Health One Family Medicine

Help! I Have a Headache and I Can’t Get Up- What You Should Know about Migraines

A majority of us have suffered from a splitting headache at one point or another. We’ve been overworked, stressed, worried and we’ve felt a headache coming on. However, not everyone that suffers from headaches finds them so debilitating that they are rendered unable to move, speak, or temporarily even see.

So what’s happening when you have a headache that’s so bad you cannot get up, much less seek the help that you so desperately need?

Most likely, you are suffering from a Migraine.

What is a Migraine?

Not just a simple headache, a Migraine is a neurological disease predisposed by genetics and overly sensitive neuronal activity in the brain. Migraines range from moderate to severe and, according to the WHO (World Health Organization), are equally debilitating as quadriplegia.

Types of Migraine

Migraines can be divided into two basic types: With or Without Auras. An Aura is the sensory disorder that precedes a migraine attack such as lights flashing in front of the eyes or excessively blurred, swimming vision.

A migraine without aura typically lasts anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days while migraines with auras, once they reach the highest level of pain, tend to last considerably longer.

Major Symptoms of Migraine

Just a headache is not the only identifying symptom of migraine. Most symptoms include but are limited to:

  • Pulsing or throbbing headaches, often one sided
  • Visual disturbances
  • Excessive nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Auditory and olfactory hallucinations (hearing or smelling things that are not actually present)
  • Blurred vision
  • Partial or complete temporary loss of sight
  • Flashing lights
  • Increased sensitivity to smells, lights and sounds
  • Hemiplegia or partial paralysis of the body on one side
  • Extreme fatigue and lack of energy
  • Decrease or complete temporary loss of hearing
  • Inability to speak, form or understand words
  • Vertigo or dizziness that increases upon walking or using the stairs
  • Dehydration

Migraine Triggers

Migraine triggers differ for each individual patient. Some common ones include:

  • Chocolate
  • Fermented or preserved foods such as cream, crackers, dried or pickled herring, Brie, Emmentaler, Stilton and Camembert cheese, excessive amounts of caffeine in tea and coffee, and as well as foods that contain MSG.
  • Wine
  • Strong perfumes or food scents
  • Loud noises
  • Dense crowds
  • Flickering bright lights (such as the ones at a club)
  • Fluorescent lighting
  • Change in altitude
  • Extreme or sudden shift of weather
  • Exhaust fumes
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Chemical fumes from cleaning products or hair dyes

What Should You Do About Migraines?

In case you’re suffering from and having to endure more than a few excruciating headaches a month, it’s best that you consult a primary care physician to refer you to a headache specialist as well as to rule out the possibility of other health concerns.

To get a complete evaluation with Dr. Parikh at Health One Family Medicine, call 469-262-5762, or visit for more information.