Everything you need to know about migraine attacks and their triggers

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Migraine is a common disease health problem, affecting 1 in 7 people worldwide, three times more common in women than in men. But, what causes it? According to Dr. Lakshmi Krishna V, Neurology Consultant at Kauvery Hospitals, Electronic City, Bengaluru, Migraine is a neurological disease in which a person suffers from moderate to severe unilateral disease. headache it can last from 4 to 72 hours and is often associated with nausea, vomiting, dizziness and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

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“Most migraine sufferers will only have a few attacks per month, and 2% of total cases are chronic migraine cases, in which people may have headaches for more than 15 days per month,” she explains.

migraine triggers

Cheese, wine, chocolate, nuts, ready meals, certain smells, bright light, sleep disturbances, menstruationmenopause, travel, climate change and stress can all trigger migraine pain.

Migraine phases

The doctor explains that a migraine episode has 4 phases: the first is the prodromal phase, which occurs a few hours to a few days before a headache. During this phase, the person will be irritable, depressed and will have increased yawning, food cravings.

The second is the aura phase, where a person sees flashes of light in front of their eyes, sees zigzag lines, feels numbness and tingling in the body. Migraines can occur with and without aura.

The third phase is the headache phase which lasts from 4 to 72 hours and the fourth phase is the migraine phase during which the person will usually be sick, irritable and confused.

Migraine is a neurological disease in which a person experiences a moderate to severe unilateral headache. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

“In women, the frequency of migraines may increase during menstruation, possibly due to a fall hormone levels (estrogens). In 2/3 of cases, migraine decreases during menopause. But in a few patients, it can start after menopause,” she says.

Did you know that children also have migraines?

“For them, it’s usually presented as cyclical vomiting or abdominal migraine without headache. Colic in infants may be the first sign of migraine. Children with a parent with migraine have a 50% chance of having migraine, and if both parents are affected then the chance is 75%.


Migraine is a mild condition, the doctor explains, adding that reassurance is the first part of treatment. “Avoiding triggers is key. These include quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, reducing caffeineand avoiding birth control pills in women with migraines.

Non-pharmacological therapies such as deep breathing, yoga, and relaxation techniques are also found to be effective for prevent migraine. “It is recommended to keep a migraine diary to understand the correlation between triggers and onsets in order to improve treatment,” concludes the doctor.

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