The majority of people with Headache and Migraine are not diagnosed.
I can believe this. When I first got my migraine with aura it was in fact diagnosed right away. Due to the very prominent and typical aura. However I had been getting horrific headaches during my period for years that I had never mentioned to a doctor because I was prone to headaches, thought they were just PMS related and quite frankly since I have fibromyalgia rather thought it had a lot to do with that. One should never assume anything when it comes to your health, but with FM it is easy to do and you just let symptoms slide especially when they are pain related. Even when i was diagnosed with migraine it took years to get diagnosed with menstrual migraines because I still didn’t mention them… because they didn’t present the same way my typical migraines did. When I realized through research that they did present typically for that type of migraine Then I mentioned it.
Then there are other migraines such as silent migraines that are very hard to diagnose. When I was around 12 not only did I start to get the menstrual related migraines but I also began to get auras during other times, without pain. These visual auras were peculiar but not typical in the sense I would have thought they were a migraine aura had I the resources to look it up, which back then there really wasn’t. It is a corona aura which gives people and objects a ‘glow’ about, looks like it is emitting from the object itself but is actually dependent on background lighting. I could never puzzle out what it was since my eyes were near perfect, with just a very slight near-nearsightedness in one eye. And this created a basically aura around people, white, translucent with a flame at their heads. In my youth I thought I was seeing an actual mystical aura. Which the corona aura is often mistaken for, because that is what it looks like. I still get it to this day and it is one of the more captivating auras, I must say. It quite draws the attention. Especially when it is colorful. Nevertheless, hard for that to be diagnosed. Given I have chronic illness, like the diagnosed FM at a younger age, I wouldn’t have been able to even account for any other symptoms… I often felt fatigued and out of sorts.
There was a study done on people with FM that found around 50% of them had migraines and most of them were not diagnosed. So not only are the conditions highly comorbid but often the diagnosis is missed, because headaches are very common with FM. And pain is something we deal with all the time.
I also feel migraine with aura is more diagnosed that migraine without aura. Without the aura features it would be harder to sort out. Migraines are often, for example, misdiagnosed as sinus headaches. Maybe due to the fact stuffed noses are a symptom of a migraine at times? Not sure. My mother for example has a headache, that is severe, that lasts for a week. And when she describes it to me it sounds quite like a migraine. She never has gone to check it out. She just deals with it by getting aspirin with codeine from the pharmacy to knock it out. Maybe a lot of people simply do not go to get diagnosed. Just deal with the pain because it isn’t frequent. Makes you wonder at the actual numbers out there.