Causes of Migraine
Have you ever experienced a one- sided pulsating, debilitating headache may be lasting anywhere between 2 to 72 hours? A feeling of nausea, increased sensitivity to sunlight or sound associated with it? Well this is called migraine, which is a chronic neurological disorder.
During an attack of migraine the serotonin levels( pain regulating substances) in your brain comes down which triggers the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway to release substances called neuropeptides, which travels along the brains coverings called meninges producing pain. Though the exact cause is still not known, some of the common causes are listed below.
The various causes of Migraine are:
1) HORMONAL CHANGES- it is found out that variation in the oestrogen levels can trigger migraine. A lot of women experience this either just before or after their periods and is usually termed as menstrual migraine.. Some of them experience it during pregnancy or as they approach towards menopause as during these stages the oestrogen levels start deteriorating.
2) FOOD- lack of food or eating at irregular time intervals can cause peaks and troughs in your sugar levels which can trigger migraine attacks. Even certain food stuffs like alcohol especially beer and red wine, cheese, chocolate, excess of caffeine, food additives like tyramine can cause migraine.
3) EMOTIONAL FACTORS- in a recent study it was found out those young individuals who are more anxious and stressed out at workplace or at home have increased attacks of migraine. Even shock, depression or excitement can be a triggering factor in these individuals.
4)CERTAIN STIMULI- though it might not affect all individuals, it is found out that bright light , sun glare, flickering screens can induce migraine. Even loud sound and unusual smell like from a perfume, paint thinner can affect them. Such individuals usually prefer to sit in a quiet, dark room to avoid worsening their condition.
5) SLEEP PATTERN- lack of sleep or even sleeping too much can trigger migraine headache.
6) PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES- excessive and strenuous physical activities can cause migraine. Travelling for long hours, poor posture, neck or shoulder tension, and increased sexual activity can cause migraine.
7) WEATHER- change in the climatic conditions can affect certain individuals. Change in the humidity, very cold temperatures or a stuffy atmosphere can be harmful to these individuals who are prone to migraine.
8) MEDICATIONS-certain medicines like oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitro-glycerine, certain sleeping tablets, hormone replacement therapy which is sometimes used to treat menopause can cause migraine.
9) GENETICS- though the exact mechanism is not known it is believed that even genetics play a key role in causing migraine.