Does the flu cause migraines?

Sniffles, coughing, body ache and headaches… flu season is upon us! But wait a minute, did that headache just turn into a migraine? Is there some correlation between the flu and migraines? Let’s dive in to find out.

The Flu: A Brief Overview

The influenza virus (commonly known as “the flu”) is responsible for infecting millions of people each year. It primarily targets the respiratory system causing symptoms such as fever, sore throat, nasal congestion, etc. However, it can also affect other systems and organs such as the central nervous system (CNS).

What Are Migraines?

Migraines are throbbing or pulsating headaches that tend to occur on one side of your head (ouch!). They may last for hours or even days at a stretch with varying intensity levels ranging from mild to severe pain accompanied by nausea/vomiting.

So Why Do People Think There’s Some Connection Between The Two?

From an anatomical perspective- all human systems are interconnected hence when we come down with any infection/disease – be it viral or bacterial – our CNS is under attack too. Hence; there could be some link between having the flu and getting migraines too! Furthermore, research shows that individuals who suffer from migraines might have weaker immune responses against infections thereby making them more prone towards falling ill during seasonal outbreaks like influenza epidemics/pandemics.

Moreover; during this time period many people experience increased stress which again leads To inflammation . This very feeling of agitated uneasiness combined with physical symptoms like runny nose saps energy and focus away from normal tasks effectively rendering both mind & body vulnerable!

So yes maybe you guessed right after all..there might well be connection b/w two conditions!

Other Possible Explanations


  • Changes in sleep patterns due to being unwell
  • Dehydration caused by fever, vomiting or diarrhea during flu season (drink lotsss of fluids!)
  • Weather changes that may cause macroscopic shifts(high pressure/low humidity etc)
  • Consumption of caffeine while plagued with the flu.

While these reasons could explain why someone might develop a migraine before/during/or after contracting the flu virus; it’s tough to pinpoint any one specific link/circumstance as a definitive factor.

The Impact of Some Medications

Some medications used for treating inflamed sinuses, headaches and fevers (commonly known as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs -NSAIDs) have properties which enhance migraine susceptibility amongst users. That’s another potential connection between migraines and influenza. However,until more conclusive evidence comes out on this front; we can’t say whether those who use such medicine are at greater risk than others!

What Does Science Have To Say?

Scientifically speaking there is no direct correlation b/w contracting the flu or any other viral/bacterial infection leading to a severe headache like mygraine . Although many individuals + findings suggests strong possibility that inflammation /immune RESPones triggered by respiratory infections could provoke onset OF SUCH SEVERE HEADACHES especially in pre-exsiting patients!

Further research is yet required on this matter but here some general baselines about what scientists looking into this matter have found till now;

According to a study published in the Journal of Headache Pain, researchers examined 157 people who had experienced arecent illness/infection-related headache/migraine episode. Their analysis centered around finding out how their symptoms differed from previous episodes according to self-reported data submitted.

Participants also underwent several tests based on brain MRI scans and objective measurements for both cognitive functions such as memory recall ,speed & motor responses as well sleeping patterns. Their findings showed that there seems to be an association b/w illnesses and headaches albeit a weak one; important for any folks prone to migraines.

Furthermore, they found strong evidence of inflammations in areas associated with pain perception indicating that infection does play a role during headache onset by increasing the brain’s susceptibility towards perceiving various stimuli as more intense/ unbearable!

Prevention Measures

People who experience migraine episodes may take extra steps during flu season by ensuring they receive their flu shots (do it early!)and reducing their exposure To irritants/stressful activity/sleep deprivation if possible (remember good sleep is essential!).

Additionally, Individuals being treated for migraines should consult their healthcare provider regarding potential effects of medicine(s) + timely management of other underlying health issues like high blood pressure etc so patients can avoid experiencing further potentiating side-effects from treatment!

Summing It All Up

Despite no firm consensus attained amongst medical professionals or scientists related to affrication between FLU & MIGRAINES ;available data suggests “heads up” for individuals struggling with migraines ,flu or other respiratory infections which may induce serious pains/problems within focus contraction range!!

So remember friends- look after yourself especially this time around! Stay away from coughing colleagues,gargle frequently plus maintain decongested airways. And when you do come down w/an illness/migraine issue seek immediate medical attention before things grow worse!

Stay healthy:)

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