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Summary

If you suffer from migraine headaches, you're not alone. About 12 percent of the U.S. population
gets them. Migraines are recurring attacks of moderate to severe pain. The pain is throbbing or
pulsing, and is often on one side of the head. During migraines, people are very sensitive to light
and sound. They may also become nauseated and vomit.
Migraine is three times more common in women than in men. Some people can tell when they
are about to have a migraine because they see flashing lights or zigzag lines or they temporarily
lose their vision.
Many things can trigger a migraine. These include

Anxiety

Stress

Lack of food or sleep

Exposure to light

Hormonal changes (in women)

Doctors used to believe migraines were linked to the opening and narrowing of blood vessels in
the head. Now they believe the cause is related to genes that control the activity of some brain
cells. Medicines can help prevent migraine attacks or help relieve symptoms of attacks when
they happen. For many people, treatments to relieve stress can also help.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Start Here

Headache: Hope through Research


(National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke) Also in Spanish

Migraine (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Migraine

Migraines (American Academy of Family Physicians)

(National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Latest News

Women with Migraine May Face Higher Threat of Heart Disease, Stroke
(06/01/2016, HealthDay)

Diagnosis and Tests

Do I need an imaging study for my headache? (American Migraine


Foundation)

Sinus Headache (American Migraine Foundation)

Visual Disturbances: Related to Migraine or Not? (American Migraine


Foundation)

When to Go to the Emergency Room for a Headache or Migraine (American


Migraine Foundation)

Treatments and Therapies

Acupuncture: In Depth
Integrative Health)

Acute Therapy: Why Not Over-The-Counter or Other Nonspecific Options?


(American Migraine Foundation)

Butterbur

Commonly Used Acute Migraine Treatments (American Migraine Foundation)

Feverfew

Headaches and Complementary Health Approaches


Complementary and Integrative Health)

Medicines to Treat Migraine Headaches (National Center for Farmworker


Health, Consumers Union of U.S.) - PDF Also in Spanish

Migraine Headaches in Adults (Beyond the Basics) (UpToDate)

Relaxation Techniques for Health


Integrative Health)

Tips for Starting Yoga in Adults with Migraines (American Migraine


Foundation)

Triptans for Migraine Headaches: What You Should Know (Consumers Union of
U.S.) - PDF Also in Spanish

What Are Nerve Blocks for Headache? (American Migraine Foundation)

Living With

(National Center for Complementary and

(National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

(National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)


(National Center for

(National Center for Complementary and

Controversies in Headache Medicine: Migraine Prevention Diets (American


Migraine Foundation)

Headache Hygiene -- What Is It? (American Migraine Foundation)

Migraine's House of Headachesand Visiting the Neighbors (American


Migraine Foundation)

Migraines: Simple Steps to Head Off the Pain (Mayo Foundation for Medical
Education and Research)

Related Issues

Abuse, Maltreatment and PTSD and Their Relationship to Migraine (American


Migraine Foundation)

Alcohol and Migraine (American Migraine Foundation)

Allodynia: When Touch Hurts But Shouldn't (American Migraine Foundation)

Caffeine and Migraine (American Migraine Foundation)

Can Weather Changes Trigger Migraines? (Mayo Foundation for Medical


Education and Research)

Depression and Anxiety in Migraine Patients (American Migraine Foundation)

Migraine and Common Morbidities (American Migraine Foundation)

Migraine Medications and Antidepressants: A Risky Mix? (Mayo Foundation for


Medical Education and Research)

Migraines and Gastrointestinal Problems: Is There a Link? (Mayo Foundation


for Medical Education and Research)

Serotonin Syndrome (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Stress and Migraine (American Migraine Foundation)

Specifics

Abdominal Migraine (National Headache Foundation)

Basilar-Type Migraine (American Migraine Foundation)

Migraine with Aura (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

What Is an Ocular Migraine? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and


Research)

Genetics

Genetics Home Reference: COL4A1-related brain small-vessel disease


(National Library of Medicine)

Genetics Home Reference: cyclic vomiting syndrome


Medicine)

Genetics Home Reference: familial hemiplegic migraine


of Medicine)

Genetics Home Reference: familial porencephaly


Medicine)

Genetics Home Reference: sporadic hemiplegic migraine


of Medicine)

(National Library of

(National Library

(National Library of

(National Library

Health Check Tools

Recurrent Headaches (DSHI Systems)

Statistics and Research

Impact of Migraine on School Performance (American Academy of Neurology)


- PDF

Infant Colic and Migraine: Is There a Connection? (American Academy of


Neurology) - PDF

Clinical Trials

ClinicalTrials.gov: Migraine Disorders

(National Institutes of Health)

Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of


Medicine)

Article: Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine.

Article: Sumatriptan plus naproxen for the treatment of acute migraine


attacks...

Article: Drugs for the acute treatment of migraine in children and...

Migraine -- see more articles

Find an Expert

Find a Doctor or Treatment (American Migraine Foundation)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Also in Spanish

Children

Migraine Variants in Children (American Migraine Foundation)

Migraines: What a Pain! (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish

Teenagers

Migraine Headaches (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish

Women

Migraine (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's


Health)

Patient Handouts

Managing migraines at home Also in Spanish

Migraine Also in Spanish

Topic Image

MedlinePlus Email Updates

Get Migraine updates by email What's this?

MEDICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA

Managing migraines at home

Migraine

Serotonin syndrome

Related Health Topics

Headache

National Institutes of Health


The primary NIH organization for research on Migraine is the National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Languages

Chinese - Simplified ()

Chinese - Traditional ()

Spanish (espaol)

NIH MedlinePlus Magazine

Headache Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Migraine 101 Quiz

Migraine Headaches: Treatment & Research

Straight Talk about Migraines, Cindy McCain Speaks Out

Understanding Headaches: From Mild to Migraine

What Is Migraine?

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