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Review: The Woman's Migraine Toolkit
  
  

   
In writing The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit, Dr. Dawn Marcus and Dr. Philip Bain, have done women with Migraines a great service. In fact, that service extends to children and men as well.

Although the book was written for women, it contains much information and many charts and tools that will also benefit prepubescent children and men.
     

Thumbs up:

  • This book was obviously well planned. It is well laid out and organized into sections that make it easy to read, whether you’re reading it straight through or looking for specific information.
  • The illustrations add to the information without distracting from it.
  • The book “speaks” to readers at a level that’s neither too clinical and full of medical terms nor too simplistic.
  • Although this book was written for women, it is not limited to information about Migraines related to hormonal issues. It is quite comprehensive.
  • A wide range of possible treatments are discussed in this book from “traditional” treatments to complementary therapies and new treatments such as Transcranial magnetic stimulation.
  • The information about medications is supplemented with helpful charts for comparison and quick reference. Examples:
  • a chart that lists all of the triptans, their typical dosages, and the advantages for each of them (page 86)
  • a chart that lists antinausea medications along with the typical adult dosage and common side effects (page 87)
  • There is clear information on the types of medications used for Migraine treatment – acute treatment for use during a Migraine, preventive treatments, nausea treatments, and rescue treatments for use when other treatments fail.
  • Frequent use of boxed charts to emphasize information and make it easier to follow and refer to later. Examples:
  • features of the average Migraine (page 13)
  • genes linked to Migraine (page 16)
  • important hormones (page 31)
  • tips for improving sleep (page 74)
  • principles of effective Migraine management (page 98)
  • tips for managing Migraines in “youngsters) (page 124)

Thumbs down:

  • The terms “headache” and “Migraine” are used interchangeably many places in this book, beginning with the title and subtitle. The phrase “Migraine headache” is used as well. My problem with this is that it can perpetuate the misconception that a Migraine is “just a bad headache.” Migraine is a genetic neurological disease, and a Migraine attack is far different from a headache. If a headache occurs during a Migraine attack, it is one SYMPTOM of a Migraine, and Migraines can occur with no headache at all.

Summary and comments:
Overall, this is one of the best books about Migraine that I’ve read. It’s packed with valuable information that’s presented in a way that’s easy to read and easy to refer to again later. With bulleted lists, charts, and relevant illustrations, this is one of the best presentations of large amounts of information you can find in print.

As for my one “thumbs down” issue: I had the privilege of reading this book during the editing phase prior to printing and talking with Dr. Marcus after reading it. When I expressed my concern about this issue, this explanatory paragraph was added to the book:

"In The Woman's Migraine Toolkit, you'll notice that we often use the words "migraine" and "headache" interchangeably. We do this because many women with recurring headaches don't recognize that their attacks -- especially milder attacks -- are migraine. We often hear patients talk about their "migraines" and their "regular headaches." Much of the time, those "regular headaches" are just milder forms of migraine. Some women don't realize their attacks can be migraine unless they vomit during an episode. Other women will say, "I don't get migraines like my mom or sister -- mine are just normal headaches," not realizing that migraine attacks can have different features in different women. It's important to understand when your episodes are migraine for several reasons. First, migraine is much more than just a headache. In this book, you'll read about the wide range of symptoms women can experience with migraine. And in some cases, a migraine attack can occur where the headache is a very mild symptom or there's no headache at all. Second, migraine is not just a reaction to stress -- it's a real biological condition. And third, there are many effective treatments for migraine. You don't need to suffer or feel like "it's just a headache.

I understand the concerns and issues in that paragraph and have to say that it goes a long way toward mitigating my concerns about using “headache” and “Migraine” interchangeably.

The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit would be a valuable addition to any Migraineur’s library, including men, as well as being valuable to parents of children and adolescents with Migraine.

The Woman's Migraine Toolkit is now available in book stores and through online book sellers. To find the book on Amazon, follow this link.

 

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© Teri Robert, 2010. Last updated December 6, 2010.

Living Well With Migraine Disease & Headaches continues to be a top listed title in bookstores and online booksellers. For a description on the book or an Amazon link, click HERE. To read an excerpt from my book or other content, check our Supplemental Content Section.

 

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