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What is Migraine?

What is Migraine?

Migraine is a neurological issue with a variety of symptoms often including acute headaches, throbbing sensation and enfeebles. There can be certain sensory alterations too, prior to the headache that is recognised as aura and is usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting. A migraine attack can stay effective from a few hours to several days. The discomfort caused by the ailment impedes the day to day activities. Women have a higher probability of having migraine than men. Classic migraines(with aura) and common migraines(without aura) are the most common and familiar type of migraines. The other types of migraine include silent migraines, hemiplegic migraines, retinal migraines, ice-pick headaches, cluster headaches and cervicogenic headaches.


Headache stands as the predominant symptom of migraine. Generally, there are four stages of a migraine: prodrome, aura, attack and post-drome. However, not everyone experiences all the four phases.
Probable warnings or symptoms include:

  1. Intense pulsation or mild aching either on one side of the head or both sides.

  2. Increase in pain due to physical activity.

  3. Changes in vision- blurred vision or blind spots.

  4. Sensitivity to light, noise, or odours.

  5. Fatigue and Nausea

  6. Feeling cold or sweaty.

  7. Stiff or tender neck.

  8. Light-headedness.

  9. Tender scalp.


Causes of migraine have not been specifically diagnosed. However, genetical and physical factors seem to be vital elements. The onset of migraine potentially begins with the overactive nerve cells accelerating the trigeminal nerve. This is followed by the body releasing serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) which stimulates swelling of blood vessels in the lining of the brain. This process causes neurotransmitters to instigate inflammation and discomfort.

Common causes for migraine include:

  • Hormonal alterations in women

  • Fluids, especialy alcohol

  • Sensory impulses

  • Disruptive sleeping hours

  • Medications

  • Diets and Food additives

Women are prone to chronic migraines which are usually related to fluctuating hormones during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause.


Migraines are predominantly diagnosed by health professionals through a thorough evaluation of the genetic history, medical issues and ongoing symptoms of the patient. There’s no particular test to assess and diagnose a migraine. For further validation blood tests, EEG, CT scan or MRI could be conducted to determind the other probable causes for a similar headache like a stroke, tumour or unusual brain structures.


Despite the fact that there are no specific medicines for treatment of migraine convulsions, going through certain treatments might control the symptoms or prevent them from intensifying. There are two types of medicines that are primarily prescribed to deal with migraine. One is “abortive” which prevents severe ache and provides relief. The other one is “prophylactic”. It is taken regularly to reduce the frequency of headaches.

The treatment map for migraine usually consists of:

  • Medications for OTC pain such as NSAIDs or acetaminophen (Tylenol)

  • Hormonal therapy if menstrual cycle appears to incite migraine.

  • Prescribed medications to ease nausea or vomiting

  • Counselling sessions

  • Alternative care such as meditation, acupressure, or acupuncture.


For most of the health issues, there are some preventive measures that can reduce our susceptibility to the disease. One can prevent migraine by embracing the following habits and lifestyle changes:

1. Keep a record of symptoms and averting spasms for better evaluation.

2. Drink a lot of water and health drinks.

3. Deter from skipping meals. Rather maintain a healthy diet chart

4. Adjust sleeping schedule to get adequate rest.

5. Adopt certain good habits such as regular meditation and yoga for mind and body relaxation.

6. Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes.

7. Take medications on time prescribed by the doctor.

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