More than ‘just a headache’ – Migraine

Migraine is a neurological condition that causes multiple symptoms. It is frequently characterized by intense and debilitating headaches. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking, numbness or tingling, and sensitivity to light & sound.

About 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 12 men, develop migraines at some point in their life!




Migraine’s Causes and Triggers


Causes & Triggers Description
Physiological triggers Abnormal changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve as well as an imbalance of serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) might leads to migraine attacks. 
Hormonal changes in women Fluctuations in estrogen, such as before or during menstrual periods, pregnancy and menopause, seem to trigger headaches in many women. The use of hormonal medications such as oral contraceptive and hormone replacement therapy might worsen the migraine. 
Drinks Frequent consumption of alcohol and caffeine increase the risk of a migraine attack.
Stress Stress at work or at home.
Sensory stimuli Bright light, sun glare, loud sound and strong smell such as perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke and others can trigger a migraine.
Sleep changes Missing sleep, getting too much sleep or jet lag can trigger migraines in some people.
Physical factors Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, might provoke migraines.
Medications Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin can aggravate migraines.
Foods Aged cheeses and salty and processed foods might trigger migraines. 
Food additives Such as MSG and sweetener aspartame.



Risk Factors

Risk Factors Description
Family history The chance of migraines is higher when there is a family member who has a migraine.
Age Migraines can begin at any age, though the first often occurs during adolescence. Migraines tend to peak during the 30s, and gradually become less severe and less frequent in the following decades.
Sex Women are three times more likely to have a migraine.
Hormonal changes For women who have migraines, headaches might begin just before or shortly after the onset of menstruation. Migraines generally improve after menopause.


Lifestyles and Home Remedies

Remedies Description
Relaxation technique Biofeedback and other forms of relaxation training train us to manage stress; which might help in reducing migraine attacks.
Develop eating and sleeping routine Don’t sleep too much or too little. Set and follow a consistent sleep and wake schedule daily. Try to eat meals at the same time every day.
Drink plenty of fluid Staying hydrated, particularly with water might help.
Keep a headache diary Continue recording headache diary even after medical visits. It will help you learn more about what triggers your migraines and what treatment is most effective.
Exercise regularly Regular aerobic exercise reduces tension and can help prevent a migraine. These exercises include cycling, walking and swimming. Warm-up slowly, however, because sudden, intense exercise can cause headaches.



  1. A migraine attack is associated with poor sleep quality, stressful emotions and low serotonin levels in the body. Therefore, correcting sleep quality, moods and serotonin able to help in managing migraine attacks.
  2. Valerian root extract contains valerenic acid, isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants. Studies have shown that low levels of GABA related to acute and chronic stress are linked to anxiety and low-quality sleep. Valerenic acid has been found to inhibit the breakdown of GABA in the brain, resulting in feelings of calmness and tranquility. This is the same way anti-anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax work. Valerian roots also contain hesperidin and linarin, which appear to have sedative and sleep-enhancing properties. Valerian root can help to increase serotonin in the blood, serotonin in return, help to regulate mood to a better one. With a better mood and sleep quality, migraine attacks can be reduced.
  3. Hops extract when used together with valerian root can help to enhance GABA level in the brain in order to improve sleep quality, lessen the time taken to fall asleep, reduce nervous tension and anxiety symptoms. It is considered the safest as it does not cause side effects like when taking medication. The chemical in hops extract is known as flavonoid 8-prenylnaringenin, which is a type of phytoestrogen that also helps to regulate female hormonal imbalances that may lead to poor sleep quality and migraine episode.
  4. Wolfberry extract is rich in vitamin A & C; which helps to increase the production of serotonin in order to regulate sleep, mood and social behavior, memory, improves energy, ability to focus, enhanced athletic performance, mental acuity, and feelings of calmness and contentment.
  5. Passionflower extract contains chrysin & benzoflavone helps to increase GABA in the brain, lowers brain activity and helps in relaxation of moods in order to prevent a migraine attack.
  6. Venetron is a patented, purified, powdered extract of Apocynum venetum (rafuma)​, which contains some of the same active constituents as St. John’s wort, but does not affect CYP3A and P-glycoprotein. It helps in balancing mood & improve sleep. The active compound (hyperoside & isoquercitrin) can increase serotonin levels in the brain, thus help in promoting sleep, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant.




  1. Coenzyme Q10 is needed for the cells to produce the energy needed for growth and maintenance. 
  2. A small clinical trial in 2002 that compared 150mg of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) taken two times daily to placebo showed that CoQ10 reduced migraine frequency in more than half of those (61.3%) who took it as compared on 13% of placebo experienced a lesser migraine. 
  3. The exact pathway on how CoQ10 helps with migraine is not known but it is possible due to it improves blood circulation to the brain and it helps to manage high blood pressure that might lead to a migraine attack.
  4. BIOBAY Q10 4PLEX contains Coenzyme Q10, protein soy (nattokinase), L-carnitine fumarate and Vitamin D3. By combining these ingredients together, the utilization of the efficiency of Co-Q10 increases significantly, becoming up to three times more effective.



  2. T D Rozen, M L Oshinsky, C A Gebeline, K C Bradley, W B Young, A L Shechter, S D Silberstein (2002). An open-label trial of coenzyme Q10 as a migraine preventive. Cephalalgia. 2002 Mar;22(2):137-41.