The problem with migraines headaches is that it is a very commonplace ailment. However, the bigger problem is that the causes of migraine headaches are still not completely understood, even with all our technological advancements. Although this area is still quite vague, we have managed to scrape up some important facts about migraine causes, of which genetics and the environment plays the biggest roles.
Migraines are usually caused by the changes with the trigeminal nerve. This is a major pathway of pain detection. Other factors like chemical imbalances in the brain, including and especially serotonin, may also play parts crucial to why there is pain. The one thing that has become definite is that serotonin levels drop whenever you have a bout of migraine. This drop may be the trigger to the trigeminal systems to release substances like neuropeptides. These substances then travel to your brain’s outer covering (called meninges) and then initiate the pain.
What follows are some of the noticed triggers of migraines:
Some people seem to get migraines when they eat certain foods. The most common offender would be none other than alcohol – especially red wine and beer. Other foods that are causes of migraine headaches include chocolates, cheese, excessive caffeine, MSG, salty foods, processed foods and aspartame. It is also observed that skipping meals is a very common cause of migraines, as well as fasting- especially if you are not used to it.
2) Hormonal changes
The reason why women tend to suffer more often from migraine is because they undergo frequent hormonal changes, especially when their estrogen levels fluctuate. It would trigger headaches and then over time build up to migraines. If you have experienced headaches before or after your periods, then you can know for yourself that the drop in estrogen levels is one of the causes of migraine headaches.
Other women may have really frequent headaches during pregnancy or menopause-this is the same case. However, some hormonal medication can also cause migraines, such as hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives.
Stress at work or stress at home would usually result in headaches for most. However, it may result in migraines for others.
4) Sleep pattern changes
Changes in your body clock are common causes of migraine headaches. This is because getting too much sleep or lacking sleep are both triggers for migraine attacks.