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The Different Types of Migraines You May Experience

The Different Types of Migraines You May Experience

A migraine is more than just a headache. It is a serious neurological condition that can cause severe, debilitating pain that lasts for hours or even days. Migraines are among the leading causes of disabling around the globe, with up to 90 percent of people who experience migraines unable to function during an attack.

There are different types of migraines that people experience, and understanding the differences can help you find the right treatment and get the relief you deserve. 

Migraine with Aura 

A migraine with aura is also known as a classic migraine. About 1 in 3 people with migraines also experience aura symptoms before their migraine attack. Auras are warning signs that a migraine is about to start and usually last between 20-60 minutes. Aura symptoms typically occur before the headache attack but can sometimes happen during the migraine or even after the pain has subsided.

Most people associate an aura with vision problems, but it can also cause other neurological symptoms such as tingling in your hands or arms, difficulty speaking, or a temporary numbness on one side of the head. 

Migraine without Aura

Migraine without aura, also known as the common migraine, is much more common than migraine with aura, affecting up to 75 percent of people with migraines. The pain from this type of migraine is just as severe as a migraine with aura but without the aura symptoms. Since common migraines happen without warning signs, they can be even more challenging to manage. 

There are many triggers for migraines without aura, such as stress, hormonal changes, certain foods and drinks, strong smells, medications, weather changes, and too much or too little sleep. If you experience migraines without aura, it is important to drink lots of fluids, take pain relievers, and lie down in a dark room until the pain subsides.

Silent Migraine

A silent migraine, also known as an acephalgic migraine, is a type of migraine without pain. Silent migraines still cause all the other symptoms of a migraine, such as aura, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound but don’t cause the headache.

Menstrual Migraine

Menstrual migraines are a type of migraine that only women experience and are directly related to their menstrual cycle. Menstrual migraines usually happen around the time of a woman’s menstrual period and go away once her period is over.

Status Migrainosus

Migraines often fall under two categories; chronic and episodic. Episodic migraines are the more common type and are Migraines that happen less than 15 days per month. Chronic migraines, on the other hand, are migraines that occur more than 15 days per month. Status migrainosus is a rare but more debilitating type of migraine that lasts more than 72 hours. This type of migraine is considered a medical emergency and often requires hospitalization.

Other rare forms of migraines are vestibular migraines, abdominal migraines, hemiplegic migraines, ophthalmic migraines, migraines with brainstem aura, and ophthalmoplegic migraines.

The Bottom Line

If you think you might be suffering from migraines, it’s crucial to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Although there is no cure for migraines, understanding your particular type can help you better manage your symptoms and minimize their impact on your life.

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James T. Leathem, DO

Dr. James Leathem is a board-certified anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He was born and raised in Connecticut and graduated from Florida Southern College with a bachelor of science in marketing management with minors in sociology and communications. He obtained his medical degree from Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in anesthesiology at Michigan State University and its affiliated McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital.

In 2015, after residency, Dr. Leathem returned to Arizona to practice anesthesiology. He joined Red Mountain Anesthesiologists and worked primarily at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, performing 100% of his own cases. He was made partner in the group after demonstrating 3 years of anesthesia excellence and administering over 4,000 anesthetics. In 2019, a corporate change occurred and an opportunity presented itself in which he was able to transition out of the hospital to surgery center and clinic-based anesthesia.

Dr. Leathem realizes that the only constant in life is change. In 2020, amidst the global pandemic, his career took a different direction. This change led him to collaborate with Dr. Wong and Dr. Sharma and they founded Advanced Wellness and Pain (AWAP). Their mission is to provide a variety of state-of-the-art procedural services that improve patients’ quality of life and overall physical and mental well-being.

Dr. Leathem believes that we are all a work in progress and that each day, one should strive to make positive changes in their life. He is here to help empower each patient on their journey to be their best self and live their best life. When you are being cared for by Dr. Leathem, you can be assured that he will give you his undivided attention and time.

Gregory Wong, MD

Dr. Wong is a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of both the American Society of Anesthesiology and the Arizona Society of Anesthesiology. He did his undergraduate training at the University of California at Davis, Davis, California; doctorate training at The University of Health Sciences of the Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL; and his post-doctoral training at the Integrated Program at the University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ. He has spent his whole 24-year career practicing in Arizona.

Dr. Wong grew up in the Bay Area of California. He is married and is raising three daughters. At the early age of 12 years old, he knew he wanted to become a physician. His love of the human spirit, intrigue of human physiology, and compassion for human suffering led him to the path of anesthesiology and pain medicine.

Today, Dr. Wong realizes patients need a holistic biophysical-mental-spiritual care. This philosophy has brought him to the studies of regenerative medicine and infusion therapies. He has firsthandily witnessed the overwhelming success of these therapies for treating chronic pain and depression and the return of patients of “life-functionality.”

“There has never been a time more important than now to advocate for our patients in these difficult times. We owe it to our patients to offer these state-of-the-art treatment modalities that weren’t available before.”

Deepak Sharma, MD, MBA

Dr. Sharma is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He completed three degrees at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA: a Bachelor in Finance, a Master in Business Administration, and a Doctor of Medicine. He went on to complete residency at the Mount Sinai Morningside-West Hospital System in New York, NY and post-graduate fellowship at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA.

Dr. Sharma is committed to treating his patients as a whole with a comprehensive biophysical-mental-spiritual approach. He is a lifelong learner and is constantly researching cutting-edge therapies backed by scientific studies. He has taken a particular interest in regenerative and infusion therapies after witnessing firsthand their significant benefits on those suffering from chronic pain and depression. In his free time, Dr. Sharma enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking, traveling, reading, and meditation.

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