A migraine is a severe pain that is often accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting, sensitivity to bright light and sound and can last anywhere between several hours and days at a time. Many indians are sufferers of migraines, but what exactly causes such terrible pains in us, pains that can keep us from living our lives as normal and instead leaving them laying in bed in hopes to make it go away?
The medical cause of migraines is a fairly simple concept; it occurs when the blood vessels enlarge and nerve fibers release chemicals around these vessels. The guilty vessel in particular is one that lays just outside the skull and beneath the skin. This vessel becomes inflamed and possibly further enlargement, causing pain and that throbbing sensation that sometimes occurs.
There are a variety of causes for migraines. First and foremost, parents can be responsible for them. No, not having to deal with phone calls and holidays after you move out, although stress is another cause for migraines! Just having one parent with a history of migraines gives their child a 50% chance of developing them for themselves. When both parents have it, the odds jump up to 75%. Unfortunately, there isn’t very much to do when this is a cause since it is impossible to change one’s genetics.
One cause for women (who are more likely to develop migraines) that cannot be avoided is the menstrual cycle. While it does not happen every month, it can still occur. Like the previous reason, there really isn’t much to do when this happens other than keeping hydrated and remaining in bed if possible. Causes of migraines other than parents can be controlled and avoided, luckily. Among these include alcohol, irregular or lack of sleep, skipping meals, already present tension headaches, as well as bright lights and loud noises. Certain kinds of foods and drinks are major culprits–namely those with tyramine, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and nitrates.
It is important to note, however, that not all of these triggers will definitely cause migraines, just as it’s important to remember that avoiding them may not prevent the migraine from coming. Sometimes it is inevitable that a migraine will occur. All that can be done in that situation, as previously mentioned, is to keep hydrated, keep in bed when possible, take some pain medication (be sure to refer to the label to know how much is safe to take) and make it through it.