Most people will often say they have a migraine when they have a severe headache. However, while this is one of the symptoms of a migraine, it is much more than just a headache. Migraines are not just one off incidents. They are recurrent headaches, which could range from moderate to severe and which are often accompanied by other associated symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, vomiting and loss of appetite. Usually a person suffering from a migraine will usually also show extreme sensitivity to even low levels of sound and light.
What Causes Migraines & What Triggers Them Off?
Despite extensive ongoing research, scientists have not been able to pinpoint exactly what causes this type of severe headache or migraine. While some studies indicate they could be caused by the expansion and constriction of the blood vessels on the brain’s surface, other studies suggest they could be caused by inherited abnormalities in certain areas of the brain.
While there is still some uncertainty as to the exact cause, all experts agree on one thing- different people get affected by different triggers. Hereditary has a huge role to play in the tendency to get migraines. An individual who has a family history is more likely to suffer from this condition than an individual who does not have the genes for it.
Some of the more common triggers include:
• Extreme stress or tension
• Skipping meals
• Excessive caffeine consumption or sudden withdrawal from caffeine
• Too much or too little sleep
• Changes in weather patterns
• Specific substances that are found in certain foods
• Hormonal changes
Prevention & Treatment of Migraines
The key to successfully preventing or at least reducing the frequency of episodes lies in recognizing and avoiding the potential triggers.
Making a note of the events that transpired or the foods you ate prior to an attack will help you see a trend so you can identify the triggers and can make the necessary changes to avoid them in the future.
If the migraines are triggered off by changes in hormonal levels or during the menstrual changes, your doctor can help you with the proper advice and medication to minimize future incidents.
Getting enough rest and eating and sleeping on a regular schedule can also help reduce the frequency and intensity of episodes as can stress management techniques and relaxation training. Regular exercise also plays a huge role in preventing migraines.