Migraine is a headache which is a result of specific changes within the brain. Migraine can cause severe head pain that is often accompanied by sensitivity by light, noise or any kind of smell. However, not all kinds of headaches can be described as Migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are often accompanied with nausea and light sensitivity. Other sensory warnings may include flashes of light, blind spots and vomiting.The pain caused by Migraine can last for several hours and sometimes even days. Migraine may be caused by an abnormal activity causing a temporary alteration in the nerve signals and blood flow in the brain. However, an exact cause for the same is still unknown.There are various factors that contribute or trigger Migraine headaches. Some of these include allergies, fatigue and tiredness, lack of sleep, smoking, any kind of stress, skipping meals, dehydration, alcohol and certain types of medications and drugs.Other than a headache, other symptoms of Migraine are throbbing and pulsating pain in your head, increasing pain during any activity, pain limited to one side of the head, sensitivity to light and sometimes even temperature change.Migraines tend to begin during childhood, adolescence or early childhood. Some common risk factors that make you more prone to having Migraine include family history, age, gender and hormonal changes. Study also shows that women are more prone to Migraine than most men.
Main Causes of Migraine
Migraine is often preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine headaches result from a combination of blood vessel enlargement and the release of chemicals from nerve fibres that coil around those blood vessels.
During the headache, an artery enlarges that is located on the outside of the skull just under the skin of the temple (temporal artery). This causes a release of chemicals that cause inflammation, pain and further enlargement of the artery.
For a patient of migraine, it is very important to identify what triggers the pain to avoid future attacks. Following are some of the surprising triggers:
Stress: Long and working stressful hours that lead to change in eating habits and sleeping hours are one of the major causes of migraine. People who are overworked suffer from attacks more frequently than the rest. It is always advisable to take ample rest and sleep after a hard day at work. A hot bath and a cup of lemon tea will relax you down and will release the tiredness of the body. Always remember that the idea is to go to sleep with a light head.
Weather: Roaming in the sun triggers a migraine attack quicker than anything else. Other than that, drops in barometric pressure, high temperatures and high humidity are some weather conditions that figure in the list of common culprits. Though avoiding the sun is the best way, but if you must go out then do not forget to use an umbrella. And if carrying an umbrella is too fussy for you, then, make it a point to use a scarf to cover your head.
Caffeine withdrawal: Recent studies suggest that people who are addicted to caffeine and reduce the amount of their daily intake to even two cups a day are prone to migraine attacks. The headache occurs several hours after caffeine consumption and is due to caffeine withdrawal. It is always advisable to bring the consumption down gradually and not at one go.
Loud music: Listening to music on loud volumes for a really long time is one of the major causes of migraine attacks. The high decibels may lead to a thumping pain which lasts for around 72 hours or more. Keep it low to avoid an attack.
Reactive hypoglycemia: High consumption of simple consumption like sugar and pasta can cause migraine. The body starts to produce extra insulin which breaks down the sugar. In return, it causes the blood sugar levels to drop very low. This rise and drop of blood sugar leads to severe headaches.
An empty stomach: Going without food for hours leads to gastritis and headache. Skipping breakfast is a common habit and a bad one at that. Make sure to start your day with fruits and cereals and lots of water.
The foremost way to prevent Migraine is to identify what triggers it. You can maintain a diary of all the episodes of the headache and this can help you draw a pattern of what triggers it. Botox can help numb the pain area and provide relief. It can be used when other treatments fail to respond.
– Try to keep your blood sugar levels normal. Have small meals throughout the day and avoid staying hungry for long durations of time.
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