Is it a migraine?

Migraine Symptoms

If you are reading this, chances are you or someone you care about might be experiencing frequent, debilitating headaches. We understand how challenging it can be to deal with migraines, and we're here to help you better understand what they are and how you can figure out if you might be dealing with them.

What are Migraines?

Migraine is not just your typical headache; it is a complex neurological condition that affects approximately one billion people worldwide. Among the 39 million migraine sufferers in the United States, roughly 8 of 10 are women. Migraines go beyond the throbbing pain you might feel and can be quite overwhelming, impacting various aspects of your life – from work and daily routines to personal relationships. The first step in overcoming migraines is to start with understanding migraines.

Recognizing Migraine Symptoms

  1. Throbbing Headache: Migraines often manifest as a severe throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head. The intensity can range from moderate to severe, making it difficult to carry out regular tasks.
  2. Sensitivity to Light, Sound and Smells: During a migraine episode, you might find that lights, sounds or certain smells become bothersome and can intensify your discomfort.
  3. Nausea and Vomiting: Feeling nauseous or even vomiting is a common symptom experienced by many migraine sufferers.
  4. Aura: Some individuals experience an "aura" before or during the migraine attack. Auras are usually visual disturbances, such as flashes of light, blind spots, or zigzag lines.
  5. Pain & Sensitivity Symptoms:  The migraine headache typically is the peak of migraine symptoms. Some migraine sufferers may also experience numbness or tingling sensations, neck pain or stiffness, scalp tenderness, sweating or cold hands and feet before, during and after the migraine headache episode.
  6. Other Physical & Mental Symptoms:  Migraine sufferers may also experience fatigue or exhaustion, difficulty concentrating or brain fog, mood changes (irritability, anxiety, depression) and difficulty sleeping.
  7. Duration: Migraine attacks can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. The lingering pain can leave you feeling exhausted and emotionally drained.
  8. Triggers: Pay attention to potential triggers that precede your headaches. These can include stress, certain foods, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, or environmental factors.

Migraine Diagnosis

A medical professional, typically a neurologist or headache specialist, can diagnose migraines based on your symptoms and medical history. The medical professional may typically start with a MIDAS or a HIT-6 migraine assessment. These assessments help you and your medical professional understand the severity of your migraines and kick-start your journey to find personlized solutions that can help you feel better. 

Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS)

The Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire is a simple yet powerful self-assessment tool that can assist you in identifying the impact of migraines on your daily life. By answering a few questions about the frequency and severity of your headaches, as well as how they affect your daily activities, the MIDAS test can provide valuable insights to healthcare professionals. With this knowledge, they can make a more accurate diagnosis and suggest personalized treatment plans to help you better manage and alleviate your migraines. Take MIDAS test today online and get easy to understand results to share with your medical professional.

Headache Impact Test (HIT-6)

The Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) is another valuable tool in the field of migraine diagnosis and assessment. Developed by leading headache experts, HIT-6 is a standardized questionnaire designed to evaluate the impact of headaches on an individual's daily life. Consisting of six simple yet comprehensive questions, the HIT-6 test assesses the frequency, intensity, and functional limitations caused by headaches, including migraines. By analyzing the results, healthcare professionals can gain valuable insights into the severity of the condition and its effects on the patient's physical and emotional well-being. Take HIT-6 test today online and get easy to understand results to share with your medical professional. 

Migraine Tracking

If the above migraine tests indicate that you may be suffering from migraines, understanding, and tracking migraine symptoms is the next crucial step towards finding relief and taking control of your well-being. By monitoring your symptoms regularly, you can identify potential triggers, patterns, and changes in your migraine episodes, helping you and your healthcare provider make more informed decisions about treatment options. Moreover, keeping a symptom diary fosters a deeper understanding of how migraines impact your daily life, emotions, and activities. It allows you to express your experiences and emotions, offering a sense of validation and empowerment in the face of this challenging condition. To make this process easier and more organized, several user-friendly migraine tracking apps are available. Apps and websites like Migraine Buddy, Headache Diary, and Migraine Might offer features to log symptoms, record potential triggers, track medication intake, and even generate detailed reports to share with your healthcare team. Embrace the power of tracking, and let these apps be your supportive companions on your journey to managing migraines with greater confidence and compassion.

When to Seek Medical Help

If you are frequently experiencing headaches that align with the symptoms mentioned above, it's essential to seek medical advice. While migraines are not usually life-threatening, they can significantly impact your quality of life if left untreated.


Remember, you don't have to face migraines alone. Seek support from friends, family, and medical professionals who can provide understanding and guidance throughout your journey.

Understanding migraines is the first step in managing them effectively. Be compassionate with yourself, and don't hesitate to reach out for help. Together, we can navigate through the challenges of migraines and work towards a better quality of life.



  1. NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke
  2. Mayo Clinic: What is a migraine?
  3. American Migraine Foundation
  4. Scripps Health - MIDAS Migraine Disability Assessment
  5. NIH - Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6) Scores for Migraine Patients


Disclaimer: The information provided on this webpage is for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are experiencing severe or chronic headaches, please consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.