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Cause and Effect of Migraines

Migraines are a uncomfortable problem that may compromise your daily life and activities.  They usually require patients to get treatment from their physician.  According to  the National Headache Foundation in Chicago, women are affected almost three times more often than men:

“Hormonal changes are a big contributor to the higher female incidence,” said Michael A. Moskowitz, MD, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “There are lines of evidence that support this from lab to clinical evidence and a decrease (although not abolished) incidence in post-menopausal females.”

Cause and Effect of MigrainesMigraines usually vary greatly from between people in terms of symptoms and severity. They often last at least 4 and sometimes as long as 72 hours. Some people get them many times per week, while others do not get them as often.

Many of the symptoms that come with a migraine include: blurred vision, throbbing pain in one part of the head, problems with light and sound, vomiting, and nausea.

About 20 percent of migraine sufferers have an aura. An aura is a visual or sensory disturbance before to the start of a headache. Experiences associated with an aura can be: bursts of light, partial of full vision loss, and speech and language problems.

Risk Factors Which Increase a Person’s Likelihood

  • Hormonal changes — Females can find that the headaches often come about just before or shortly after the start of monthly menstruation. Pregnancy and menopause hormonal shifts also contribute to migraines.
  • Family history — A significant percentage of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine attacks.
  • Certain medical conditions — Depression, anxiety, stroke, epilepsy, and high blood pressure are all related to migraine headaches.
  • Gender — Women more commonly suffer from migraines than men.
  • Age — Migraines usually affect people between the ages of 15-55.

Cause and Effect of MigrainesResearchers know triggers including: interruptions to sleep, positive or negative stress, changes to the weather,  dehydration, lights and noise, hormonal shifts, foods that have aspartame, foods that have tyramine, caffeine, and alcohol are usually the cause of migraine attacks. While migraines have no known cure they can be managed effectively with the help of a doctor.

The exact cause of migraines is not completely understood. Many scientists and doctors believe that migraines happen when there are abnormal adjustments in the brain. These changes create inflammation when then causes blood vessels to swell and press on nerves and results in pain.

There are many types of medications that may be used to control pain and for prevention. Lifestyle adjustments are usually suggested to identify and eliminate possible triggers that can set off an attack.

“Until recently there have been no treatments available to treat people who suffer from chronic migraines,” said Moskowitz. “Recently, a new medication has become available specifically to treat chronic migraine headaches, called onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox). Chronic migraine sufferers can derive significant benefit from this new form of therapy.”

If you suffer from migraines you may also find relief in certain vitamins and other homeopathic remedies.

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*The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the Editor. Results may vary from person to person and cannot be guaranteed.

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