One of the most difficult things about searching for information online is the sheer volume of it. A quick Google search of “migraine treatment” yields over 23 million results. Combing through these sites to find reliable, easy-to-read, and medically accurate information is a daunting task, especially when your head is pounding and all you want is relief. That’s why Migraine.com is a site we love. This comprehensive site uses a community-based model of information gathering that includes patients, doctors, families of migraine sufferers, and friends to help create a wide variety of perspectives and a wealth of information all in one place.
The launch of Migraine.com
Migraine.com is the brainchild of two former pharmaceutical executives who saw a lack of information in some crucial areas of health online. They believed that technology offered a great way to connect people to each other (plus resources and information) in ways that could truly improve their health. Their goal is to help foster relationships between people who utilize their websites and to create deep knowledge and expertise in each health-related site.
These sites include not only Migraine.com but also other sites relating to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, hepatitis C, COPD, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and asthma.
From these beginnings in 2010, Migraine.com now boasts a membership of 60,000 newsletter subscribers (a number that is rising steadily).
If all you want from Migraine.com is straight information on migraine statistics, definitions, and treatments, the home page is the place to start. Click on “The Basics” or “Treatment” in the top banner for comprehensive information in one easy place.
But that’s not all there is to love about Migraine.com. The home page banner also features causes and triggers, facts on living with migraine, and common symptoms. Even that is just the beginning. On Migraine.com, the community tab is where everything comes together to make this a site we love. There are several different categories underneath this tab.
This section features Migraine.com’s expert physicians and patient advocates reporting on migraine news. These reports may include recent research or new treatment options. There may also be tips and ideas about living with migraine and managing daily life during an attack.
Migraine patient advocates
Migraine patient advocates are people who may have been impacted by migraine themselves, but are choosing to dedicate their energy to speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Blogs and articles from many different perspectives are featured here, with both regular contributors and guest authors.
Migraine.com is a site dedicated to building community relationships. This goal is evident most strongly in this section. Readers are invited to contribute their stories about migraine triggers, management, and symptoms with the community.
The discussion forums on Migraine.com are active, supportive places to get specific answers from the community on questions. While Migraine.com does not offer medical advice that replaces a doctor’s care, the forums can be a place to find others with the same concerns, who are building a network of support that is available at any time of the day or night.
In all of these features there is an overriding sense that the people writing – either regular contributors or members to the site – are sharing their stories to help you feel supported. One of our favorite contributors is Kerrie Smyres. Kerrie is the author of the blog The Daily Headache and a regular writer for Migraine.com.
Her most recent blog discusses high-frequency migraine research that indicates that this is similar to chronic migraine, noting:
“However, when episodic migraine was broken into low-frequency and high-frequency, high-frequency episodic migraine had more than twice as many variables in common with chronic migraine than with episodic migraine.”
For people suffering from high-frequency migraine, this new research could offer hope for treatment options.
Kerrie’s blogs are not all research-based. Some can be intensely personal, offering a glimpse into the life of a migraineur. “I Am No Longer The Person I Was When Migraine Hijacked My Life” reads like a poem that offers a sense of the very real grief migraine sufferers feel when they realize migraine has changed them forever. After reflecting on the things that she can no longer do, Kerrie ends with these lines:
“I have learned to separate migraine from me, to distinguish how migraine changes my behaviors and thoughts from who I am underneath migraine.
I see that migraine consists of two burdens: physical and emotional. And that learning to cope with the emotional distress makes the physical weight easier to bear.
I look for the good around the grief that migraine brings to my life. I am grateful for the smallest joys in the everyday…
I am no longer the person I was when migraine hijacked my life.
I am better.
Don’t get me wrong. Migraine is still horrible. Trial by migraine fire is not how I would ever choose to mature. But I like the person that migraine has forced me to become. I am proud of who I’ve proven myself to be amidst the flames.”
There are a number of different ways to join the community at Migraine.com. Register on the site to receive the weekly newsletter, learn about research opportunities, and be on the list to be considered for participation in trials of new migraine treatments. You can also join the discussion forums or submit your own story and experience.
Migraine.com is the place to gather support, learn more, and build community. Visit this site we love and let us know what you think in the comments below!