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Migraine

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

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (UpToDate)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • Easy-to-Read (Consumers Union of U.S.) Also in

Living With

  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Related Issues

  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Migraine Foundation)

Specifics

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Health Check Tools

  • (DSHI Systems)

Statistics and Research

  • (American Academy of Neurology) - PDF
  • (American Academy of Neurology) - PDF

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • (American Migraine Foundation)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Women

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

Patient Handouts

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