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In Good Health: What migraines mean for the women who suffer them

Picture taken in Paris of commonly used painkillers medecines based on Ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.
Picture taken in Paris of commonly used painkillers medecines based on Ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.

Most of us have probably had a headache before. It can feel like a band squeezing around your head. Or like a throbbing sensation in your temple.Sometimes the headache leaves without fanfare, or after a couple of painkillers, and we go on about our day.

But for migraine sufferers, the experience is often more severe.

A migraine is the third most common illness in the world, affecting over 1 billion people. That’s according to the American Migraine Foundation.

Women are especially susceptible to migraine attacks. Threetimes as many women experience migraine compared to men. It’s also the leading cause of disability among women aged 18 to 45. That’s according to astudy from the Journal of Headache and Pain.

Why do migraines affect women more? And what has this meant for how the condition is understood and treated by the medical community and beyond?

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