Migraine symptoms and triggers - Understanding the causes and signs of migraines


Are you fed up with coping with migraine's severely excruciating pain? A first step in winning the battle over migraines is being able to identify their symptoms and the triggers that cause them. 


In this article, we are going to find out the reasons and symptoms of migraine, so you will have the ability to handle and prevent headaches that make your life humid.

What is a migraine?

Migraine is a widespread neurological condition that involves more than headache. The condition affects millions of people across the world. Unlike a common headache, migraines have extreme, long-lasting pain that can persist for hours or even days. The pain is mostly like a throbbing one and sometimes with other symptoms such as light or sound sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting.

Visual changes, also known as auras, are another brain-incurred condition migraines are paired. Auras are generally transient in nature and may be observed as strobe, clouding, or even short loss of sight. In fact, auras are not a feature for all people with migraine, but they can raise the alarm that a migraine attack is about to happen.

People affected by migraine can have it at any time, but it most often appears during adolescence or early adulthood. They are more often to be detected in women than men and it is thought hormonal shifts must be the reason for this gender difference.

Common symptoms of migraines

The spectrum of migraine symptoms is wide and they can be different in the case of different people. The worst symptom is a very bad headache that usually occurs on one side of the head and gets worse as the person becomes more active. A possibility of agonizing pain is quite common which, in turn, may become so severe that a person has no strength to participate in ordinary life.


In addition to the headache, migraines can cause other symptoms such as:

  1. Sensitivity to light and sound: Many migraine patients suffer photosensitivity and phonophobia along with their headaches as symptoms during an attack. Coming in contact with lights or sounds that are too bright or too loud can aggravate the pain.
  2. Nausea and vomiting: Migraines are usually accompanied by a disturbance of the stomach that can provoke vomiting in some cases. That will consequently lead to the worsening of the said problem and extra pain.
  3. Dizziness and lightheadedness: Migraines have a way of causing dizziness and a sense of lightheadedness during attacks as well. This can make the person feel the loss of the center of his or her world and can make it difficult for the person to walk well because of his or her less coordination.
  4. Visual disturbances: Earlier, I had mentioned how migraines were related to the existence of auras, which are vision disturbances that can be perceived as shining lights, zigzag lines, or complete darkness. The visual disturbances that are caused by this build-up are unsettling and may even serve as a signal for the onset of a migraine.

Different types of migraines

Migraines might either be type-1 or type-2, which stand for different symptoms and features. Knowing the exact type of migraine you have enables you to properly regulate your conditions. Here are some common types of migraines:

  • Migraine without aura: This is the most frequently occurring type of migraine which features moderate up to severe headaches without any vision effect and these are called auras. Persons with this kind of migraine might find themselves experiencing related signs such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and many other common migraine symptoms.
  • Migraine with aura: This is a type of migraine that consists of auras preceding or accompanying the headache phase. Auras normally include visual disturbances like seeing flashlights or blind spots along with other sensory or motor disturbances.
  • Chronic migraine: There is a type of migraine called chronic migraine that is characterized by 15 or more days of migraine headaches per month for at least 3 consecutive months. It might turn out to be a very severe problem that extremely limits the daily life of individuals.
  • Menstrual migraine: Some ladies may have these migraines that are tightly connected to their menstrual cycle. These headaches evidently take place before or after a period and commonly are more intense than those felt at other times.

Potential triggers for migraines

The true reason why migraines occur is not yet fully known, but some triggers have been identified that could increase the chances of having a migraine attack. The important thing is that the triggers differ from person to person. 

One, who suffers from migraines, may never know what can trigger off the same in another. Using the specific trigger detection, you will be able to make a couple of preventative procedures (probably avoiding them) as well as reduce their triggers and symptoms.

The role of genetics in migraines

Scientific and medical studies have provided strong evidence that genetics make a notable contribution to the onset of migraines. In case either or both of your parents suffer from migraines, you could assume the inherited tendency to migraine headaches too. Although having a genetic prone doesn't prevent you from getting migraine headaches, the condition may trigger them. It only creates an impression in you that you are infected with those diseases.

How hormones can contribute to migraines

The hormonal changes, especially female sex have been known to have a relationship with migraines. The formation of a migraine among some women is often associated with menstrual cycles and may occur a few days before or commencement of menstruation. Phase fluctuation of estrogen is a factor that now is believed to be responsible for the cases of menstrual migraines.

Migraine triggers related to diet and lifestyle


Some foods and habits that frequently cause migraine attacks are recognized. These include:
  • Food triggers: Several food triggers for migraines include cheese, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and food that has MSG. The diet should be monitored carefully and it is necessary to detect any particular meal that may cause migraine headaches.
  • Skipping meals: One more reason why it may happen is when a person fasts or skips eating. Continuous sleeping/eating schedules and sufficient amounts of food can decrease migraine severity and frequency.
  • Lack of sleep: Lack of sleep or any fluctuating sleep routine can increase the possibility of the condition arising. Keeping a regular routine of sleep and aligned with good sleep hygiene practices could prevent the migraine.
  • Stress: Some people are extremely likely to get migraine attacks after experiencing stress. Searching for healthy stress management methods, say, relaxation techniques or daily exercise, one can drop the frequency and severity of the migraines.

Environmental factors that can trigger migraines

Aside from genetics, other environmental factors are causing migraine, too. Some common triggers include:
  • Bright lights: Exposure to bright lights, like fluorescent lighting or intense sunshine, in other cases can cause the headache to start. Sunglasses together with dimmer lighting go a long way in preventing this risk from subsiding.
  • Strong smells: Numerous strong odorants such as cleaning products, perfumes, and various chemicals are capable of causing migraines in some people. Limiting exposure to these sensitizers or switching to fragrance-free products should also help.
  • Weather changes: People who are prone to migraines have experienced barometric pressure changes or sudden temperature transitions triggering the condition. By keeping up to date with weather forecasts and adopting the necessary precautions, we can reduce the chances of being affected.

Recognizing early warning signs of migraines

learning about the typical symptoms and triggers of a migraine is not enough. One must be aware of the early signs that indicate the impending attack as well. With the recognition of these signals, you can do the necessary factors to control your paradoxical pains efficiently. Some common early warning signs include:

  1. Prodrome: Prodrome is a cluster of symptoms that a person experiences before his arrival. These symptoms are shown through such illness indicators as fatigue, mood fluctuations, food cravings, and increased thirst. Do not ignore the emergency symptoms especially when they occur for the first time because they can prevent any worse situation.
  2. Aura: Likewise, people have encountered before or during their migraine auras. Spotting auras that bring visual problems or any other sensory changes can cause a construable prognosis before the stroke.
  3. Neck stiffness: Some people can already sense stiffness in their neck or feel muscle tension earlier before the migraine hits. When you try to get your attention on these bodily sensations, then taking preventive actions becomes easy to prevent a full-blown migraine.
  4. mood changes: Some people are affected by mood shifting to such a state as irritability or depression before migraine attacks. With this knowledge about the emotional signs you may notice during migraines, you will be able to build up a strategy to help you become more in control of your migraines.


While it may be daunting to cope with them, being aware of the causes and symptoms of migraines is key to preventing and handling migraines. By identifying exact triggers and attempting to avoid them, you can lessen the amount and the seriousness of the migraines. It is possible to need a therapist to help you develop an individualized treatment plan that might include medications, lifestyle changes, and other means of intervention.

Sip2 Health
By : Sip2 Health

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