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Migraine Facts 101: Knowledge is Power

road sign with word migraine

Important Migraine Facts:

Migraine is an invisible disease so it makes knowing the facts part of a strong migraine defense.  Knowing migraine facts gives power and with that power comes hope and healing. As you read about the facts we must also remember these live in a person who suffers from the disease.  Each person has their own personal story and journey.  Those must be taken into consideration and do not always fit inside the box or lines we try to provide them.  This is where understanding, compassion, and grace must meet the facts.  Together the migraine patient will be able to live their best life.

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The Basics

These facts are true for many, but know that each migraine attack can be unique and one migraine can be different from a typical one from time to time.  This makes battling the disease more challenging and eventful, but not impossible.

Migraines are not a typical headache.  They are a neurological disease. 

Hearing migraine and headache as the same condition may get some negative reactions.  This is because so many other things come with migraine attacks.  Not every person experiences them with every migraine, but these symptoms can be part of the migraine.  

They include:

  • Nausea
  • Light sensitivity or Photophobia
  • Sensitivity to smell
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Cognitive Interference
  • Dizziness
  • Aura: Blurred Vision, seeing lines, spots, or other visual disturbances
girl with head in hands in pain

Other Facts About Migraine

Migraine is hereditary. This does not mean that you are destined to get it if a family member has migraine, but it does mean it can be passed from one family member to another. Being aware of the symptoms to look for and when to see a doctor are ways to feel prepared.

There are 4 stages of a migraine.

An individual can endure all stages or he or she may only go through a couple.  The Mayo Clinic explains that not everyone will go through all stages.

These include:





picture of all stages with person experiencing each one.  prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome.  See lady with hands on head and in pain.


The Prodrome is what may take place a couple of days before the actual attack for some people with migraine.  Not all people experience this phase.  This can include mood changes, food cravings, and increased thirst. 


Not all people with migraine experience an aura.  However, this phase can be an additional interference with life for those that do.  This includes visual disturbances, dizziness, weakness, and difficulty speaking.


The actual migraine attack includes severe pain and other symptoms listed above.  This is typically said to last four to seventy-two hours.  However, for some people, it can last much longer.  This is the most common phase experienced.  Being treated correctly can greatly impact this phase.


This is what is often referred to as the “migraine hangover”.  This is generally both a feeling of huge relief and utter exhaustion.  The migraine sufferer is past the pain, but their body is very run down from enduring the migraine attack.  He or she may feel very weak and sudden movements or exposure to triggers could bring the attack back.

Bonus, people with migraine may be more likely to have other conditions as well.  

These can include epilepsy or mental health illnesses.  This means it is important to care for the whole patient.  The migraine stages and symptoms can be very draining and take their toll on a person.  People with migraine can feel alone.  It is important for them to have a support system and quality care.

The National Library of Medicine explains, “Prior studies have found that migraine occurs together with other illnesses at a greater coincidental rate than is seen in the general population.” This does not mean every person with migraine will have another health condition. It is important to consider each individual and be aware of their needs.

Finding the Right Treatment Plan Can Take Time and Patience

Nothing is one size fits all in the migraine treatment plan options.  It can take some extensive time to find what works and while that can be exhausting it could also change your quality of life. There are many new medications on the market specifically created for migraines.  As these are rolled out it is important to communicate with your doctor to find what works best for you. Each person is different so it is important to be patient and not give up hope.

There are also other relief aids and habits you can add to your daily life to help win the battle against migraine. These can include simple things like an eye mask or a migraine cap. This could also be trying yoga or other activities that help your well-being as a person and migraine patient.

Neurologists are doctors who specialize in treating migraines.  

They are a resource most often sought after for migraine treatment. They will work with your other doctors to coordinate care.  Your neurologist can also give you some pointers if you are a person who does require the ER at times for migraines. Working with your doctor will keep you home more and help all involved provide you with the best care. 

cloud in crossed out symbol with the word migraine in road sign as storms can be a big migraine trigger

People have different triggers and those can even change over time. 

For more in-depth information on these see post: Migraine Triggers and How to Avoid Them

They may include:

Food triggers 


Lack of Sleep

Skipped Meals

Strong Smells


Bright Lights, Flashing Lights, Fluorescent Lights



Question bubble: Does attitude affect migraine?

Being Positive and Intentional in the Fight Against Migraine is a Powerful Defense

The conversation about migraine is growing and that could be very hopeful for the future. New medications, strategies, and ideas continue to surface. It is so valuable for the migraine sufferer to work with their doctor for the best care. 

It is also priceless for a migraine patient to have a support system.  Family and friends have no idea how much power they have to make a difference.  The person with migraine did not wish for this to happen and in the midst of any life that has been interrupted, they are also battling the pain and other symptoms. Compassion and understanding can also be very helpful in a migraine defense.

Living life with migraines can have its challenges, but it can still be a very full life! A person with migraines learns to be strong and to be thankful for blessings. Migraines do not have to take control of your life or the life of your loved one. They can be a part of your or their story and they can be what brings lessons of empathy and hope.

Read the post “Does Attitude Affect Migraines?” for more information.

Helpful Products on the Migraine Journey

Medication List Template

A complete medication list ensures that you get the best care and nothing gets missed. A place for directions, doses, and contact information is included. This is great for a medicine cabinet, someone helping care for someone else, or for communicating with healthcare providers. You might also check out the migraine attack tracker. You can …

Medication List Template Read More »


Habit Tracker Template

Starting a new habit can be intimidating. Having a plan, taking it one step at a time, and tracking your progress can mean more success! This habit tracker does all that for you. Check out this post on gratitude here. Join the Facebook Community for support and encouragement. Follow this new page to stay in …

Habit Tracker Template Read More »


Health Card

It is so helpful to have your medical information handy at all times. This can be especially true if you are in a situation where you are not well and you need someone else to advocate for you. Having important details written down ensures you will get the best care. This card includes a place …

Health Card Read More »


Migraine Facts

There are many misunderstandings about migraine. Here are a few in this free download. Confirm, clear up questions, and feel free to discuss with others. Awareness creates understanding. Find out more in Migraine 101 Also, find the Facebook community here. Check out product updates and migraine information on our new page here.


Migraine Attack Tracker

This migraine tracker will reveal triggers, symptoms, and what medicines are working. It is a great piece of data for the patient and doctor to discuss. Migraine Tracking is discussed more on and this migraine tracker is one way to take back some control of your migraine attacks so you can live your best …

Migraine Attack Tracker Read More »


Some Favorite Migraine Products


American Migraine Foundation. (2022, December 2). Migraine hangover – what is postdrome?: AMF. American Migraine Foundation.

Nancy  Erickson, M. D. (2021, December 30). What are the stages of a migraine?. Mayo Clinic Health System.

Wang, S.-J., Chen, P.-K., & Fuh, J.-L. (2010, August 23). Comorbidities of migraine. Frontiers in neurology.


Although we strive to provide accurate general information, the information presented here is not a substitute for any kind of professional advice, and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in the medical and health area for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any medical or health-related decisions. For your health-related questions, please seek the advice of a licensed physician or any other qualified healthcare provider immediately.

47 thoughts on “Migraine Facts 101: Knowledge is Power”

  1. Both my mom and sister suffer from migraines. This is very helpful information. I definitely agree compassion and empathy make a huge difference when it comes to migraines, especially triggers.

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  4. This is incredible information – thank you! I have two co-workers who suffer migraines and now realize that I’ve never understood what they were suffering. I’m going to share your website with both of them.

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  7. I had no idea migraines could be hereditary (you learn a new thing every day).
    Or that they could be so strong they could send someone to the ER.
    Prevention is key!

  8. You wrote a very detailed article! I have migraines sometimes, and it is really hard to cope with. Usually, I try to sleep more, but now I have two young kids. Thank you for the useful tips.

  9. I love at the end where you say migraines do not have to take control of your life. That’s powerful! Another great write up from you. I honestly never realized before how complex migraines are. Past the point of being super painful and making it hard to be in light or loud areas I really had no idea. Thank you for the insight.

  10. As a fellow migraine sufferer, this was a helpful and informative post. My triggers are generally hormones and scents, but I found other triggers listed in the post very interesting. I will consider these in the future. Great post!

  11. Your blogs are very unique. You are in a good niche; there are not many bloggers that cover this topic. I appreciate the information you have been sharing on migraine and your transparency about your struggles with this neurological disease.

  12. Great tips. Very thorough and I think people need to understand it is not just one thing that can cause migraines and they aren’t just “headaches”.

  13. Great tips! I don’t deal with migraine but last two days I had to deal with some headache and it wasn’t normal. I was suspecting once migraine before but it turned out I had spine problems, so I guess I’ll have to check it once again

  14. This is some great information. I really appreciate the visuals. Today I went to a new doctor, and honestly, this is the first doctor I have gone to that agrees that I do have migraines. Most doctors try and tell me they are not a migraine, that they are tension headaches I’m having and just tell me there is nothing they can do, but today’s doctor is willing to start looking into what we can do about them. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is a huge step for me.

  15. Clicked on this post because I have an aura migraine right now. Fortunately, they are very rare for me, but I had to go to bed super early last night because I had electric blue flashing lights disturbing my vision. Still have a solid headache today, but the lights have stopped. I was not aware of the additional symptoms in the days after a migraine. I will pay attention to how I feel over the next few days. Thanks for the info!

  16. This was such an informative post! I have chronic migraines and they’re the worse thing. I find that dim lights and staying hydrated have helped me the most in preventing them.

  17. THanks so much for all this great information! I suffered with migraines for years, but because my family assumed they were “just headaches” I did not get effective treatment for them until the last couple of years. It’s definitely worth getting a proper diagnosis!

  18. Very informative. I used to use the words “migraine” and “headache” interchangeable but I guess I should be more mindful about using the correct terms going forward!

    1. I even find myself start to do it once in awhile. No judgement here. Thank you for acknowledging the difference. though. Migraine does come with the potential for some severe head pain. There is just so much more involved. Thank you again for your thoughtful feedback.

  19. I’ve enjoyed the few posts of yours I have read now! It’s interesting how complex some of these things can be and how those of us not dealing with them never fully understand.

    1. I really appreciate your time here at migraineroad and hope you continue to visit our site. Migraines are a lot to take and they are not easy to unpack, but it takes consideration like yours to really make a difference. Thank you so much for your kind words.

    1. I really appreciate your attention to this topic and your compassion as a health care provider. It is the patient and the health care provider working as a team that I think create the most success. I respect mine very much. So thank you for what you do and for being here.

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