What is Migraine? Causes, Symptoms, Treatment


Migraine is a complex disorder of severe headache accompanied by various symptoms. The exact cause of the Migraine is still unknown but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors. It affects millions of people across the world and it is a kind of disorder that affects the quality of life.

Common symptoms of migraine are severe headache which is accompanied by vomiting and nausea. In some cases, there is a high level of sensitivity to light and sound. Symptoms of migraine differ. Person to person. This headache interferes daily life activities of a person, and here in this article, you will learn everything about migraines.

Factors Contributing to Migraine/Causes of Migraine

There are several causes as mentioned above and these causes are described in the below section:

Neurological factors – There is some unknown brain activity that affects nervous communication which may include a change in neurotransmitters and serotonin level. Above both conditions can play a major role in the development of migraines.

Genetic Factor – Some genes are responsible for migraine. Some families run into genetic predispositions and have increased susceptibility to migraines.

Environmental Factors – Certain changes in weather, temperature, and pressure can be a reason for migraine headaches.

Hormonal Factors – Very frequent fluctuations in estrogen during the menstrual phase or in the pregnancy period can result in increased migraines in some individuals.

Factors That Can Trigger Migraine

There are genetic predispositions, hormonal factors, or environmental factors that can cause Migraines but there are some reasons because of why they can be triggered.

  1. Intense physical exertion, lack of sleep, or fluctuations in sleeping time can be reasons for migraine pain.
  2. Emotions or stress may be linked to frequent migraine attacks.
  3. Food with more caffeine or nicotine can also trigger migraine.
  4. Some chocolates, processed meats, and cheese can also trigger migraine.
  5. Strong odors, heavy pressure, bright lights, and alcohol will also increase migraine pain.

Symptoms of Migraine

Various symptoms of migraine are characterized by distinct phases and vary from one person to another. Some symptoms are suggested to prevent and some others have treatment. Most people have Headaches, prodromal, and postdrome symptoms. The most common symptoms include four categories:

 Aura – These are visual disturbances like flashing lights, temporary vision loss, and zig-zag lines. These symptoms are seen before headache, and sometimes sensory or motor nerve disturbances also occur in individuals.

Prodrome- These are kinds of mood swings and changes in the energy level of a person, sometimes there are also changes in eating habits and appetite. This phase may continue before hours or days of headache.

Headache – It is the main symptom and a problematic phase for a patient, cycles of severe headaches take place in this phase. Accompanied by throbbing, one-sided headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. These symptoms may last long for hours and days sometimes.

Postdrome – This phase includes feelings of fatigue, irritability, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating, it is also called a migraine hangover.

Treatment of Migraine

There is no particular area to control in migraine and the patient has to control their lifestyle as well as have to take medication. It is necessary to consult with a professional before medication and also during a headache. There are acute treatments for severe conditions but preventive measures and light medicines are suggested in general conditions.

General Medications:

  • For acute treatments, pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin are taken, which are available at every medical counter.
  • Triptans are generally prescribed for decreasing vessel inflammation and providing relief in extreme conditions.
  • Anti-depressant and antiepileptic medicines are prescribed for frequent and severe migraines.
  • Some other medicines that can be taken are beta-blockers and CGRP inhibitors.

Non-Pharmaceutical Therapies for Migraine:

These are non-medical treatments that reduce symptoms of migraine and help in the general and day-to-day life of a patient.

Biofeedback techniques – These are techniques that are taught to a patient for controlling physiological responses like muscle tension, they help in slowing down symptoms of migraine.

Nutritional Supplements – These are phrase food or some supplements that can reduce migraine to some extent. These include Riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 for migraine prevention.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy –  These are thought processes for coping and managing stress related to migraine.  

Preventive Measures for Migraine Patients:

These include preventive measures to be taken by the patient of migraine. These are some general prevention like avoiding triggers like bright light and high sound. You can take the following steps:

  1. Manage a migraine diary to identify and avoid triggers of migraine.
  2. Prioritize and maintain your circadian rhythm.
  3. Do exercise and yoga to reduce symptoms and stress.
  4. Do not sit for long hours in the same position and use relaxation techniques.
  5. Take acupuncture sessions from professionals, some patients get relief from needles used in acupuncture.

Emerging treatments and alternative options for migraine patients:

  • Migraine patients may take some herbal medicines like Butterbur and Feverfew which are known for their migraine-preventive properties.
  • You can also take a slow head massage daily from mustard oil.
  • Use an icepack during severe headaches, it will help in reducing vessel inflammatory symptoms.
  • An emerging treatment is TMS transcranial magnetic stimulation, which is a kind of non-invasive nerve stimulation that helps in stimulating brain-specific nerves for quick relief. However, this technique is uncommon and not available for every patient.


Many factors affect the complex neurological disorder of migraine. Its symptoms include severe headache cycles with vomiting and nausea. Migraine is reduced but can’t be controlled completely so it is necessary to take preventive measures. There are non-pharmaceutical treatments that you can take in day-to-day life. Migraine has a prodromal effect also so you can avoid it before it is triggered into a severe headache.

Timely consultation and necessary medications are necessary for such a type of disease. You can take help and necessary consultation from Dr. Simple Bhadania, she will guide you on how to take measures and necessary treatment for the disease.