Migraine: Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors

Causes and Symptoms of Migraine


Migraine is a sudden, intense headache with or without vomiting and visual events.
Classical migraine is a triad of paroxysmal headache, vomiting and neurological (visual) events.
People with headaches with or without vomiting but no focal events have Common migraine. 
Migraine can last for minutes to hours to days, the pain is so severe that a person is unable to do his/her daily activities.

What are the causes of Migraine?

The known causes of migraine are listed below:-

  1. Genetic predisposition
  2. Hormonal imbalance:- Females suffer from migraine during there menstrual cycle and also during menopause which hint towards hormonal imbalance.
  3. Food items like chocolates, dairy, alcohol are also known to trigger migraine.
  4. Psychological stress is also known to cause migraine.
  5. Disturbed sleep or irregular sleep pattern is known to cause migraine.
  6. Smoking is also a causative factor for migraine.
  7. Bright lights, Loud sounds and strong smells also trigger migraine

What are the symptoms associated with Migraine?

Migraine symptoms occur in three phases that are as follow:-

  1. Prodrome phase:- before the migraine attack
  2. Actual attack phase
  3. Postdrome phase:- after the migraine attack.

Prodrome phase:

Migraine symptoms start to appear one to two days before the actual attack.

The symptoms include:-

  • Sudden anxiety or depressive state
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Laziness
  • Stiffness around the neck.
  • Aura of focal neurological events which includes mostly visual events such as blurry vision, flashes of bright light, vision loss, but can also include numbness, tingling of arm, difficult speech, confused mind.

Attack phase:

Severe headache which may be one sided or on both sides. Headache is so severe that the patient prefers to be alone in a dark quiet room light and sound aggravates his/her condition.there is nausea and vomiting along with stiffness in the neck.

Postdrome phase:

After the attack phase passes there is low energy, fatigue. Confused thoughts and washed off state of mind.

What are the risk factors of Migraine?

Risk factors related to migraine are as follow:-

  1. Strong family history of migraine.
  2. Age:- migraine can start as early as in teenage and as late as in the fifties.
  3. Smoking and Alcohol are known to cause migraines.
  4. Hormonal imbalance in menstruating and menopausal women.
  5. Sex:- females suffer from migraine more than men.

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