Responsive Menu
Add more content here...

Migraine Facts 101: Knowledge is Power

road sign with word migraine

Important Migraine Facts:

Migraines are an invisible illness 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.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate that means I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read the full disclosure for more information.

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

Other Facts About Migraines

Migraines are hereditary.  

This does not mean that you are destined to get them if a family member has them, but it does mean they can be passed from one family member to another. They are more common and often more severe in women.

There are 4 stages of a migraine.

An individual can endure all stages or he or she may only go through a couple.  

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 days before the actual attack for some migraine sufferers.  Not all people experience this phase.  This can include mood changes, food cravings, and increased thirst. 


Not all migraine sufferers 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 the 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 of 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, migraine sufferers 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.  The migraine sufferer can feel alone.  It is important for them to have a support system and quality care. This does not mean every migraine sufferer 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 migraines. These can include simple things like an eye mask. This could also be trying yoga or other activities that help your wellbeing 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



They are also hereditary and having other health conditions like epilepsy may make you more prone to migraines.

Question bubble: Does attitude affect migraine?

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

The conversation about migraines 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 migraine sufferer 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.

Some Favorite Migraine Products


Mayo Clinic: Stages of Migraine


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 health care provider immediately.

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

  1. Pingback: 3 Strategies for Migraine During Vacation - Migraine Road

  2. 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.

  3. Pingback: Migraine Buddy App Review and More - Migraine Road

  4. Pingback: Migraine Brain Fog: No Joke - Migraine Road

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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”.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content