Migraines and Their Causes

Migraines and Their Causes

Health Tips with Riffat Sadiq, MD.

More than 26 million Americans suffer from migraines, a debilitating condition that often involves throbbing pain on one side of the head, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound.

For each individual, migraine triggers can vary. Dietary factors that may trigger a migraine include red wine or other alcohol, chocolate, dairy products, or foods containing additives such as nitrites, MSG, or aspartame. Lifestyle triggers may include weather changes, high altitudes, bright lighting, loud noises, or strong odors. Hormones seem to play a factor in migraines as well - three times as many women as men suffer from migraines. Pregnancy, the use of birth control pills, or menopause can increase or decrease the frequency of migraines. Stress can also trigger a migraine. Migraines can be a debilitating interruption in the lives of those who suffer from them. If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned, talk to your doctor about avoidance measures and ways to control pain.

Quick Facts

- 90% of the population have experienced a headache, and 60% have experienced a migraine.

- Migraines can be accompanied by impaired vision and nausea.

- Causes of migraines can be: stress, too much or too little sleep, lack of or excess exercise, certain foods such as dairies, alcohol, and seafood as well as changes in weather. 

- If already in pain, over the counter pain relivers can help, but it best to try to prevent an attack with lifestyle changes.

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