Posts Tagged ‘celebrities with migraines’

Migraine Aura, as Depicted in Famous Opera

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013



One of Germany’s most famous composers also suffered from chronic migraines, to the point that his migraine auras became a point of obsession in his musical performances. Crushing head pain, bright scintillating lights, and overwhelming fatigue were the bane of his existence- sound familiar?

Migraine aura symptoms, migraine headaches

Recently, a study on the works of German operatic composer and migraineur Richard Wagner shed some light on the debilitating nature of migraines with aura.

Migraine study

Researchers from the Kiel Headache and Pain Centre in Germany conducted a migraine study scrutinizing the operatic works of the famous migraine sufferer, and found some interesting parallels and references that point to classic migraine with aura symptoms, such as extreme light sensitivity and eye pain.

While working on the famous opera Siegfried, Wagner complained of “tremulous headaches” that made it almost impossible for him for him to write a single note without heading for a dark room and a cold compress.

“…this is a life fit for a dog,” he wrote to a peer, in describing his battle with migraines.

During one part of the play, the star laments, “Loathsome light! Is the air aflame? What is it flaring and flashing, glittering and whirring, what is swirling and whirling there and flickering around?”

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome Migraine

Also, in a scene that builds up to a crescendo of violins and violas, the musical score chillingly emulates a migraine aura, nearly reaching the 17.8Hz perceived scintillation rate of migraine aura.

Migraines today

Migraine symptoms haven’t changed much in the years. Even now, we see how constant debilitating migraines continue to make it difficult to work, rest, socialize- or do anything other than worry about when the next migraine attack will strike.

Migraine auras occur minutes before a migraine headache strikes, and may cause stroke-like symptoms such as visual impairments, hallucinatory scents, weakness, fatigue, loss of consciousness, speech slurs, and partial paralysis.

Migraine headaches are difficult to treat, and may linger for hours or days.  Across the medical board, doctors advise natural preventive treatments as the best way to positively influence biological functions that trigger migraines.

Tell us!

Do you identify with Wagner in his description of migraine headaches? Do you believe that finding a better treatment for migraines would result in increased productivity and overall wellness?

Have you tried supplementing with natural ingredients that help with common migraine triggers- vitamins, minerals, and herbs such as vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and butterbur extracts?

Also read:

The 4 Best Vitamins to Help Headaches

The Migraine Aura Brain: New Revelations

Are All Migraines a Genetic Mutation?

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti

Celebrity Migraine Sufferers like Janet Jackson: What have they done for Migraineurs Lately?

Monday, May 7th, 2012



The Huffington Post released an updated list of celebrity migraine sufferers, some of whom are active in raising migraine awareness.  Still, the silence is deafening.  What are some ways that famous migraineurs can help to raise much-needed funds for migraine research?


Marcia Cross

The star of “Desperate Housewives” has been one of Hollywood’s most outspoken migraine awareness promoters.  In a People magazine article, she talked about having migraine headaches since the age of 14, and described them as stroke-like in nature.

Since then, she’s learned how to prevent migraines by avoiding food triggers like wine and chocolate.  Also, she’s careful not to skip meals or sleep.

Her favorite exercises for reducing stress?  Yoga and hiking, as she revealed to Help for Headaches.

“…I’ve found that if you don’t eat that chocolate bar or have that red wine, you can really reduce them,” she explained to Health magazine.

On coping with chronic migraines, she admits, “If I stress about migraines, it makes it more likely that I get one… I do what I need to do to take care of myself.”


Lisa Kudrow

The former “Friends” star is no stranger to migraines- not only has she dealt with excruciating migraines since childhood, but her father, Dr. Lee Kudrow, a cluster headache sufferer, is a renowned chronic headache specialist.


Cindy McCain

Migraine sufferers have a real podium with Cindy McCain, wife of ex-presidential candidate John McCain.

Cindy McCain struggles with migraine attack symptoms like debilitating headaches, vomiting, nausea, and photophobia. For years, she felt like an outcast, a hypochondriac.  It wasn’t until she turned 40 that she finally received a diagnosis for migraines, a neurological disorder, she explained to Neurology.

Today, Ms. McCain is trying to raise funds for more research in migraine disorder, confirming to the word that migraines aren’t just a headache- they’re a legitimate disability.

Social Security Disability for Migraine- 5 Tips for Filing

In addition to identifying migraine headache triggers, Cindy McCain also uses alternative migraine treatments, such as acupuncture, biofeedback, and relaxation techniques.


Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann may not be winning everyone’s presidential vote, but she’s a great role model for the millions of female migraine sufferers around the world, disproving many misconceptions that migraine patients are crazy, weak, or lazy.

Migraine Sufferer to World: It’s not just a Headache, People!

In a statement released last year, she affirms, “Let me be abundantly clear – my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief,”


Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson suffers from vestibular migraines, a type of migraine with aura. Symptoms include vertigo, visual disturbances, and piercing migraine headaches.

In 2008, Janet Jackson required 3 weeks recuperation from a migraine attack that occurred while touring.

So far, there have been no supportive statements urging migraine research or awareness from the Janet Jackson camp.


Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth works hard to achieve that sunny demeanor.  The Broadway star of “Wicked” and television star of “Glee,” “The West Wing,” and “GCB” has had her share of migraine attacks, one in particular that occurred on 2009’s Emmy night, in which she received an award.

Her preferred migraine treatment of choice, according to a Prevention magazine article, is Botox.  She says that her migraines have reduced from weekly to sporadically, although she admits her initial fear that freezing her facial muscles would jeopardize her acting career.

Read more about celebrity migraineurs

Top 30 Most Famous Migraine Sufferers

Working with Migraines is no Laughing Matter, Comedian Russell Brand Agrees

Celebrities Also Suffer from Migraines

Dwyane Wade of Miami Heat Battles 76ers and Migraines: Who Will Win?

Please tell us…

Which celebrity do you feel has been the best role model for migraine sufferers?

Do you know of any other famous migraineurs not included?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.


Celebrities With Migraines: 13 Famous Faces With The Misunderstood Condition

Living with Migraines

Dealing With a Migraine Like Janet Jackson’s

Kristin Chenoweth Hits the High Notes


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Celebrities Also Suffer from Migraines

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Think you’re alone in the fight against migraines? Turns out you’re not. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 303 million people suffered from migraines alone in 2003, and those numbers are expected to rise. Migraines don’t discriminate either — even celebrities are prone to excruciating migraine attacks.

Curious to find out which celebrities these are? Let’s find out which of your favorite celebrities also suffer from migraines.

Marcia Cross

Marcia Cross also suffers from migraines. © Kirk Weaver/Wikimedia CommonsAn American celebrity best known for her starring role on Desperate Housewives, actress Marcia Cross just isn’t a chronic migraneur — she’s also involved in a nationwide campaign to urge people to seek help for their frequent headaches. Although she admits she does not use any preventative measures to prevent her headaches, she currently takes medication to reduce the frequency of her attacks. She also works with a migraine specialist, who has been able to reduce her chronic headaches to just a few attacks a year. Cross reports she has not experienced any attacks since her pregnancy.

Terrell Davis

Now retired from American football, Terrell Davis made headlines in 1997 for being sidelined during the Super Bowl due to a headache, which was later revealed to be a migraine. Prior to this announcement, few celebrities had even admitted they suffered from migraines — he was one of the first celebrities to be sidelined because of it. Davis has since admitted he has been a migraneur since childhood. It is not clear if he uses any sort of treatment to reduce or alleviate his headache pain.

Jose Canseco

Former baseball player — and now MMA celebrity — Jose Canseco may be best known for his steroid scandal, but few people know about his battle with migraines. He managed to keep control of most of his attacks during his tenure in professional baseball, but one incident in 1989 forced him to miss one game. Like most migraneurs, Canseco also suffers from dizziness and nausea during his attacks, with severe and often debilitating head pain.

Many other celebrities have been rumored to suffer from migraines also, including LPGA golfer Se Ri Park, actress Elizabeth Taylor, and country singer Loretta Lynn. Remember, you’re not alone in this fight — anybody could be a migraneur!

Photo credits:

Kirk Weaver, Glenn Francis (Wikimedia Commons)