Discover The Causes Of Migraine Headaches

It is thought that environmental factors and genetics play a part in migraine headaches. Migraines have a tendency to run in families but the reason why some persons get it and others do not is still not clear. On the other hand, the research to determine the cause of migraine headaches is ongoing. While no one definitive cause has been arrived at, there have been several possibilities put forward, resulting from clinical studies that have been done. Researchers are also exploring possible causes as they relate to the body’s chemicals, structure and nerve pathways.

Migraines are severe headaches that usually have pounding, throbbing or shock like pain. Other symptoms include sensitivity to light and to sound. Changes in vision, nausea and vomiting are also common signs. Imbalances in the body chemical serotonin, has been identified as a possible cause of migraines. Serotonin influences blood flow, sleep pattern and other functions. Higher levels of serotonin will cause blood vessels to shrink, while lower levels cause them to expand. It is this expansion, which is thought to cause actions in the brain, which then lead to migraine headaches.

There is a school of research which attributes migraines to TMJ or jaw joint dysfunction. Proponents suggest that jaw joint dysfunction is usually undiagnosed or missed, and as a result, persons suffering from migraines are unable to get any relief. Due to its proximity to the facial nerves, a dysfunctional jaw joint can negatively impact, the brain tissue and lead to headaches.

Low levels of magnesium have also been thought to contribute to migraine headaches. Magnesium deficiency has been found to be common in persons with migraines. It is thought that the deficiency destabilizes the nerves in the brain, and leads to some symptoms, especially visual disturbances or migraine aura. Migraine aura is a condition in which the migraine sufferer experiences irregular visual signs such as blind spots, multicolored lights and dazzling lines, before the onset of an attack.

There are several factors that have been identified as possible triggers of migraine headaches. These are several and wide ranging, and should not be confused with the cause of a migraine. What these conditions do is to induce a migraine headache in persons who are already prone to them.

There are emotional factors such as stress and anxiety, physical factors such as hormonal changes, and environmental factors, such as unfavorable weather conditions, and airborne allergies caused by pollutants, which can bring on migraines. Diets that are high in simple sugars and dairy products have also been found to trigger migraine attacks. Some foods such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), nuts, alcohol, cheese and chocolate are also thought to set off migraines.

The research to determine the causes of migraine is ongoing. The National Migraine Association in the United States, has said that migraine is a neurological disease that has serious health and disability problems associated with it. The Association hopes that by raising awareness of the disease, further research will lead to a better understanding of its cause.