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Managing Pain 2019

My migraines turned out to be genetic

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Susan Haddon

40 years old. Works in Sales, Dublin

“I’ve suffered ‘headaches’ since I was about three years old. I used to complain to my mother about pains in the back of my head. It was alarming for her since I was so young and, being adopted, I had no family medical history to work with.”


“In my early 20s, I contacted my birth family and discovered a strong genetic link to migraine. It was only then that I was formally diagnosed at the Migraine Clinic in Beaumont Hospital. The wait to access this clinic was over a year at the time, but the care I received there was second to none. And once you’re in the system, it seems easier to access follow-up care.”

There seems to be a migraine-shaped gap in GPs’ knowledge

“Unfortunately, many GPs seem either uninterested or uneducated about the finer aspects of migraine. It leaves many patients in the dark about the condition in general and how to manage it.

“Organisations like The Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI) are vital to help sufferers understand more about the condition and connect with others who can give hints and tips on how best to manage your migraines.

“I now have a really good GP who helps me manage with prophylactic and acute treatments, but migraine sufferers desperately need more migraine clinics made available to them. And there definitely needs to be more neurologists who have an interest in migraine in public hospitals – all over the country.”

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