Is There a Main Migraine Headaches Cause?
There are several theories that explain the cause or pathophysiology of migraine headaches, but there is no single theory that could best explain the exact cause of such phenomenon.
Some of the theories that emerged to try to explain the migraine headaches cause involve the participations of different factors such as the vascular, genetic, neurological and chemical factors. All of these theories state one thing in common that migraine headaches are arbitrated via the trigeminal vascular system and its central projections.
The most common explanation for a migraine headaches cause is that it occurs when there are events or factors that trigger the blood vessels in the brain to over respond. Such over reaction will cause spasm in the arteries located at the base of the brain.
Following such spasm is the constriction of the arteries creating a decrease in blood flow to the brain area, and as a result, cerebral hypoxia or reduced oxygen supply at the brain may occur. Furthermore, blood-clotting materials in the blood that are called platelets clump together.
One more migraine headaches cause could be the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical found in the blood that causes blood vessels to constrict and contract.
While arteries at the base of the brain constricts, other arteries undergo vasodilatation that triggers the release of prostaglandins. These are fatty acids found naturally in every human being that affects many body activities. They stimulate contractions of involuntary muscles. These chemicals are also responsible in causing inflammation and swelling, thus they increase one’s sensitivity to pain.
Some of the factors that trigger the onset of migraine headaches include the following: hormonal changes, stress, foods, sensory stimuli, emotional inputs, alterations in the environment, and some medications.
In factors that include hormonal changes, it is the females rather than the males who commonly manifest this, because there is a significant relationship of estrogen-alterating events in activating migraine headaches. Hormonal changes during menstruation, menopause or when taking hormonal contraceptive pills worsen the event of migraine.
Another possible migraine headaches cause is stress. Overindulging to office works or school works can cause stress, and having a stressful situation prompts the release of some chemicals that causes arterial vasoconstriction. Moreover, sleeping, which is considered by many as an effective stress-reliever, can also cause the onset of migraine headaches if it will take longer hours than the normal sleeping time.
A faulty diet can also cause migraine headaches. These trigger foods include peanuts, chicken liver, ripe banana, avocados, dried meat, chocolates, anchovies, and foods that contain monosodium glutamate.
On sensory stimuli, photosensitivity or sensitivity to light is the most common. This happens during stages when one is experiencing the symptoms like visual disturbances and flashing of lights. This factor may trigger the attack or it can worsen the attack. Being engaged in too much emotion can also be seen as a migraine headaches cause.
That is being too much angry, happy and laughing out loud, or being depressed. These instances of emotional excitability or downfall can cause release of chemicals or hormones that are associated with migraine headaches.
Changes in the environment, especially the weather can be counted as a strong migraine headaches cause. In fact, a lot of people are experiencing migraines during very hot weather conditions.
Aside from contraceptive pills (Lopron, Provera), other drugs that can cause or trigger migraine headaches are the following: Nitrates (Nitroglycerin), Calcium Channel Blocker (Procardia), Antacids (Zantac), and caffeine-containing drugs (Esgic). Some precaution is needed while taking these drugs.
Knowing these triggering factors for a migraine headache will help an individual know when to seek consultation and treatment from the physician. So, it is very important to be familiarized with them very well.
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