What is migraine and why do people have migraines?

What migraine is

We all get a headache or a tummy ache sometimes, but some people have migraine which is a special kind of headache or tummy ache. The headache can feel like someone is banging on your head.

You can feel other things with migraine

People with migraine can also be sick, feel really sleepy or feel dizzy. They don’t like seeing bright lights, hearing loud sounds, or smelling strong smells.

Sometimes, a person with migraine sees stars, spots or wiggly lines. It can also be hard for them to think and talk, and their ears might feel funny.

We call all these feelings a migraine.

Migraines aren’t all the same

Migraines are different for everyone. Your migraines may feel different from your sister’s, your brother’s, or your friend’s, and that is normal. They might also be over quicker or last longer.

Lots of children and grown-ups have migraines. They can feel scary but don’t worry, they will always go away.

Why do I have migraine?

People with migraine have special brains. Sometimes migraine is in your genes. So, if your mum or dad has migraine, you might have it too. Just like how your eye colour and hair colour comes from your parents.

Nobody can help if they have migraine or not. It’s like how some people are short and some people are tall. We’re all different.

Migraine triggers

Sometimes a migraine just happens and we don’t know why. But sometimes something makes one happen. Just like how sitting in the sun can make us sunburnt, or eating too many sweets can make us feel sick.

Lots of different things can make a migraine happen, like:

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Being thirsty
  • Feeling worried
  • Being hungry
  • The weather
  • Bright lights
  • Too much sport

We call these migraine triggers.

Imagine you have a bucket on the beach…..

You put some sand in. Then some shells. Then your spade. Then a ball. Then some ice cream. The bucket is full! More things will make the bucket spill over.

That’s just like a person with migraine.

Now imagine you’re filling your bucket up with migraine triggers…..

Too many together will make your bucket spill over, and that’s when you can have a migraine. So, if you run around lots and get tired, you probably won’t have a migraine.

But, if you add being really thirsty and hot sunny weather to your bucket, it fills up.

That’s when you might have a migraine.

We can help stop migraines happening by stopping our bucket from getting too full.