Migraine – Its Causes And Triggers

Have you ever felt a throbbing pain and pulsing sensation on one side of your head? If yes, it could be a sign of migraine. The word migraine is derived from a Greek word ‘hemicrania’ and is a persistent condition found among 35 million people in the country itself.

While its cause is unclear, there are some common factors that could help you understand this condition and why it is caused. Everyone has different triggers, but there are a few in common that affect a large number of people. If you have experienced a migraine in the past, these causes will help you identify your triggers and bring you one step closer to treating the condition.

  • Stress

This is one of the most prevalent factors that can trigger a migraine. A dramatic increase of stress can lead to a migraine attack. Some people also experience symptoms of a migraine when they experience a decrease in psychological stress.

One of the simple ways of coping with undue stress is relaxation therapy and meditation. You can also use an instrument called biofeedback or biological feedback to monitor your bodily responses to stress. The instrument tries to modify the responses, which helps reduce stress.

  • Lack of sleep

Sleep refreshes your body, especially the brain. Stress and sleep are interlinked. If you are stressed physically or mentally, it can disrupt your sleep pattern, resulting in a migraine. Migraine attacks and sleep disruption can put people at a greater risk of developing sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome. 

In order to sleep well, avoid using your phone or surfing the web at night. It is also recommended to go to bed at the same time every night so that you create a habit and sleep pattern.

  • Caffeine and alcohol

While some people use caffeine to treat headaches, some find their symptoms worsening after they consume alcohol and caffeine. So, reduce your intake of caffeine and check if you experience migraine after consuming coffee or alcohol.

Curb your caffeine and alcohol intake if you are experiencing migraine symptoms after you consume them. Switching to decaffeinated tea or coffee can also help you manage the symptoms of migraine better.

  • Hormonal changes

According to medalerthelp.org, women are more likely to develop migraines due to hormonal changes than men. They might experience migraines around the time of their menstrual period, which is usually referred to as ‘menstrual migraine’. Doctors believe this could happen due to change in their progesterone and estrogen levels.

If you experience this as well, make sure you avoid a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy foods as it can help significantly. Some experts suggest birth control methods to stabilize hormone levels. However, consult a specialist and a gynecologist for better management of the symptoms.

  • Sensitivity to light

This is yet another most common trigger of migraine. Photophobia or sensitivity to light is often used as a criterion to diagnose migraine. Natural, bright, fluorescent, and flickering lights can trigger migraines and force people to spend less time outdoors.

The best way to cope with this is by wearing sunglasses when outdoors. When faced with artificial light, avoid looking directly into the source. If you experience headaches due to the screen glare from your computer or mobile device, wear anti-glare glasses or activate yellow light on your devices.

Most importantly, talk to your doctor or a headache specialist about your migraine symptoms as they will help you with a proper diagnosis and treatment plans. Overusing migraine medications can also aggravate the symptoms. Hence, it is necessary to keep a journal to record your symptoms as timely treatments can avoid future migraine attacks.

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