What Causes Migraine Headaches?

The person having a migraine attack develops an intense throbbing or dull aching pain in the forehead, temples, and neck. According to various sources, the exact reason for migraines is not known yet. The researchers are not certain whether the cause of migraines can be attributed to genetics, brain chemical imbalances, or some other factors. The research is still ongoing to identify the root cause of migraine attacks.

Although the reason for these intense headaches is not known, there are several factors that trigger migraines. Generally, the person about to suffer a migraine will experience some pre-migraine triggers, which are as follows:

Hormonal fluctuations.

Women are more susceptible to migraines compared to men. This happens because they experience extreme changes in their hormone levels throughout their lives. Menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause cause a drastic imbalance in the hormones. On top of that oral contraceptive medications also contribute to these hormonal changes. Therefore, women experience migraines more often than men.

 Stress and anxiety.

Stress is the most common trigger which causes the progression of headaches into migraines. Chronic stress can increase the frequency of migraines. People with anxiety disorders are also prone to intense headaches.The intense persistent pain in turn gives rise to more stress and the cycle continues.

Lack of sleep.

Sleep is a restorative activity which is a must. It heals your body and gets you ready for the next day. However, people with sleepless nights or inadequate sleep are highly likely to experience migraines. Such people develop daytime fatigue.

 Bright lights.

Some people develop a high sensitivity to the light. Exposure to bright lights can lead to headaches that can manifest into migraines. Their sensitivity to light prevents them from working on computers or using any device that emits bright light. Stepping out in the sun or sitting in a bright room can also stimulate their senses and cause headaches.

Loud noises.

Some might become highly sensitive to the noises. This hypersensitivity to the noise in some people can make a normal sound feel unbearable to their ears. This can lead to a pulsating or throbbing pain in the head.

Strong smell.

Strong odors can affect people who have high sensitivity to smells. This can irritate them and cause pulsating headaches.

 Physical strain.

Some activities require intense physical strain and rapid movements. This can aggravate headaches, which can lead to severe migraines. Activities such as weightlifting, sexual activity, exercising, vigorous sports, etc. can potentiate the risk of migraines in some people.

Certain types of drinks and beverages can also induce migraines. Such drinks can include alcohol, excessive intake of tea or coffee (basically caffeine), wine, etc. Some drinks have psychoactive properties, which can trigger some imbalances in the brain chemicals and give rise to headaches.

 Skipping meals.

Not having meals at the right time or skipping a meal can lead to headaches. If you skip your meals, your sugar levels go down, this can give rise to migraines. So, make sure you do not miss your meals and have them on time.

Certain types of drugs can produce some side effects and intense headaches or migraines can be one of them. Some medications have vasodilator properties, that can increase pain sensitivity and spread the pain in the head.

Risk factors of migraines

Some people are more likely to experience migraines than others. Given below are some factors that potentiate the risk of developing this neurological disorder:

  • Gender – In comparison to men, women are more susceptible to this condition. This happens due to extreme changes in the hormone levels in the body.
  • Age – In general, a person might develop this condition between the ages of 10 to 40.
  • Genetics – Although it is not certain that migraines happen due to genetic factors, the likelihood of offspring inheriting this neurological condition from there through genetic makeup is quite possible. A condition like migraines might run in the family.
  • Chronic health conditions – Some chronic neurological conditions such as anxiety disorder, depression, sleep disorder, epilepsy, etc. can lead to migraines.

When to see a doctor?

Mild and moderate degrees of headaches might happen for some time and disappear soon. But severe forms of headaches along with throbbing or pulsating pain happening in the forehead, temples, one side of the head, or around the neck is a migraine.Migraines cause unbearable pain, and this is how you will be able to differentiate between normal headaches and migraines.

If migraines happen on a frequent basis, then it is necessary to seek treatment, otherwise, it can get worse with time. The treatment usually involves medications and some positive changes in the day-to-day habits.

Your doctor will ask you several general questions to confirm the symptoms of migraines and prescribe you certain pain reliever medications to manage the pain. You might think about using some OTC medication to manage the condition on your own, but it can potentiate the risk even more. Therefore, you must see your doctor when migraines happen frequently.



How To Stop A Migraine?

Before a migraine happens, it gives several indications. These indications are nothing but pre-migraine symptoms, which let you know that a migraine attack is about to occur very soon.Migraine causes unbearable headaches that interrupt your daily activities.

To stop a migraine from happening, you need to understand and recognize these pre-migraine symptoms. These might include – a heightened sensitivity to light and sounds, mood swings, food cravings, muscle pain, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, indigestion, and increased urinary frequency.

If you notice a symptom, know that the migraine is about to happen. It is time to take extra care and try to avoid these triggers. Given below are effective ways in which you can prevent a migraine from surfacing:

Take medications.

Migraine is a neurological disorder that causes intense headaches. It is necessary to seek treatment. Your healthcare provider will prescribe certain medications that can be helpful in preventing migraines. If the medication is taken at the right time, you will be able to stop migraine.

Take pain reliever medications.

The pre-migraine symptoms can be managed with the help of prescription or non-prescription medications. Treating these symptoms will reduce the chances of experiencing a migraine attack. It is better to use prescription medications than some OTC options.

Find a quiet place to relax.

When you see the triggers, you just need to stop and take some rest. It is necessary to rest in a quiet place and while resting, do not use any electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, etc. Which can disturb your peace and worsen the triggers.

While resting you must do some mindful breathing exercises, which will bring calmness to your mind and body. Meditation is touted as the most effective player in headache pain management. It can be beneficial in preventing migraine triggers.

Dim the lights.

Increased sensitivity to light is the most common symptom of migraine. It is also termed photophobia, which makes the person feel uncomfortable in the bright lights. Such people may find it difficult to step out into the sun and sit in a room with bright lights on.

If you are a working professional and have to spend the majority of your time on a computer screen, then make use of anti-glare screens. These screens prevent the bright light of the monitor from affecting you by leading to headaches. The screen disperses the light and reduces its intensity and protects your eyes from straining.

Sip acaffeinated beverage.

Tea or coffee are excellent sources of caffeine, which is a component that can subside the pre-migraine symptoms and eliminate the possibility of migraine attacks. A cup of either coffee or tea can be taken when you start experiencing the pre-migraine triggers.

Do not take more than two cups, otherwise, excessive caffeine intake can lead to withdrawal headaches, which can cause sleep deprivation later.

Take a shower.

Taking a warm or cool bath will be helpful in relieving the triggers that you experience before migraines. Bathing can have a therapeutic effect on the symptoms. It can alleviate the throbbing pain and prevent the progression of it.

Try temperature therapy.

Temperature therapy can be given by compresses. It can have a numbing effect on the pain. You can place the compress on your forehead and on the back of your neck. This will numb the area and alleviate the sensation of pain.

You can use warm or cold compresses. Warm compresses increase the flow of blood and supply nutrients to the area of the body, whereas cold compresses slow the blood flow and help alleviate the pain and swelling.

Do yoga.

Certain yoga postures can relieve migraine triggers. It can also reduce the frequency of migraines and alleviate their severity as well. It is a powerful therapy that slows down your blood pressure and eliminates the stress and tension in the body. To stop the manifestation of a migraine attack,you must do any of the yoga exercises that are listed below:

  • Shavasana (corpse pose)
  • Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend)
  • Shashankasana (Rabbit pose)
  • Shisuasana (Child pose)

Manage stress.

Stress worsens the symptoms of migraine and speeds up the progression of it. It has to be managed by providing an outlet for such negative emotions. You can do so by doing some activities that make you feel calm and relaxed. It can be anything, taking a short walk, listening to some great music, talking to someone, sitting for a few minutes in meditation, etc. Just knowing how to control the stress will be extremely helpful in dodging the migraine.

With the help of these remedies, you will be able to prevent the manifestation of a migraine attack from migraine triggers. You have to become aware of the triggers that you usually experience before it progresses into migraine. You have to note down the various triggers that you suffer, as when they occur again, you will be able to successfully manage them and prevent their progression.

How To Help A Migraine

A migraine attack does not happen suddenly, it gives several indications before it finally begins. These indications are the triggers that progress and worsen with time and lead to migraine headaches. During a migraine attack, the person experiences intense headaches. The throbbing pain negatively impacts the person’s life by affecting their day-to-day activities.

To prevent migraines from happening, one needs to become aware of when certain triggers appear. These triggers are the warning signs that a migraine is about to happen. Identification of triggers is necessary to avoid migraines. Given below are some ways in which you can reverse a migraine quickly and effectively deal with it:

Take some rest.

If a migraine happens while you are doing some work, then stop doing it right away and take a rest. You can continue doing the activity once you manage the condition and overcome it. When you are in a public place, then find some quiet place to sit and relax. Resting is essential, otherwise, it may become intense because of rapid movements or continual activity.

Give yourself a massage.

Gently massage your forehead, temples, and neck area in a circular motion. Massaging will relieve muscle tension and reduce stress. Focus on the areas that are causing throbbing pain. Application of pressure on these areas will alleviate the pain. You can also get to know about some acupressure points that can relieve the pain and bring relief.

Use medications.

You can make use of some over the counter (OTC) medicine, which will subside the pain. It is better to seek treatment in case you are experiencing severe symptoms of migraines. Your healthcare provider will prescribe some medications that can prevent the worsening of the headaches.

Drink some water.

Dehydration can be a potential reason for migraines. You must drink some water and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. This will reduce the frequency of migraines. Carry a bottle of water with you. When you start experiencing the symptoms of a migraine, sip some water first.

Sip a cup of coffee or tea.

Tea and coffee contain caffeine, which is a component that can help with pain management. Caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties, which cause the blood vessels in the brain to become narrow and limit the flow of blood. This leads to the reduction of the pain.

Turn off the lights.

Keep your mobile phone aside for a while or if you are working on a computer, just shut it down until you recover from the migraine pain. The lights from the screen can exacerbate the throbbing pain even more.

Bright light can make the symptoms worse, so, dim the lights or it is even better to sit in a dark room for some time. Since a person with migraine develops high sensitivity to light. Therefore, avoiding sunlight or bright lights while you are experiencing triggers is necessary.

Use temperature therapy.

Cold and warm compresses are highly beneficial. You can use either of these. You just have to place the pack on your forehead and the back of your neck. This will produce a soothing and numbing effect and the pain will get reduced to a greater degree and eventually, it will disappear.

Stop chewing for some time.

Chewing can cause continuous movement of your jaw, which can make the headaches intense. You have to sit still without moving your jaw. Chewing gums must be avoided during such a situation, otherwise, the continuous and persistent movement of the jaw can make migraines more frequent.

Do some meditation.

Meditation involves mindful breathing exercises, which calm the mind and the body. As you focus on your breathing, your attention will automatically get shifted and you forget about the pain. Meditation relieves stress and alleviates pain. You just have to bring your awareness to your breathwork and breathe deeply. This will enhance relaxation and reverse migraine.

After trying every remedy that is listed above, if you are still unable to overcome the throbbing pain due to migraines, then it is better to see your healthcare provider. They will prescribe you some medications based on the severity of your condition. One can manage mild to moderate degrees of migraine with this technique, but in case of severe migraines, it is necessary to seek treatment in combination with these remedies.

How To Get Rid Of A Migraine?

Migraine causes intense headaches. It gives several indications before it even begins. By paying attention to the pre-migraine symptoms, one can prevent migraines from happening. Also, some remedies and healthy habits might as well be extremely helpful in getting rid of it.

Although one can get the treatment in case of severe migraine, some general ways to tackle migraines are given below:

Dim the lights.

Individuals having migraines develop sensitivity to light and sounds. They can worsen the symptoms and severity. Exposure to bright lights and flickering lights can trigger amigraine attack. Those who work for long hours may spend extensive hours with their eyes glued to the computermonitor, which increases their screen time. This can contribute to throbbing head pain and nausea. One can prevent it by making use of anti-glare screens on their computer, which reflect the light and protect your eyes.

Moreover, those who get headaches due to daylight can use sunglasses while stepping out and put blackout curtains to block the bright lights in the room. Dimming the lights and relaxing in a quiet and dark room will enhance comfort and provide relief from migraine symptoms.

Have a caffeinated drink.

Caffeine is a substance that can ease pain and produce a soothing sensation. You can drink coffee or tea, which are sources of caffeine. When you start experiencing the symptoms of pre-migraine, you can drink a cup of any caffeinated drink, which will eliminate the migraine attack. Make sure you do not overdo it, a cup or two will do.

Get a full night’s sleep.

Individuals having migraines must fix their sleep schedule and get adequate rest. Sleeping at the same time every day will help you to remain consistent and reinforce the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Avoid any such thing that can interfere with your sleep and keep you awake at night, it can be anything like alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, heavy meals, exercise before bedtime, etc.

Some soothing and relaxing music, a warm bath, or meditation can help you unwind and make it easier to fall asleep. Keep your environment cozy and comfortable, which will allow you to attain utmost relaxation and a good night’s sleep.

Eat healthily.

Healthy eating habits will reduce migraine symptoms. It is necessary to eat at the same time regularly. Do not skip your meals, as it might cause a disturbance. Being consistent with your eating schedule will allow you to maintain a balanced diet and create a stable energy source. Try to include clean foods in your diet and avoid junk and processed foods, because such foods are generally hard to digest and can rob off your mental peace.

Exercise regularly.

Exercising boosts blood circulation throughout your body and releases mood-boosting hormones. It drives away stress and anxiety and helps attain physical and mental calmness. Stress and anxiety are the factors that can exacerbate the symptoms of migraine, but exercising on a regular basis alleviates these symptoms.

Try yoga.

Yoga involves mindful breathing techniques combined with physical postures. It calms your mind and body by releasing all the tension. When these exercises are performed regularly, the frequency of headaches due to migraines will be reduced.

Use a cold/warm compress.

Placing a cold pack or cold compress on the forehead and on the back of the neck will have therapeutic effects on individuals experiencing severe headaches. It can produce a numbing effect, which distracts the brain from migraine. Besides, you can also use a warm compress, which will increase the relaxation of the tense muscles and enhance soothing sensations.

Manage stress.

Stress is very common, but chronic stress can lead to anxiety and cause an imbalance in your mind and body. It makes the symptoms of migraines even worse, which is why it is necessary to manage the stress. You can do some mindful deep breathwork exercises that will bring down your stress level and anchor your attention in the present moment.

You can also use your creativity to channel your stress and release it. Doing some creative activities such as painting, gardening, cooking, etc. can provide an outlet for stuck emotions and increase your relaxation.

Stay hydrated.

Busy work schedules or responsibilities may get you completely absorbed, and you may forget to drink enough water. Lack of hydration can lead to headaches and make the symptoms of migraine terrible, so remember to drink plenty of water.

These are simple remedies that can have a profound effect on those facing difficulties due to migraines.Incorporating these remedies and making them a part of lifestyle can be beneficial, as they can alleviate the symptoms of migraines and might prevent attacks as well.

One can manage mild to moderate symptoms with these remedies, however, in case of severe migraine, one necessarily needs treatment. Usually, the healthcare provider will prescribe medication to manage the intense headaches, but a combination of these remedies with the treatment will obtain better results.

How To Cure Migraines Permanently?

A chronic neurological condition like migraines does not have any permanent cure, butthe symptoms can be significantly reduced and prevented from getting worse through treatment and home remedies. This incurable condition is manageable to a great extent. Its frequency can be controlled too.

During migraines, the person experiences frequent and long-lasting episodes of intense headaches, and throbbing pain in their forehead, temples, and neck. Before a migraine occurs, the person gets several indications, which are the pre-migraine triggers. You can stop a migraine by acknowledging the triggers. Following are the ways in which one can alleviate the migraine pain:

Take medications on time – Migraines are manageable when you combine home remedies with treatment. Your healthcare provider will prescribe you some medications to alleviate the pain. They may also prescribe some medications to control the pre-migraine symptoms, which will stop the progression of symptoms into migraines.

The medications can be in the form of pills, shots, or nasal sprays. They work by constricting the blood vessels and blocking the pathways in the brain. Vasoconstriction in the brain relieves the ache and reduces the throbbing pain.

Watch what you eat – Certain types of foods can contribute to the reduction of migraine headaches. It is necessary to control your diet if you wish to manage your condition well. It may not happen suddenly, but for the desired improvement, you have to follow a diet regularly.

According to the Healthline website, adding foods that are rich sources of magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids will reinforce the management of the condition. Also, those who follow a ketogenic diet, which is a diet that involves low carbohydrates and high fat, will be able to overcome frequent migraines.

Drink plenty of water – Dehydration is the most common trigger for migraines. Lack of hydration gives rise to frequent migraine headaches. This is why it is necessary to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Adequate hydration levels help in alleviating the symptoms or triggers of migraines.

Perform yoga – Yoga is a mind and body balancing practice, which relieves all the stress and tension. Yoga is a combination of mindful breathing and physical postures that can be beneficial in preventing migraines. It brings down stress and anxiety, which are the contributors to intense headaches. Yoga is an amazing therapy for those who suffer from migraines.

Get enough sleep – Various studies have revealed that lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep can worsen the triggers of migraine attacks. The hormones go out of balance, which is why the pain can be felt more intensely. One must sleep at the same time regularly, as the body gets used to the time, which causes the person to fall asleep easily.

Manage stress – Stress is one of the most common triggers of migraines. Learning to manage stress will give you visible results, as you will see that the frequency of migraines has reduced significantly. There are several techniques that can be helpful in eliminating stress. You can do meditation, put on peaceful music, go for a walk, do some leisure activities, etc.

Use temperature therapy – To perform this you can prefer cold packs or warm packs compresses for numbing the pain. When you place the compress on the pain area, the blood vessels constrict, which limits the flow of blood through them. Due to restrictions in the flow of blood, the pain becomes dull and subsides. You can place the compresses on your forehead, temple, and on the back of your neck.

Find a quiet room to relax – You might become highly sensitive to the noises, which can trigger migraine symptoms. So, you must shut out the noises and relax in a quiet room. Do not go to places that have loud music on, as you can easily get a migraine.

Dim the lights – Brightness and harsh lights can also be a trigger to migraine attacks. The person might develop photosensitivity which potentiates the risk of migraine headaches. You can turn off the lights and sit for a while in a dark room if you begin to experience some discomfort. Also, while stepping out in the sun, you can make use of sunglasses, which will prevent the light from causing headaches.

Identify your triggers – You have to become aware of your triggers and the patterns of symptoms. By doing so, you will be able to prevent a migraine attack from happening in the middle of something important.

The lowdown

Migraine is a chronic neurological condition that is incurable. Mild and moderate degrees of headaches can be managed with home remedies and lifestyle changes, but severe migraines require medical attention. It can be a symptom of some underlying condition, which is why it needs to be examined.

Your healthcare provider will prescribe medications to overcome the throbbing pain and reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Also, home remedies and lifestyle changes are as important too, as they can contribute to the treatment.

What Is A Migraine

Generally, a migraine is a neurological disorder that causes throbbing pain in the head. Normal headaches can be bearable, but a migraine is a bad headache, which is very intense and unbearable, and it leaves the individual bedridden for hours or even days. During a migraine attack, the individual may become highly sensitive to lights and sounds. It interferes with their day-to-day activities.  

Read more “What Is A Migraine”

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