Migraines

What are migraines?

Migraines are a recurring type of headache. They cause moderate to severe pain that is throbbing or pulsing. The pain is often on one side of your head. You may also have other symptoms, such as nausea and weakness. You may be sensitive to light and sound.

What causes migraines?

Researchers believe that migraine has a genetic cause. There are also a number of factors that can trigger a migraine, including

Who is at risk for migraines?

About 12 percent of Americans get migraines. They can affect anyone, but you are more likely to have them if you

What are the symptoms of migraines?

There are four different phases of migraines. You may not always go through every phase each time you have a migraine.

Migraines are more common in the morning; people often wake up with them. Some people have migraines at predictable times, such as before menstruation or on weekends following a stressful week of work.

How are migraines diagnosed?

To make a diagnosis, your health care provider will

An important part of diagnosing migraines is to rule out other medical conditions which could be causing the symptoms. So you may also have blood tests, an MRI or CT scan, or other tests.

How are migraines treated?

There is no cure for migraines. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing additional attacks.

There are different types of medicines to relieve symptoms. They include triptan drugs, ergotamine drugs, and pain relievers. The sooner you take the medicine, the more effective it is.

There are also other things you can do to feel better:

There are some lifestyle changes you can make to prevent migraines:

If you have frequent or severe migraines, you may need to take medicines to prevent further attacks. Talk with your health care provider about which drug would be right for you.

Certain natural treatments, such as riboflavin (vitamin B2) and coenzyme Q10, may help prevent migraines. If your magnesium level is low, you can try taking magnesium. There is also an herb, butterbur, which some people take to prevent migraines. But butterbur may not be safe for long-term use. Always check with your health care provider before taking any supplements.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke



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