Migraine is a type of neurological disease that causes a bad headache in one side of the head which leaves us in bed for four hours and it can last days also. It is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light. It can happen over and over again and it can cause throbbing pain and pulsing sensation in our head. It makes changes in brain activity and affects blood circulation and their surrounding tissues. It usually happens in stages and affects different people with varying frequencies. It makes an impact on the person’s regular life and reduces the ability to work or study. It mostly occurs in women and it can happen anytime including during their childhood.

Different phases of migraine 

There are four different phases of migraine i.e.


In this, you can start getting some indications one or two days before a migraine and that is constipation, changes in mood, food cravings, neck stiffness, more urination, and yawning frequently. It is also known as preheadache or premonitory phase as it is the first phase of migraine. If we know and are aware of the symptoms before getting a migraine it can be stopped before it starts.


It is a recurring headache that can occur over and over again and strike after or at the same time as sensory disturbances. This includes flashes of light, blind spots, the sensation of the pin in arms and thighs and other vision changes, numbness, difficulty in speaking, and muscle weakness. It generally occurs in middle age people and lasts less than 1 hour.            

A migraine without aura is known as common migraine. It Usually lasts for four hours to three days. It can happen again in a few years and several times a week. It includes the symptoms of throbbing pain on one side of the head and feeling sick and being sensitive to light and smells. 


It usually lasts for 4 to 72 hours and it varies from person to person it may strike several times a week. It causes pain on side of the head and painful in pulses and nausea and vomiting. It will get worse during physical activity and pain will move in the head from one side to another. In this, to get migraine attacks two to three times a month. Some get it every few days but some will get it only twice a year.


This is the last stage of migraine which lasts up to a day after the headache. Also known as ‘migraine hangover. These attacks might be triggered by specific or combination factors i.e. lack of sleep, skipping a meal, dehydration, or stress. Their symptoms include feeling drained, tired, aches, stiff neck, digestive issues, and feeling full of energy.

Types of migraines

  • 1. Abdominal migraine– It generally happens to a child and causes abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
  • 2. Episodic– people get migraine attacks from time to time up to 7 days.
  • 3. Chronic migraine– occurs for 15 days to 3 months.
  • 4. Silent migraine-It lasts for 20-30 minute and have no head pain.
  • 5. Menstrual- It usually happens during the period of 2-3 3 days.
  • 6. Retinal-It is very rare it is caused to the flickering of lights and lasts for less than 1 hour.
  • 7. Vestibular-it lasts for a few minutes to hours and causes dizziness.
  • 8. Status migraine– It lasts for 3 days and has ongoing pain, In this, you need hospital care.
  • 9. Opthalmoplegic migraine– pain, and weakness around the eye then you need doctor supervision. It lasts for a week and may cause droopy eyelids, double vision, etc.
  • 10. Hemiplegic migraine-causes temporary paralysis before or during the migraine and have symptoms of dizziness, vision problem, difficulty in speaking, trouble in moving on one side, tingling sensation of pin and needles.

Migraine symptoms

The following are the symptoms of migraine.

  • 1. Chronic pain on one side of your head
  • 2. Pain can also affect both the sides of the head and can affect the neck and face
  • 3. Feeling sick
  • 4. Increased sensitivity to light and smells
  • 5. Sweating
  • 6. Poor concentration
  • 7. Feeling hot or cold
  • 8. Abdominal pain
  • 9. Diarrhea
  • 10. Constipation
  • 11. Visual problems
  • 12. Numbness or tingling sensation of pin and needles
  • 13. Dizziness
  • 14. Difficulty in speaking
  • 15. Loss of consciousness
  • 16. Paralysis
  • 17. Fever and mental confusion
  • 18. Feeling a never experienced pain in the head

Migraine Causes

The exact reasons for migraine are unknown but it may be the result of abnormal activity of the brain which affects nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels in the brain.  

It may be triggered due to hormonal changes, physical, dietary, environmental, and medicinal factors.    


This occurs in women during this period because there is a change in their hormones like an increase in the level of estrogen.

It usually starts before and after the period of around 2 to 3 days. This migraine is known as a ‘pure menstrual migraine. It can be started at other times also so it can be called a ‘menstrual-related migraine’. It may impact positively or negatively the women after menopause


  • 1. Stress
  • 2. Anxiety
  • 3. Tension
  • 4. Shock
  • 5. Depression
  • 6. Excitement


  • 1. Tiredness
  • 2. Lack of sleep
  • 3. Poor posture
  • 4. Tension on neck and shoulder
  • 5. Low blood pressure


  • 1. Missed, delayed, or irregular meals
  • 2. Alcohol
  • 3. Caffeine products
  • 4. Specific foods like chocolate and citrus fruits
  • 5. Tyramine products like cured meats, pickle herrings, and smoked fish and cheeses like cheddar.
  • 6. Frozen foods


  • 1. Bright lights
  • 2. A flickering screen like T>V and desktop
  • 3. Smoky rooms
  • 4. Loud noises
  • 5. Changes in a climate like humidity or very cold
  • 6. Strong smells
  • 7. A stuffy atmosphere


  • 1. Sleeping tablets
  • 2. Using combined contraceptive pills
  • 3. Hormone replacement therapy is related to symptoms of menopause.

Who gets migraines? What are the risk factors?

Generally, it mostly occurs in women more than men but it is difficult to know about that who may get a migraine or not. Lifestyle changes can happen to anyone.  

There are risk factors that help to identify the cause i.e

Genetics-It can be inherited from family conditions and up to 80% of people get it.

Gender-Due to changes in the hormone, it usually happens to women between the age of 15 to 55.

Stress level-It generally makes more impact on any gender because the surroundings of people are more stressful and everyone has high stress in their life.

Smoking– Due to this, people also get migraine attacks as it is injurious to health.

Migraine Treatment


The fastest way to get rid of these migraines is;-

  • 1. Try a cold pack – Place a cold pad on the forehead for getting relief from migraine.
  • 2. Use a heating pad or hot compress- use a heating pad on tension headaches and heat cloths on sinus headaches.
  • 3. Ease pressure on your scalp or head – try not to take any extra pressure on your head like too much tight ponytail.
  • 4. Dim the lights – Try to avoid bright and flickering lights as they can cause pain and take preventive measures to avoid it.
  • 5. Try not to chew – Do not chew anything when the pain starts like chewing gum, fingernails, lips, pens, etc.
  • 6. Hydrate – hydrate your body as much as possible because dehydration makes the condition worse.
  • 7. Get some caffeine – Get some tea, coffee, and something else that has caffeine in it. By getting this, we will get relief from pain.
  • 8. Practice relaxation -Yoga, meditation, and learning to chill out help in practicing relaxation.
  • 9. Try massage – It can help ease the pain by massaging the painful area of the neck, temple, and forehead in a rotating motion.
  • 10. Take some ginger– It is found that it can ease the pain in people.


Use meds in moderation-choose liquid over pills as the liquid gets easily absorbed by the body and take painkillers for extra benefit with less risk. And avoid some of the medicine. 

OVER-THE-COUNTER drugs help effectively for resolving migraine conditions. Don’t use it too much as it can cause rebound headaches. These medicines may include:

  • 1. Naproxen
  • 2. Ibuprofen 
  • 3. Acetaminophen 

TRIPTANS- helps to balance chemicals in the brain. this is used as a treatment for treating migraine headaches.

How is migraine diagnosed?

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING(MRI) – It uses very powerful magnetic and radioactive waves for taking detailed pictures of the brain and blood vessels. It helps doctors to diagnose stones, tumors, bleeding in the brain, infections, and other problems related to the brain.

COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY SCAN(CT SCAN) – it is a series of x-ray which has detailed cross-sectional images of the brain which help in diagnosing strokes, tumors, infections, or other neurological diseases.


Medical devices are biofeedback and neurostimulators.

  • 1. Biofeedback helps to control people’s consciousness of some physiological factors and try to relax.
  • 2. Neurostimulators help in the treatment of chronic migraine. 

Migraine vs. Headache

Migraine is majorly different from a typical headache and the experience and causes of both are different. Headaches cause pain in the head, face, and neck as another side migraine has throbbing pain in one side of the head. Migraines have symptoms and some migraine does not cause pain in the head.

A headache is divided into two parts i.e. primary and secondary. Primary headaches include independent conditions which are not dependent on any factors are migraine and tension headaches.

Secondary headache includes other conditions i.e. infection, stress, etc. 

Causes of headaches are-

  • 1. Hunger
  • 2. Depression
  • 3. Lack of sleep
  • 4. Arthritis
  • 5. Stress 
  • 6. Poor posture     

Headaches are usually triggered by alcohol use, noise, depression, and emotional stress related to family and friends, etc.


Migraine has related to many other conditions and with significant psychological impact. Diagnosis of this requires clinical and family history. It is an extremely prevalent neurological disorder that indicates a throbbing pain in one side of the head or the face and neck. Up to one-third of the population has been affected by this. It is caused due to genetic, environmental, and dietary factors and it usually occurs in women. Firstly people try home remedies like using cold packs, heat pads, ginger, etc, and then also take painkillers for treating this like otc drugs and ibuprofen, and then specific medications are introduced such as triptans. Preventive migraine medications are helpful to reduce the frequency of migraine. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main cause of migraine?

It is difficult to find the exact cause of migraine. However, it has been seen that result of abnormal brain activity may affect temporarily affecting nerve signals, blood vessels, and chemicals in the brain.

How do you stop a migraine?

You can use heating pads and hot packs for relaxing the tense muscles. 

How do I know if I m having a migraine?

When you feel pain on one side of your head or both sides then you have a migraine.

Is migraine a serious problem?

Migraine may lead to a serious conditions and can affect your daily activities. 

Which is the best way of curing a migraine?

Using heat pads can help in curing migraine.

What foods to avoid if you have migraines?

You must avoid alcohol especially red wine and beer, chocolate, cured meats, etc. as it may trigger your migraine. 

Which painkiller is best for migraine?

Over-the-counter medications that can help in reducing migraine are aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen.

What is the best home remedy for migraines?

A cold compressor on the forehead helps in easing your headache or pain.

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