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What Is a Migraine/headache in detail

A migraine is a strong headache that often comes with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. It can last hours or days.

Migraine Symptoms

Migraines are different in everyone. In many people, they happen in stages. These stages may include:


Hours or days before a headache, about 60% of people who have migraines notice symptoms like:

Being sensitive to light, sound, or smell


Food cravings or lack of appetite

Mood changes

Severe thirst


Constipation or diarrhea

Migraine Causes

Migraine headaches are a symptom of a condition known as migraine. Doctors don’t know the exact cause of migraine headaches, although they seem to be related to changes in your brain and to your genes. Your parents can even pass down migraine triggers like fatigue, bright lights, or weather changes.

migraine likely starts when overactive nerve cells send out signals that trigger your trigeminal nerve, which gives sensation to your head and face. This cues your body to release chemicals like serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP makes blood vessels in the lining of your brain swell. Then, neurotransmitters cause inflammation and pain.

Migraine Triggers

Some common migraine triggers include:

Hormone changes. Many women notice that they have headaches around their period, while they’re pregnant, or when they’re ovulating. Symptoms may also be tied to menopause, birth control that uses hormones, or hormone replacement therapy.

Stress. When you’re stressed, your brain releases chemicals that can cause blood vessel changes that might lead to a migraine.

Foods. Some foods and drinks, such as aged cheese, alcohol, and food additives like nitrates (in pepperoni, hot dogs, and lunchmeats) and monosodium glutamate (MSG), may be responsible in some people..

Skipping meals

Caffeine. Getting too much or not getting as much as you’re used to can cause headaches. Caffeine itself can be a treatment for acute migraine attacks.

Changes in weather. Storm fronts, changes in barometric pressure, strong winds, or changes in altitude can all trigger a migraine.

Senses. Loud noises, bright lights, and strong smells can set off a migraine.

Medications. Vasodilators, which widen your blood vessels, can trigger them.

Physical activity. This includes exercise and sex.


Changes to your sleep. You might get headaches when you sleep too much or not enough.

Migraine Types

There are several kinds of migraines. The most common are migraine with aura (also known as a classic migraine) and migraine or common migraine

Other types include:

Menstrual migraine. This is when the headache is linked to a woman’s period.

Silent migraine. This kind is also known as an acephalgic migraine. You have aura symptoms without a headache.

Vestibular migraine. You have balance problems, vertigo, nausea, and vomiting, with or without a headache. This kind usually happens in people who have a history of motion sickness.

Abdominal migraine. Experts don’t know a lot about this type. It causes stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. It often happens in children and may change into classic migraine headaches over time.

Hemiplegic migraine. You have short period of paralysis (hemiplegia) or weakness on one side of your body. You might also feel numbness, dizziness, or vision changes. These symptoms can also be signs of a stroke, so get medical help right away.

Ophthalmic migraine. These are also known as ocular or retinal migraines. They cause short-lived, partial, or total loss of vision in one eye, along with a dull ache behind the eye, which may spread to the rest of your head. Get medical help right away if you have any vision changes.

Migraine with brainstem aura. Dizziness, confusion, or loss of balance can happen before the headache. The pain may affect the back of your head. These symptoms usually start suddenly and can come along with trouble speaking, ringing in your ears, and vomiting. This type of migraine is strongly linked to hormone changes and mainly affects young adult women. Again, get these symptoms checked out by a doctor right away.

Status migrainosus. This severe type of migraine can last more than 72 hours. The pain and nausea are so intense that you may need to go to the hospital. Sometimes, medicines or medication withdrawal can cause them.

Ophthalmoplegic migraine. This causes pain around your eye, including paralysis of the muscles around it. This is a medical emergency because the symptoms can also be caused by pressure on the nerves behind the eye or by an aneurysm. Other symptoms include a droopy eyelid, double vision, or other vision changes.

Migraine Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your health history and your symptoms. It may help if you have a diary of your symptoms and any triggers you’ve noticed. Write down:

What symptoms you have, including where it hurts

How often you have them

How long they last

Any other family members who have migraines

All the medicines and supplements you take, even over-the-counter ones

Other medicines you remember taking in the past

Your doctor may order tests to rule out other things that could cause your symptoms, including:

Blood tests

Imaging tests like MRI or CT scans

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Migraine Treatment and Home Remedies

There's no cure for migraine headaches. But many drugs can treat or even prevent them. Common migraine treatments include:

Pain relief. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs often work well. The main ingredients are acetaminophen (Panadol, Tylenol), aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin), caffeine, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin). Never give aspirin to anyone under the age of 19 because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome. Be careful when you take OTC pain meds, because they might also add to a headache. If you use them too much, you can get rebound headaches or become dependent on them. If you take any OTC pain relievers more than 2 days a week, talk to your doctor about prescription drugs that may work better. They may suggest prescription medicines that may work well to end your migraine pain include triptans, as well as the newer ditans and gepants. Your doctor can tell you if these are right for you.

Nausea medicine. Your doctor can prescribe medication if you get nausea with your migraine.

Preventive medicines.

If other treatments don’t work, your headaches are severe, or you have four or more migraine days a month, your doctor may suggest these. You take them regularly to make your headaches less severe or frequent. They include seizure medicines, blood pressure medicines (like beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers),

Neuromodulation devices: There are other devices available that affect the vagus nerve and the trigeminal nerve to give relief from or to prevent migraines

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Blog, Updated at: September 23, 2020


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