Over three hundred million people across the world suffer from migraine headaches. This is not something to take lightly.
While it is one of the most common it is still one of the least understood and poorly treated medical disorders. They can be caused by many different factors and these factors vary from person to person. Another factor is the things people experience during their migraines this varies greatly from person to person.
Some people have searing one sided or both sides and others even experience auras prior to onset while some do not. The symptons can include nausea, vommiting, fever, chills, sweating, light sensitivity, and many other things. Not all people experience the same symptoms.
How Do People Get Migraines?
There are many different theories about how migraines come about but no one hypothesis can actually explain it in all cases. Sometimes the theories conflict, these theories include:
- Changes in serotonin levels in the brain- You see when serotonin levels drop blood vessels especially those in your brain become swolen and this can lead to migraine pain.
- Vascular constriction in your brain- Drops in blood flow followed by stretching of blood vessels can activate pain signaling neurons in your brain.
- Neurological Disorder- It is thought that possibly a wave release of neurotransmitters is let go across your cortex and it can directly stimulate your trigeminal nerves. This is in term going to set off a chain reaction that ends in the transmission of pain signals.
- Nervous system disorder originating in your brain stem– Your brain stem is your control center for alertness. It allows you to percept light, noise, smell, cerebral blood flow, and pain sensitivity. Research has shown that there are three clusters of cells active in your brain stem during and after a migraine. Abnormal activity in those cells might ne signaling pain.
- Gene mutation is also thought to be a possible cause.
Vitamin Deficiency is also a possibiliy.
In one of the most recent studies done vitamin B12 and B6 as well as folic acid supplements were found to produce a reduction in migraines over a six month period. Similar research has shown close to the same thing back in 2004 as well. As it turns little over forty percent of patients with migraines were deficient in vitamin D according to the 50th annual meeting of the American Headache Society.
While there is no known cure for migraines and we don’t know their definent origin we can treat them and avoid triggering them.
Using vitamin B supplements is something that might help tremendously but most remedies are not effective. Pain seems to be the thing we should listen to, if you pay attention to when you’re hurting you can likely find what is causing it. The thing that triggers migraines for you could be completely different for another person.
Here are the most common migraine triggers:
- Food and Drink- Some people experience migraines when they eat or drink certain things. Most cases have been wheat, dairy, sugar, cured meat, aspartame, caffeine, alcohol, and MSG.
- Allergies- Cheimical sensitivities, food allergies, or food sensitivities.
- Dehydration Or Hunger- This is my trigger, if I have to wait a few hours to eat and I’m already hungry usually by the time I get to eat it is too late. However, some people get them from not drinking anything.
- Changes In Sleeping Cycle- Missing sleep and oversleeping can both trigger migraines.
- Stress- Any and all sorts of emotional trauma can cause a migraine. This can occur even after the stress has passed.
- Physical Exertion- Intense workouts or even something such as sex has been known as a trigger.
- Hormones- Some wonen experience migraines before or during their period. Some get migraines from hormonal medicines like birth control.
- External Stimuli- Bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, etc. these can all bring on a migraine.
How can a migraine be relieved without dangerous drugs?
Migraine medication is known for only working on half of the people who suffer from them. This is especially terrible for the half of us who ca’t seem to get any relief. If you do take something like a tryphamine-based drug (these bind to your serotonin receptors to constrict crainial blood vessels) and say your migraines are being caused by something other than engorged blood vessels then constricting them by using this medication can potentially do a lot of harm to you.
If you need to get rid of a migraine fast without medication try these methods;
- Stimulate your body’s natural painkilling ability- This is done by putting pressure just under your eyebrow. This will make your pituitary gland to release pain killing endorphins.
- Take at least ten teaspoons of cayenne pepper in a glass of water.
- Sniff green apple scent- One study found that the scent of green apples relieved migraine pain. This could also work with other scents that you enjoy.
- Using hot and cold packs- This is the best method in my opinion. For me heat does the trick but for some they need the cold. It all depends on the person.
Migraines are awful and until we are able to further understand the things that cause them we will not be able to properly treat them but by takeing supplements and avoiding triggers we can all avoid them as much as possible. Since I realized hunger was one of my main triggers I have been able to dramatically reduce the number of migraines I have.