Do you know what the terms “allergen” and “antigen” mean when discussing Migraines and headaches? When we’re looking at Migraine and headache information, whether it’s from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing.
Sometimes, it’s easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term. At other times, substituting just doesn’t convey quite the same meaning or takes more than a few words.
Some of you have expressed an interest in learning more of the medical terminology that comes up when discussing Migraine disease and other headache disorders. So, Ellen and I will continue with these posts to help us all be better prepared to manage our health and work with our doctors as treatment partners. Today’s terms: allergen and ** antigen**.
Allergen: any substance that induces an allergic or hypersensitive response in a subject.
Antigen: any substance that induces immune responsiveness and reacts with antibodies or immune cells of the subject.
We see the terms allergen and antigen most often related to Migraine when discussing issues with Migraine and headache medications.
For more terms, see our Migraine and Headache Glossary. _If there are terms you’d like to have defined, please leave a comment to let me know what they are. _
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.