By Joseph Conrad

Migraines is a chronic disease that affects a person’s quality of life.  According to medical experts, this disease is mainly a headache disorder. Typically the headache affects half of the head and generally takes from 2 to 72 hours [1]. The pain of migraines disease is made severe by any manual activity. The cause of migraines illness is believed to be due to genetic and environmental factors.

Changes in hormonal levels may also play a very big role in the occurrence of this disease.  It usually affects mostly girls than boys before reaching the puberty stage and frequently 2 to 3 times more women than men. The exposure of this disease usually decreases during pregnancy periods. Migraines usually affect the blood vessels and the nerves of the blood [2].

Symptoms of Migraines

Migraines regularly begin in childhood, adulthood, or adolescent stage. The four stages of Migraines include prodrome, aura, headache, and post-drome, though a migraine sufferer may not pass all the four the stages.


This is a stage that usually occurs 1 or 2 days before a migraine attack. The symptoms include:

  • Having a hard stool.
  • The variation of moods occurs, from a prolonged sadness to euphoria.
  • Longing to eat more food.
  • Having a stiff neck.
  • Increased urination and thirst.
  • Having regular yawning.

Aura Stage

Aura stage may happen during or before migraines. A large number of individuals experience migraines without aura. Auras symptoms can be defined as the signs of the nervous system. The signs of aura stage include; having a zigzag vision, experiencing flashes of light or wavy light vision [3].

In some instances, auras can affect senses, movement, or language. A migraine sufferer may have weak muscles or may encounter a funny experience like someone touching you. Each of these signs starts in a gradual way, occurs over multiple times and then lasts for twenty to sixty minutes. Examples of aura migraines include:

  • Visual experiences such as seeing different shapes, flashes of light or bright spots.
  • Losing your vision.
  • Needles and pins sensations on the leg or on the arm.
  • Numbness or weakness on the face or at the side of the body.
  • Having difficulty in speaking.
  • Hearing music or noises.
  • Uncontrollable movements or jerking.

A headache

A migraine usually takes from 4 to 72 hours if not diagnosed [4].  The occurrence with which the headaches happen varies from one individual to another. During this period you may experience the following:

  • Pain on both sides or one side of your head.
  • A pain that feels pulsing or throbbing.
  • Sensitivity to sounds, light, and sometimes touch or smells.
  • Having vomiting and nausea.
  • Having an unclear vision.
  • Experiencing lightheadedness, which can be followed by fainting.


This is the final stage of a migraine. Some migraine sufferers in this stage may feel washed out and drained, while others  may feel elated. For around one day, you may experience the following:

  • Feeling confounded to a particular issue.
  • Moodiness.
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling weak
  • Sensitivity to sound and light.

Risk Factors of Migraine Disease

Numerous factors may make you more exposed to this disease which includes the following:

  • History of the family:  if one of your family members suffers from migraines, then your chances of a diagnosis are higher.
  • Age: migraines can occur at any stage especially during the adolescent stage. It tends to peak during 30 years of age, and become less frequent and less severe as one gets older.
  • Sex: women have a higher prevalence of migraines than men. Headaches affect boys more compared to girls during childhood, but at the puberty stage and beyond, girls are affected at a higher rate.
  • Hormonal changes: women are usually affected by this disease especially shortly after the menstruation period. Migraines normally improve after menopause [5].


  • Reducing the effects of estrogen: if you are a woman suffering from migraines, it is always advisable to reduce or avoid taking medications that contain estrogen, unless medically necessary. Always consult with your medical doctor.
  • Exercising regularly: Regular yoga or gym exercises may reduce the tension assisting in preventing migraines.  If your doctor advises you to walk, swim, or cycle a bicycle don’t take that for granted. T-Tapp (www.t-tapp.com) is a no-impact workout that may assist.
  • Creating a consistent daily schedule: establishing a daily routine with regular meals and regular sleep patterns is vitally important.

Causes of Migraine Disease

The etiology of migraines is yet to be discovered by medical scientists. However,  environmental and genetic factors may play a major role in the occurrence of this disease. Migraine illness may be due to brainstem and interactions changes with the trigeminal nerve, a key pain pathway [6].

Imbalances of brain chemicals, including serotonin, which assists in regulating pain in your nervous system, can also be a major cause of a migraines. Medical researchers are still investigating the role of serotonin in migraines. Serotonin levels decrease during migraine attacks. This may lead to your trigeminal nerve producing substances called neuropeptides which may be transmitted to the cortex. The result is migraine pain.

Migraine Complications:

  • A chronic migraine: if a migraine lasts for fifteen days or more in a month, you have a high probability of having a chronic migraine.
  • Status migrainosus: individuals with this kind of complication have severe attacks of a migraine which last for more than three days.
  • Persistent aura without infarction: normally an aura vanishes after the migraine attack, but in some instances, an aura takes more than one week afterward. A persistent aura probably may have similar signs of bleeding in the brain or damaging brain tissues.
  • Migrainous infarction: this is a complication which leads to a blood loss in the brain leading to a brain stroke and should be evaluated thoroughly [7].  

Special attention should be done when treating this kind of disease, by distinguishing its signs and symptoms. Migraine sufferers should be taken seriously, as this is a chronic illness that definitely impacts a person’s quality of life.


  1. Denuelle M, and others.  A PET study of photophobia during spontaneous migraine attacks.  Neurology 2012
  2. Evans RW, Olesen J. Migraine classification, diagnostic criteria and testing. Neurology 2015
  3. Goadsby PH. Migraine, aura and spreading depression: Why are we still talking about it ? Ann Neurol, 2016
  4. Lipton RB and others. Migraine in the United States. Epidemiology and patterns of health care use. Neurology 2014
  5. Mascia A, Afra J, Schoenen J. Dopamine and migraine: a review of pharmacological, biochemical, neurophysiological and therapeutic data. Cephalgia 2017
  6. Meyer JS et al. Reversible cognitive decline accompanies migraine and cluster headache. Headache 2013
  7. Rozen et al. Increasing incidence of medically recognized migraine headache in a United States population. Neurology 2015