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An Overview of the Causes of Migraine Headaches
Health March 27, 2018

An Overview of the Causes of Migraine Headaches

One of the glaring signs that you are overworking your brain or that you are very stressed is the onset of a headache. Stress headaches are quite common; a few breathing exercises, or a good nap can easily fix this. However, people often experience headaches that cause severe, throbbing pain on one side of the head. This type of pulsating headache that is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light is called migraine.

Migraine affects around 12% of the population in the country and affects anyone irrespective of their age. Migraine attacks can range from mild to severe and causes excruciating pain and discomfort while it lasts. Migraine attacks can leave the person feeling disoriented and incapacitated for some time and experiencing these attacks regularly can be quite taxing.

Some people suddenly start experiencing migraine attacks, whereas, others have a family history of the same. Though there aren’t specific causes of migraine, some factors are believed to contribute to the onset of migraine attacks. They are as follows:

  • Migraine attacks have been attributed to irregularities in the brain’s blood vessel system.
  • If someone in your family has migraine, this makes you susceptible to migraine attacks. It is believed that genetic predisposition causes migraine.
  • At times, migraine might be an indication of a serious underlying central nervous disorder.
  • Migraine attacks are also caused due to abnormalities in brain chemicals and nerve pathways.

Though the causes of migraine remain debatable, there is no denying the fact that there are certain triggers that can induce a severe migraine attack when you come in contact with them. The common migraine triggers are as follows:

  • Food – It is common knowledge that what we eat has a direct impact on our body. We are often advised to stay away from unhealthy and processed foods that have a drastic impact on our body. Aged or salty food, cheese, fried food, etc. can trigger migraine attacks.
  • Drinks – Like certain foods, drinks can also trigger migraine attacks. To avoid being subjected to the pain and other symptoms that accompany migraine, you need to stop consuming alcohol and caffeine.
  • Hormonal changes – Hormonal changes are known to trigger migraines, especially in women. Women often experience headaches due to erratic fluctuations of estrogen. So, those who are vulnerable to migraines often experience migraine attacks before or during their periods, when the level of estrogen is quite low. Moreover, hormonal medications such as oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy can worsen this condition.
  • Medications – Medications are meant to provide relief from whichever condition one is suffering from. However, in certain cases, migraine headaches are triggered by medications. Medicines like vasodilators such as nitroglycerin and oral contraceptives can trigger migraine headaches.
  • Stress – Stress is one of the most prominent causes of a plethora of diseases; be it cardiovascular diseases or allergies, stress is known to trigger these conditions. Stress is one of the triggers of a migraine; stress headaches can turn into migraine headaches in no time. This is the reason why people with migraine are asked to devise ways to control stress.
  • Sensory stimulation – At times, it might be something in the surrounding that can trigger a migraine. Mostly, it is loud noises or bright lights that can trigger migraine headaches.