What you need to know about migraines

Migraines are extremely terrible headaches which usually affect one side of the head. They usually reoccur and are very painful. Women have been found to be three times more likely to have migraines than men.


Presently, the exact root cause of migraines has not been discovered. What scientists have found, however, are factors that stimulate the condition. These include:

  • Weather extremes like severe heat
  • Bright lights
  • Taking drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol
  • Excess stress
  • The use of certain drugs like oral contraceptives
  • Sleep loss
  • Loud sounds
  • Skipping meals


Migraines are associated with a number of risks and complications. Some of these come from the headaches and some from the drugs taken to tackle the symptoms. Migraines could last a long time, for as long as 2 to 14 days or even more in just one month. The resultant pain can render you unable to carry out your routine tasks. The challenge in dealing with migraines is in the side effects caused by the drugs used to combat it. The prescription drugs increase the level of serotonin in the brain in order to reduce migraines. However, this also increases the risk of one suffering from serotonin syndrome. Excess serotonin can cause one to suffer from nausea, diarrhea, and hallucinations. Also, because these headaches could be long-lasting, taking drugs for more than 10 days in a single month for a period longer than three months can actually lead to more headaches.

Symptoms and phases

Symptoms sometimes manifest a day or two before a headache itself. This is medically known as the prodrome stage. These are the symptoms one is likely to have at this stage:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Stiff neck
  • Recurrent yawning
  • Increased yearning for food

During this stage also, some people experience some disturbances like:

  • Prickling sensation in the legs and arms
  • Brief loss of vision
  • Light flashes
  • Difficulty in speaking

After this, the migraine actually occurs with symptoms capable of lasting for as long as three days. This is the attack phase. The symptoms vary with individuals and they include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain on one side of the head
  • Heightened sensitivity to sound and light
  • Feelings of dizziness

After this phase is over, the next phase is the postdrome phase which causes an individual to experience changes in feelings and mood.


When it comes to treating and managing migraines, it is important that you never take drugs unless they have been prescribed by a doctor. Your doctor is in the best position to prescribe the drug you should use based on how critical your headache is.

There are, however, some things you can do to get relief from the pain. You could massage your scalp or lie down in a quiet but dark room. You could also place a cold cloth behind your neck or over your forehead.

I do hope this post has helped you in some way. Please feel free to share and take a minute to drop a comment in the comment section below.