We still don’t know the cause of migraines despite extensive research. However, there are specific factors which makes an individual more susceptible to migraines.
- Gender significantly determines who suffers from migraines. Women get migraines three times as often as men.
- Genetics also plays a role when it comes to migraines. Usually, people who suffer from migraines have family members who get them as well.
- Age is a factor in determining who is most likely to get a migraine. Though migraines occur at all ages, adolescence through childbearing years are the most common, indicating a possible hormonal connection.
Specific migraine triggers vary greatly depending on the individual. It is recommended to keep a migraine journal to help pinpoint what food or activities bring on these dreaded headaches.
Here are some examples of common triggers:
- Changes in sleep patterns may contribute to migraines, especially if the failure to reach the REM stage compromises the quality of sleep.
- Caffeine sometimes relieves a migraine and is present in some migraine medications. But, like most things, you can overdo it, thereby worsening the headache.
- Red wine boasts plenty of health benefits, but if you are a migraine sufferer, make sure you are moderate with red wine and enjoy it along with food.
- Processed Meats containing nitrates are a common trigger for manysufferingfrom migraines and cluster headaches.
- Preservatives and dyes also have been linked to migraines, but not a good idea to consume regardless of your propensity towards these headaches.
- Birth control pills and other hormonal shifts may cause migraines.
- Weather changes especially changes in barometric pressure often bring on migraine and cluster headaches.
- Stress and the production of cortisol exacerbate just about any ailment; migraines are no exception.
Of course, the best treatment for migraines is prevention. Living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding known triggers should limit migraines, but when they do occur, relieving the pain and other symptoms is the only thing on the minds of most migraine sufferers. Some of the methods to treat migraines include the following:
- Anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medicine such Ibuprofen offer some relief, but high doses of this medicine cause liver damage.
- Drugs such as triptans, opioids, antidepressants, and steroids are sometimes prescribed.
- Natural therapies such as herbal supplements, therapeutic massage, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture have proven to offer some relief from these headaches.