Complex Migraine Is Not A Diagnosis!

When Denver Broncos coach, Gary Kubiak was hospitalized on Sunday, the doctors who treated him called it “Complex Migraine.”

They got it all wrong.

Such a diagnosis does not exist.

“Complex migraine” is a descriptive term that can mean absolutely anything. It is not a true diagnosis with specific symptom criteria. Look it up for yourself in the International Classification of Headache Disorders. It isn’t there.

Shame on those doctors for using such an ambiguous term!

As long as doctors continue to offer up ambiguous descriptive terms for what ails us, Migraine and other headache disorder will continue to be stigmatized and trivialized. Doctors have a responsibility to complete a proper differential diagnosis and to actually inform us about our condition using universally-established diagnostic criteria and labels. If it’s not in the ICHD-3, then it’s not a diagnosis; it’s a description.

Scientific research is not done using descriptions.

Treatments are not developed using descriptions.

Insurance reimbursement is not based on descriptions.

An accurate diagnosis is the foundation of good health care.

People living with Migraine are not stupid. We deserve to have all the relevant information about this disease. Our health care system is failing us because even our doctors don’t know enough to even use the proper terminology. Good health care starts with getting the right diagnosis. Without it, there can be no proper treatment. Without proper treatment, patient outcomes are not successful.

Doctors, get it right.

Patients, don’t accept a description for a diagnosis.

Read the ICHD-3 for yourself and if your doctor says you have “complex migraine” challenge it. Insist on a true diagnosis or prepare to find a new doctor. You deserve better.

One thought on “Complex Migraine Is Not A Diagnosis!

  • October 11, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Very interesting and informative. I don’t think that I get migraine headaches but I get headaches when I am exposed to too much noise. It feels as if the noise is pouring through my wide-open ears and gets stuck in the center of my head and stays there for days. I try to avoid noisy situations for that reason. I also get headaches that attack my sinuses when the barometric pressure changes. Quite annoying.
    I hope that medical interventions for migraines improve.
    Best wishes to you.

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