For those who suffer from migraines, the difference between what they experience and what others call a "headache" could not be more different. Migraine headaches can range from moderate to severe but at their worst, they are easily incapacitating. Research has shown that nearly 30 million Americans suffer from migraines – debilitating headaches that in many cases render its sufferers unable to tolerate light, noise, or even smell. Because of the prevalence of migraines, there has been an ongoing body of research focused on finding migraine causes.
Migraines are very personal, as the factors that will elicit an episode differ from person to person. But once in motion, a migraine can last from several hours to several days, resulting in nausea, vomiting, changes in vision, and in some cases, complete incapacitation. In order to prevent – and eliminate – migraines, it is necessary to examine the migraine causes that mean the most to each sufferer.
According to ongoing research, a migraine results when the blood vessels in the brain become enlarged; different migraine causes may lead to this irritation of the blood vessels but the pain experienced is often mirrored by all migraine sufferers. Such inflammation can also lead to the irritation of other operations within the body including the central nervous system and digestive system.
Migraine causes vary from person to person; but researchers have narrowed down some of the most prevalent triggers including exceptional sleep, excess caffeine, stress, exposure to smoke, red wine, certain foods such as those contain preservatives, and hormonal fluctuations. There are medical interventions that can alleviate – and in some cases prevent – migraine headaches. For people who suffer from severe migraines, the addition of medications as prescribed by their doctor has meant the difference between a life with migraines and a life without them.
But for some, just understanding their particular migraine causes has allowed them to avoid their triggers, thus significantly minimizing the possibility of migraines. In an effort to isolate your migraine causes, you may want to keep a journal over the course of several weeks or months depending on the frequency of your migraines. A journal such as this can be incredibly helpful; should you choose to see a doctor you can present a well documented migraine history that will assist your medical professional in prescribing a treatment plan that works best for you. If you choose to take a more natural approach to managing migraines, a migraine journal may show a pattern of migraine causes that you will do best to avoid in the future.