Migraine is three times more prevalent in women than in men and one of the leading causes of disability in women. For this reason, some people can be skeptical when a man complains of migraine, and studies show men are less likely to be diagnosed with this disease than women are.

However, men do still get migraine attacks. About 9% of men are affected by migraine, which can really interfere with a person’s daily routine and is associated with other health issues, such as anxiety and depression.  

What is a migraine disorder?

Migraine is a genetic disease that makes the brain sensitive.  Attacks vary significantly from person to person, but the pain is moderate to severe, lasting hours or even days.  It is often a throbbing pain that occurs on one side of the head, and can be accompanied by nausea or sensitivity to light and sound. Resting in a dark, quiet room for hours may be necessary for the person experiencing an attack.

While the main cause of migraine is unknown, genetics and environmental factors contribute to the development of this disease. For instance, a person with a family history of migraine disease has a higher chance of developing it. 

The effect of migraine on men 

Migraine disorder is more than a bad headache. It is a debilitating disease that, if not properly treated, can affect the quality of life of the person experiencing it. 

In a survey where over 350 men participated, 75% disclosed that migraine had impacted their health, while 84% stated it affected their work life. 

Migraine has been proven to have an adverse effect on a man’s mental health. 71% of the participants of a survey stated that their migraine led to depression, and 76% revealed that they felt anxious or nervous due to their migraine disease.  

A study revealed that migraine in men increases the likelihood of a stroke by 42%. Also, people living with migraine have a higher chance of developing heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.

Triggers of migraine 

Triggers of migraine can vary per person, and it’s essential to take notice of your triggers to help you prevent a migraine attack. Here are some common triggers of migraine among men. 

  • Stress 
  • Sleep deprivation 
  • Unhealthy diet 
  • Exhaustion or fatigue 
  • Excess alcohol consumption 
  • Weather changes 
  • Change in routine

How to manage migraine attacks 

Migraine is commonly stereotyped as a disease for women, and as a result, men are less likely to seek professional help for their migraine attacks – even though they absolutely should! However, with the right treatment plan and lifestyle modifications, it is possible to find relief for migraines. 

  • Be careful about your diet 

Everyone’s individual triggers are different, which is why it’s so important to track headaches to identify those personal triggers. Specific food and drinks can trigger a migraine. To start, you might want to avoid alcohol, vinegar, yogurt, and even cheese if you have migraine disease, as they are common triggers for many people.  

  • Manage your stress

While each person’s triggers are unique, stress is known as the universal trigger.  Stress can lead to prolonged migraine attacks, long stretches with frequent headaches, and may even make you more sensitive to your other triggers. Starting a practice of meditation can be effective, and there is a specific type of guided meditation called biofeedback that is considered the most effective form of meditation for migraine.  Exercise is also very important to relieve stress. 

  • Consult a doctor

While over-the-counter pain killers may ease some symptoms, they also come with their side effects.  Plus, they may not be strong enough to bring relief to most patients with severe pain. A neurologist can provide the proper diagnosis, help you understand treatment options including prescription medications, and create a custom treatment plan. You can get treatment from the comfort of home with Neura Health, which is a comprehensive virtual clinic staffed by board-certified neurologists and headache specialists. 

No matter your gender, don’t hesitate to speak up about your migraine to your friends and family so they can support you as you navigate the lifestyle changes needed to manage your condition, and seek top quality medical care to find the relief you deserve.


  • Elizabeth Burstein

    CEO and Co-Founder of Neura Health

    Liz Burstein is CEO and Co-Founder of Neura Health. She founded Neura Health based on her personal journey with chronic pain, which exposed her to the key challenges of specialist access and care quality that patients face when navigating chronic neurological conditions. Previously Liz led product development teams at digital health companies Maven Clinic and Zocdoc. She started her career in product management at LinkedIn, where she shipped many core products across both the consumer and enterprise side of the business. Liz also spent time as a venture capital investor focused on enterprise AI, healthcare, and consumer technology. She holds dual degrees in Computer Science and Philosophy from Stanford University.