Although most adolescent girls would vehemently disagree that they shared any similarities with their mothers, biology spins a different tale.

According to the National Headache Foundation, more than 21 million women suffer from migraines with 50 percent reporting that their headaches started before the age of 20. But when both parents share a history of migraines, there is a 70 percent chance that their children too will be plagued with this often debilitating chronic sickness.

Girls and boys have similar migraine patterns until the age of puberty, said Dr. Anna Foster of Children’s Hospital Boston. Then rate of migraine incidence is doubled, leaving adolescent girls with a 2:1 chance of developing migraines. The female sex hormone estrogen is being studied extensively within migraine research as the culprit of this difference between boys and girls. Yet, with today’s advances in biofeedback, therapy, and the myriad of‚ drug trials for migraine sufferers out there, suffering from migraines doesn’t have to be as painful as many parents may remember.

Doctors have the additional advantage of utilizing moms and dads as additional resources, providing insight into the world that migraines sufferers live in. The National Headache Foundation has reported that since similar migraine experiences and patterns are being seen with mother and daughter migraine sufferers, mothers may be able to offer not only advice but have a much deeper understanding into their children’s “growing pains.”

The Foundation’s “Migraine Million” fundraiser this year seeks to address the often misunderstood effects on everyday life that migraines have. From medical bills to effects on relationships, awareness surrounding sufferers is important step on the way to educating the public as well as assuring those that do, they are not alone.

“Our goal is for one million of the nearly 30 million people with migraine to donate $1 each toward headache education and research,” said Suzanne Simons, executive director of the National Headache Foundation. So instead of giving mom a headache this year, show your support for her in a different way.

Whether, you acknowledge that laugh or nose, well, that’s up to you.

You can contribute by visiting the foundation’s website at or by calling 888-NHF-5552. You can even have an acknowledgment of the donation that can be emailed to mom, or printed and included in a card.

About The Author

Tara Lira is a Blast Magazine contributor

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