"Overcoming Headaches and Migraines" - A Review

Disappointing New Book Misses the Mark

by Teri Robert, MyMigraineConnection Lead Expert

If you look hard enough, Lisa Morrone's book "Overcoming Headaches and Migraines," has some good points, but overall, is tall on promises and short on delivering on them. Let the subtitle of the book, "Clinically Proven Cure for Chronic Pain," serve as a warning. Migraine is a genetic neurological disease for which, at this time, there is no cure. The words "Cure" and "Migraine" put together in this fashion are inappropriate and misleading at best. Actually, there is no cure for the most common types of headaches either -- tension-type headaches, cluster headaches, cervicogenic headache. For all of these disorders, there are increasingly better treatment options, but no cures.

 

On the positive side...

  • Readers are encouraged to keep a headache and Migraine diary.
  • Trigger thresholds are discussed - the way triggers can accumulate or stack up to bring on a Migraine attack.
  • There is a fairly good discussion of potential trigger foods and tracking them.
  • Appropriate emphasis is placed on trigger identification.

 

Problems with this book:

A common problem when reading about types of Migraines and headaches is inconsistent and improperly used diagnoses. Morrone scored a point by mentioning the International Headache Society's International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD II), but promptly lost several points on page 132 when talking about "Migraine Without Headache" by stating, "The medical term is ocular Migraines." No, it is not. Under ICHD II, there is no such diagnosis as ocular Migraine. She goes on to describe what was possibly acephalgic (or silent) Migraine with aura. (For more information on this issue see Ocular, Optical, and Ophthalmic Migraines.)

An especially disappointing section is Morrone's sections on Migraine triggers. Here is her list from page 136:

  • bright, flashing lights
  • loud noise
  • strong odors (perfume, gasoline, and so on)
  • stress
  • inadequate sleep
  • hormone-level change (in females, estrogen-level drop prior to menses)
  • certain foods -- namely red wine, aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine, and anything containing MSG or nitrates -- but the list goes on further.
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