Headache & Migraine

Published on May 8th, 2014 | by Tom


Migraine Symptoms & Triggers

Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by moderate or severe headaches that is often preceded or accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or increased sensitivity to the light and sound.

Symptoms of migraine

Migraines can be classified into several types, three of the most common types of migraine and their symptoms are presented as follow:

Migraine with aura. Nearly 1/3 of people with migraine have this which usually causes visual disturbances along with a headache. It may happen before or during migraine headaches, warning signs include flashes of light, seeing various shapes, bright spots, vision loss in one eye and stiffness in the neck, shoulders or limbs.

Migraine without aura. Migraine without aura causes common symptoms of migraine, including headache felt as throbbing pain on one side or both sides of your head, feelings of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or fatigue.

Silent migraine. Silent migraine refers to a migraine without headache pain, which means that people with silent migraine may experience any other signs and symptoms of a migraine except for headache pain.

Triggers of migraine

The exact causes of a migraine are still unknown to all of us, but many factors have been identified as contributors to migraines. The most common triggers for migraines include:

Inappropriate sleeping: the lack of sleep or getting too much of sleep may cause a migraine.

Stress: stress and anxiety are common triggers for migraine headaches.

Hormonal changes: this is the leading trigger for migraines occur in women. Changes in estrogen during menstruation, pregnancy or menopause can easily trigger a migraine. In addition, hormone replacement therapy, hormone medicines like birth control pills may worsen migraines.

Foods and diet. Artificial sugar substitutes like aspartame may cause a migraine. Tyramine found in aged cheeses, hard sausages and Chianti wine can trigger migraines as well, the case is the same with foods that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG). Other common triggers are caffeine intake, smoking and drinking alcohol.

Genes: research suggests that people with family history of migraines or headaches are more likely to suffer from migraines.

Age: migraines occur more often in people over 40 years old.

Weight: obesity can increase the risk of getting a migraine, especially for women.

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