Although migraine headache causes are not fully understood, most researchers believe the cause of migraines is brain inflammation.
And when brain blood vessels are inflamed and swollen, pressure on nearby nerves causes migraine headache pain.
Certain factors or events, called triggers for migraines, can bring on a migraine headache for anyone who’s susceptible – mainly women.
Women are two to three times more prone to migraine headache causes than men. And the brutal pain caused by migraine headaches can last for hours or even days, confining the person to a soft bed in a dark room.
Migraine Headache Triggers and Migraine Causes
Most migraine causes and triggers involve stress and changes to the body’s status quo. So to avoid migraines develop a routine lifestyle with a healthy diet, moderate exercise and plenty of sleep and relaxation.
The best known triggers that cause migraine headaches are:
1. Hormonal fluctuations – When estrogen levels fluctuate dramatically, just before and during a woman’s menstrual period, is one of the better known triggers for migraines. Other hormonal migraine triggers for some women are pregnancy, postpartum and the onset of menopause.
2. What you eat or drink – The most common food triggers include:
- Alcohol, especially red wine and beer;
- Caffeine, too much or caffeine withdrawal;
- Nitrate foods, like hot dogs, and lunch meats;
- Skipping meals or fasting can trigger migraines;
- Excess use of aspartame, mainly from diet sodas;
- MSG (monosodium glutamate) found in seasonings;
- Other foods, such as aged cheeses, chocolate, dairy products, smoked fish and some fermented foods are also known triggers for migraines.
3. Changes in the weather – Air Pressure, humidity and rapid hot and cold temperature fluctuations are common migraine triggers. This includes changes in altitude and traveling between dry and humid climates.
4. Strong sensory stimulus – Super sensitivity to surroundings include:
- Loud noises or sudden loud sounds;
- Bright light, flickering lights or sunlight glare;
- Smells, like perfumes, cigarette smoke or paint thinner.
5. Intense physical exertion – Excessive exercise or other physical activities, such as bowling or even intense sex, can cause migraines.
6. Medications and Drugs – The main drug migraine triggers are:
- Asthma medications,
- Any kind of stimulant, like diet pills,
- Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy,
- Nitrate contain drugs, like cardiac medicines with nitroglycerin, nitro patches for angina or blood pressure medications, increase vasodilation (swelling of blood vessels) and can trigger migraines.
7. Changes in sleep patterns – Good sleeping habits help decrease the frequency and intensity of migraines. Studies show that lack of sleep, too much sleep, irregular sleep or jet lag can trigger migraine attacks.
8. Physical or emotional stress – Fatigue, stress and anxiety lower your body’s natural defenses and can trigger or aggravate a migraine.
Learning migraine headache causes and triggers for migraines will help you avoid painful episodes. You’ll also want to know cures for migraine headaches and include the best anti-inflammation supplements.