Migraines can be crippling. It is reported that thirty-seven million Americans suffer from migraines every year. Some migraines can be so severe that it affects their daily lives. We will expand further on what the causes and symptoms are of a migraine.
There is no single answer to what causes migraines. People may encounter a variety of causes that result in a migraine. There are a few triggers that may set off the beginning of a migraine in an individual. Triggers vary from person to person.
Common triggers for migraines:
- Foods – Different processed foods, very salty or even aged cheese could be factors in triggering a migraine
- Liquids – Consuming alcohol or even highly caffeinated drinks like coffee or soda.
- Stress – Too much stress could cause an onset of a migraine
- Weather – Drastic changes in the weather could induce a migraine
- Senses – Your senses being overstimulated could cause a migraine. Bright lights, strong smells like cologne or perfume
- Medicine – Certain types of drugs could be a factor in causing a migraine
Other than triggers, there are factors that may contribute a person to be more susceptible to migraines. If one of your family members suffers from migraines, it is possible that you could develop them. What age you are could affect the severity and frequency of migraines. Studies suggest that migraines tend to peak in your thirties and become less frequent and less prominent as you age past your thirties. Females tend to suffer more from migraines than males do. In pre-adolescent children, boys suffer from migraines more frequently than girls. After adolescence, women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than men.
Now that we have identified what some of the causes are of migraines let’s explore the varying symptoms of migraines. Migraines tend to follow a four-step pattern once triggered.
- Prodrome – one or two days before a migraine. A person may experience neck stiffness, cravings for certain types of foods, or even constipation
- Aura – Not all people who suffer from migraines experience aura. People who experience aura may suffer from visual disturbances. Flashes of light, blurred vision, and in some cases sensory or motor disturbances are common during aura.
- Attack – The migraine attack can last in between four – seventy-two hours. During an attack, someone might encounter pain on one or both sides of the head. Pulsing pain, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision, lightheadedness or fainting are symptoms during an attack.
- Postdrome – This stage occurs after an attack. Twenty-four hours after an attack people may feel confusion, dizziness, weakness, sensitivity to light, or even euphoria.