View Full Version : Migraines and Percy Harvin

Dr Stephen Pomeranz
08-29-2010, 03:23 PM
Recently, the Vikings' valued all-purpose offensive threat Percy Harvin was hospitalized with migraine
headaches. This has beome more of an issue now that the Vikings have apparanetly lost Sidney Rice for
much, if not all of the season.

Migraines are a genetically produced brain condition marked by intermittent attacks of moderate-to-severe
throbbing headaches. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and either photophobia (sensitivity to light)
or phonophobia (sensitivity to sound). Migraines are often accompanied by a visual haze ("aura") prior to the
actual headache.

The direct cost of migraine amongst insured patients in the United States is 11 billion dollars. So, this is
not a rare problem.

When a young man of Percy Harvin's age has severe migraines that interfere with work, sport and daily life,
it is time to look for secondary causes. One of the most important and often overlooked secondary causes
which I mentioned in passing to my friends over a week ago at FootballProsLive is a PFO.

A PF0 you say...what's that ? A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is when you have a very tiny hole in your heart
that alows blood and small clots to pass from one side of the heart to the other. It must always be excluded
in situations like this. Fortunately, it can be closed easily in most cases. But sometimes, if unrecognized, it can
lead to migraines and even stroke or bleeding into the brain. This was one of the things that led to the
hospitalization and stroke of Ariel Sharon, the former Prime Minister of Israel.

Migraines can be brought on by high blood pressure, red wine, caffiene, excessive cold or hot temperatures,
trauma, and even stress.

There is GREAT news for regular migraine sufferers. A class of drugs called Triptans are available by
mouth and by injection to rapidly treat, prevent, or ward off a migraine. They are generally safe when used
properly and prescribed by a doctor. They work by activiating a chemical in the brain called serotonin.

If you have any further questions on migraines, feel free to post to Dr P.

All the best
Dr. P

08-29-2010, 03:54 PM
Dr. P - one of the things I'm curious about is the length of time Percy's condition has gone on without a conclusive diagnosis being found (as far as we know). Today Harvin was quoted as saying it's been solved, basically, and he'll be fine from here on out. He visited Mayo a year ago, does it normally take that long to diagnose and treat this type of condition?

08-31-2010, 08:35 PM
Man, 11 billion dollars amongst insured patients is an amazing stat. I learned more in that post then I have ever known about migraines. Hopefully though, his quote is spot on. Dislike the Vikes, but Harvin is a talent and seems like a good kid with his head on straight. Hope the best for him.