How to Say Migraine in Portuguese

Whether you’re planning a trip to a Portuguese-speaking country or simply expanding your language skills, knowing how to say “migraine” in Portuguese can be helpful. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to express this condition, as well as any regional variations as necessary. So, let’s dive in and discover various ways to talk about migraines in Portuguese.

Formal Ways to Say Migraine in Portuguese

When you want to discuss migraines in a more polite or professional context, you can use the following terms:

Dor de cabeça intensa

The phrase “Dor de cabeça intensa” translates to “intense headache” and is a common way to refer to migraines in formal situations. This term effectively conveys the severity of the condition in a respectful manner.

Let’s look at some example sentences:

  • Formal: Desculpe, mas estou com uma dor de cabeça intensa. Será que poderíamos adiar a reunião? (Sorry, but I have an intense headache. Could we postpone the meeting?)
  • Formal: Excesso de estresse pode causar dores de cabeça intensas, como enxaquecas. (Excessive stress can cause intense headaches, such as migraines.)

Informal Ways to Say Migraine in Portuguese

In more casual or day-to-day conversations, you might prefer to use less formal expressions for migraines. Here are a couple of options:


“Enxaqueca” and “Migrânea” are the informal terms used to refer to migraines in Portuguese. They are commonly used in everyday speech, and people will easily understand what you mean when using these words.

Let’s see some examples of informal usage:

  • Informal: Hoje acordei com uma enxaqueca terrível. Não consigo nem abrir os olhos. (Today I woke up with a terrible migraine. I can’t even open my eyes.)
  • Informal: Minha amiga sofre de migrânea crônica. É realmente difícil lidar com isso diariamente. (My friend suffers from chronic migraines. It’s really hard to deal with it on a daily basis.)

Regional Variations

Portuguese is spoken in various countries across the world, and you might encounter slight regional differences in terms of how migraines are referred to. However, the aforementioned formal and informal terms are widely understood in most Portuguese-speaking countries. Still, let’s take a look at a few variations:

Brazilian Portuguese

In Brazil, you can use the phrases mentioned earlier (“Dor de cabeça intensa,” “Enxaqueca,” “Migrânea”) to talk about migraines. However, it is also common to hear the term “Cefaleia” or “Enxaqueca” used interchangeably.

European Portuguese

In Portugal, migraines are generally referred to using the same terms as discussed above (“Dor de cabeça intensa,” “Enxaqueca,” “Migrânea”). However, you may also come across the word “Enxaqueca” with an emphasis on the nasalized “-ão” sound at the end, like “Enxaquecão.”

Additional Tips and Phrases

Here are a few additional tips and phrases related to discussing migraines in Portuguese:

  • Expressing symptoms: To describe migraine symptoms, you can use phrases like:
    – Estou com náuseas e sensibilidade à luz (I am experiencing nausea and sensitivity to light)
    – Sinto uma forte dor latejante de um lado da cabeça (I feel a strong throbbing pain on one side of my head)
  • Seeking help: If you need to ask for help or treatment, consider these phrases:
    – Você conhece algum remédio bom para enxaqueca? (Do you know any good medicine for migraines?)
    – Preciso marcar uma consulta com um neurologista. (I need to schedule an appointment with a neurologist.)
  • Describing the impact: When discussing how migraines affect your daily life, you can say:
    – As enxaquecas atrapalham minha produtividade no trabalho. (Migraines hinder my productivity at work.)
    – Fico extremamente cansado(a) depois de uma enxaqueca. (I feel extremely tired after a migraine.)

Remember, learning a language is a journey, and practice is key. By familiarizing yourself with these expressions, you will be better equipped to communicate effectively when discussing migraines in Portuguese. Enjoy your language learning adventure!

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