Does migraine lead to stroke?

Some of the symptoms of migraine and stroke can be similar; this makes people worry whenever they develop headaches and other related signs. If you think that your migraine headache can be a stroke, seek immediate medical assistance. Early identification can help prevent brain damage. Nevertheless, you should know the difference between a migraine, a stroke, and their symptoms so that whenever you feel the linked symptoms, you can act accordingly. Your doctor may have prescribed you effective migraine treatments. It is suggested to take them on time to prevent worsening the condition.


If you are more than the age of 40 and experiencing a terrible headache, it may indicate a serious condition. People, who have migraines, typically develop its symptoms throughout their lives. However, this may also differ from people to people, their diet, and their lifestyle. It is uncommon to develop the symptoms of migraine at the first time if you are over the age of 40.

People with aura symptoms of migraine are at more risk of developing a stroke. Therefore, if you notice dissimilar symptoms as you generally have, seek immediate medical help.


What is a migraine?

Migraine is a type of headache that causes throbbing pain, usually in one side of the head. Its symptoms may vary from a usual headache. Some of the common ones among them are-

  • Prodromes; sensitiveness to smell, sound, or light, lack of appetite, abrupt mood, and fatigue
  • Aura; hallucinations, deadness in the body parts, and difficulty speaking
  • Attack
  • Postdrome; feeling of tiredness and unhappiness, weakness in the muscles, and lack of appetite


When do you have a stroke?

When the blood flow to the brain is limited or cut off, it is said to be a stroke. In such a condition, the brain cells do not get enough blood and oxygen. As a result of which they began to die. 


What are the symptoms of a stroke?

An unexpected and serious headache can indicate a stroke. Moreover, other symptoms of the condition can be-

  • Difficulty in understanding people and speaking
  • Confusion
  • Weakness or deadness, particularly in one side of the body
  • Sudden drowsiness
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of concentration and steadiness

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a type of stroke that people often perceive as a migraine. Under this condition, the blood and oxygen supply to the brain is cut off for a short period and is resumed within or less than an hour. The transient ischemic attack has less serious signs and symptoms as compared to other types of stroke. A mini-stroke is another name for TIA. 


How do you know if you have a migraine or a stroke? 

Stroke or migraine treatments may rely upon the identification of the condition. It is difficult to differentiate between an aura-induced migraine and a transient ischemic attack. However, the possible differences you can look for are as follows-

  • Appearance of symptoms

The symptoms of a migraine start with mild pain and become awful with every passing minute. In case of stroke, the headache hits you with sudden and severe pain.

  • Positive and negative symptoms

Migraine usually shows positive symptoms like irritation in your skin or visionary flashes. However, a stroke typically appears with negative symptoms like deadness in the body parts, particularly in the hands and feet, and vision problems.

  • Age

If you are young, the frequent and painful headaches are likely to be a migraine. However, if you are above the age of 40 and have irregular heartbeat and hypertension, you may have a stroke. The risk increases more if you did not have migraines at your young age. 


What is the link between a migraine and a stroke?

The exact link between a migraine and a stroke is not clear. However, people having migraines with aura symptoms are more likely to develop a stroke than people who never experienced a migraine in their lives. If you are a young woman and have a habit of smoking or use contraceptive pills, you are also anticipated to develop a stroke. However, people who have migraines with symptoms other than aura are less likely to have a stroke. 


Consult with your doctor for suitable migraine treatments if you have the condition. However, if your doctor diagnoses you with stroke, he or she may recommend related treatment methods.