What is Migraine, Symptoms & Causes

what is a migraine headache?

A neurologic condition called migraine frequently results in a severe headache. The headache comes in bursts, and it may also occasionally be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity.

Migraine Symptoms

Migraine is different for everyone. In many people, it happens in stages. These stages may include:


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

  • Being sensitive to light, sound, or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Food cravings or lack of appetite
  • Mood changes
  • Severe thirst
  • Bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea


These symptoms stem from your nervous system and often involve your vision. They usually start gradually, over a 5- to 20-minute period, and last less than an hour. You may:

  • See black dots, wavy lines, flashes of light, or things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • Have tunnel vision
  • Not be able to see at all
  • Have tingling or numbness on one side of your body
  • Not be able to speak clearly
  • Have a heavy feeling in your arms and legs
  • Have ringing in your ears
  • Notice changes in smell, taste, or touch


  • A migraine headache frequently develops from a dull aching into throbbing pain. Usually, it gets worse as you exercise. The pain may be in the front of your head, travel from one side of your head to the other, or feel as though it is pervasive throughout your brain.
  • About half of people vomit, and about 80% of people experience nau
    The headache comes in bursts

    sea and headaches. Additionally, you can feel dizzy or be cold and pale.

  • The average duration of a migraine attack is 4 hours, although more severe cases can continue up to 3 days. Two to four headaches per month are typical. While some people only experience migraines once or twice a year, others may experience them frequently.


This stage can last up to a day after a headache. Symptoms include:

  • Feeling tired, wiped out, or cranky
  • Feeling unusually refreshed or happy
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Food cravings or lack of appetite
Migraine Causes

Although migraine headaches appear to be linked to genetics and changes in your brain, doctors are unsure of their specific etiology. Even migraine causes like exhaustion, harsh lights, or changes in the weather can be inherited from your parents.

For a long time, scientists believed that abnormalities in the blood flow to the brain caused migraines. Most people now believe that while it may contribute to the discomfort, it does not cause it.

According to current theories, your trigeminal nerve, which supplies sensation to your head and face, is likely what triggers an attack of migraine headaches. This signals the release of hormones including serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from your body. The brain’s lining blood vessels enlarge when CGRP is present. Then, neurotransmitters cause inflammation and pain.


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