the day and what you ate. As a reminder, coffee and chocolate are known headache triggers.“, assures the emergency doctor.

“Migraine goes away with a simple painkiller”


When the attacks are repeated, taking a painkiller is not enough. In this case it may be necessary to resort to taking anti-inflammatories. A specific treatment, “fundamental” but which also acts on seizures, must be considered with the help of a health professional or a neurologist.explains Dr. Gérald Kierzek.

“Migraines are always accompanied by auras”

Fake. This transient and reversible neurological disorder is not obligatory.

Not all migraines are preceded by auras, whether visual or auditory.“, says the medical director of TipsForWomens.

“Migraine attacks cannot be anticipated”

False, prevention strategies exist.

Certain factors, such as stress, can be prevented by modulating daily life, for example. We can also prevent these factors through basic treatments which, during disabling or recurring crises, allow them to be better managed.“, concludes the doctor.