You can't tell as Rachel Grossman walks around the wooly Mammoth Theater in downtown D.C. that she's on the verge of another migraine. But she knows it. The pain starts in a localized spot and then engulfs the entire back of her neck.
She's one of the 30 million or so Americans who suffer from migraines. Women suffer from the nauseating spells three times more than men.
What do women have that men don't have? Hormones? Estrogens. If a women has a high estrogen level for a period and then it suddenly drops off, that's when the migraines are more likely to occur.
And doctors say that happens at the end of a mistral cycle. Migraines aren't just bad headaches. They cause a sufferer to experience nausea and they can affect vision, concentration and speech.
Medicine and politics took center stage with the recent confirmation that Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann suffers from migraines.
Her press staff said the migraines are under control and treated with medication.
But sources close to Bachmann told the Daily Caller that Bachmann's headaches are incapacitating and debilitating. And she was hospitalized three times.
Preventative medicine has helped Grossman take control. During a really bad migraine, she confined herself to a room without light or sound.