What Causes Migraines?

If you’ve ever experienced a migraine headache, you know that it feels like there’s a pulsing, throbbing sensation going on, usually on one side of your head. Migraine headaches can also include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to both light and sound. They’re not fun! Most people with migraines cannot do daily activities– the pain in their head takes precedence over everything else in life.

Possible Causes of Migraines

So what causes migraines? Though it’s not totally known what causes them, it’s generally thought that genetics and environmental factors are a factor. Perhaps there’s an imbalance in brain chemicals such as serotonin. Or there could be changes in the brainstem and how it’s interacting with the trigeminal nerve. Migraines can occur due to abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. During a migraine, electrical activity causes a change in blood flow in the brain. This affects the brain’s nerves and causes pain. Migraines typically last between one day and one week.

Migraines seem to be triggered by various things, including drinks (alcohol, wine, coffee), stress, bright lights, strong smells, or even hormonal changes (in women). Other things thought to trigger migraines include food additives (like aspartame or MSG), certain foods (cheese, processed foods), medications (like nitroglycerin), physical exertion (intense sexual activity) or weather changes (such as a change in the barometric pressure).

Interestingly, research has shown that migraines tend to be more common for women than men. While migraines can occur at any age, they tend to hit their peak during a person’s 30s. If there’s a family history of migraines, then it’s likely you’ll have them, too.

Dealing with migraines and you’d like to feel better? The Helen Foundation offers a treatment plan known as Microdose Therapy. To find out more about it, please call 480-734-8525 or email virgilsa@aol.com.