Q: How is migraine diagnosed?
A: The diagnosis of migraine is based on your symptoms , as well as your medical history and that of your family. Recurrent attacks of “sick headaches” lasting 1–3 days in an otherwise well person are most likely to be migraine. If there is any doubt, keep a diary and check with your doctor.
Q: Is there a medical test for migraine?
A: There is no medical test to confirm the diagnosis of migraine. This fact can be frustrating for the individual with migraine. Many people go from doctor to doctor to find out what is wrong with them, and may subject themselves to numerous unnecessary medical tests in the hope of finding something concrete to fix. Fortunately, the typical symptoms and pattern of attacks are usually sufficient to confirm the diagnosis. If your doctor does do any tests, it will be to ensure that your symptoms are not the result of an underlying medical problem other than migraine.
Q: How do I know if my headaches are caused by migraine rather than another medical problem?
A: Migraine can cause many symptoms that are related to brain function. It is important that you have a medical evaluation to exclude other disorders as the cause of your symptoms. Rarely, serious conditions such as a brain infection, a brain tumor, or bleeding into the brain can be the cause of headaches and it is particularly important that these are excluded before a diagnosis of migraine is made. Coexisting medical conditions can complicate migraine and must be accurately diagnosed and treated to gain optimal control of migraine .
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