INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A new study is putting migraine pain into perspective. Some women say the pain is worse than childbirth and doctors say it's time for everyone to take the chronic disease seriously.
A new survey from the 2018 Migraine Impact Report shows that among women who have experienced both migraines and childbirth, the worst migraine pain on a scale of 1 to 10 was an 8.9 compared to a 7.3 for childbirth pain.
Dr. Sheen Aurora, an Eli Lilly medical fellow, says migraines are more common in women and usually hits around the age of 12 or puberty. She says this study shows just how debilitating the disease is. The study also found people living with migraines feel like they're losing their life at the hands of the disease.
"A patient who I was seeing a few months ago stated that her age was 50. I did her calculation I said no, it's 38. This is the first time I've seen somebody go older rather than younger and she said ‘Dr. Aurora I feel migraines have stolen 17 years of my life,’" Aurora said.
Many migraine sufferers say they also hide their pain from people at work or school because people underestimate what they're going through.
"We certainly think that there is so much stigma around this that just to make sure that patients are taken seriously when they say they have migraine, that they are taken seriously by their co-workers, their employers as well as their peers," Dr. Aurora said.
Many people diagnosed with migraines live with pain nearly half of every month.
Eli Lilly has submitted one migraine drug to the FDA for approval and the team plans to submit another drug later this year.