Migraine Headache Triggers

What are some of the reasons that migraines arise?  How frequently do you suffer with your migraine symptoms?  Are migraines the result of the foods we eat, things in the environment or genetics?  These are all questions that we’ll address in this article relating to migraine triggers.  Is migraine headache prevention possible knowing these factors? These things are termed triggers because they may or may not be solely reliable for the causation, but they do relate with the onset of a migrane and so they fit into this category.

As with all conditions relating to your health, you should utilize information you read online as a way of educating yourself and becoming more informed.  In this regard, articles like this can be very beneficial.  However, you should never do yourself the dis-service of trying to diagnose yourself because you simply don’t like doctors or just want to save yourself a visit.  Take this information appropriately and then follow up with your local health care professional.

Migraine Headache Triggers

As was alluded to in the beginning of this article, there are a variety of reasons why you may be experiencing your headache pain.  If you suffer with headaches everyday, there is a likelihood that they are probably not migraines.  This is because of the nature of how migraines arise.  There are several theories, but the most common and popular theory today has to do with the dilation of blood vessels in the brain.  Because the nerve cells wrap around the arteries, when they become dilated (for reasons that are still not well understood – see migraine causes) this causes these nerve cells to send electrical signals to areas of the brain that are interpreted as pain.

There are electrical firings that happen in a type of epileptic fashion, too, that has been observed.  In this instance, anti-epileptic migraine medications are used in an attempt to quiet the electrical activity.  In some cases, this has helped people who suffer with migraines.

So, we must ask:  “What triggers migraines like these?”  Like in much of health care, the explanations to ‘why’ things happen are often not as thorough as ‘how’ they happen.  In this case, the triggers for migraine fall into three categories:  physical, mental/emotional, and chemical.  In the physical category, we must include the idea of genetics and its role in this phenomenon.  It is observed that those with a first generation connection sometimes appear more likely to be afflicted.  Other physical causes include bright lights, loud sounds, certain smells and physical trauma, accidents or positions.  Sometimes, prolonged postural strain or a knock on the head or neck can trigger a headache.

It can be difficult to uncover the full nature of a certain type when the symptoms share common features of those with tension headaches, cluster headaches and other localized headache pains.  One of the key distinguishing features of the tension-type is that it is often bilateral in nature and mild to moderate in pain, where the migraine often occurs on just one side of the head and can be more debilitating.  Similarly, the cluster headache occurs on just one side of the head, but is associated with pain that is predominantly behind the eye and is extremely painful and is associated with other symptoms.

Mental and emotional or psychological stress is also one of the common headache triggers.  It can lead to depression, anxiety and also gastrointestinal complaints as well.  There is a relationship between serotonin levels and emotional well-being, as well as migraine headaches.  Neurotransmitters, like serotonin, seem to play some role. Again, some migraine medicines attempt to affect the pain by mixing with this pathway.

Finally, dietary and chemically induced triggers can cause the onset of a migraine.  These are some of the more popularly known triggers.  Among the food and drinks are:  alcohol, tobacco, aged cheeses, preserved meats, artificial sweeteners (aspartame) and flavor enhancers (MSG).  Then, there are chemicals like pesticides, certain medicines and colognes or perfumes.  Avoiding these migraine triggers is one main key to remaining headache free.

When it comes to migraine treatments, there are various options.  If you’re more inclined to follow a Western medical approach, you’ll find that migraine medications have grown in number and scope.  Where there was once only 1 or 2 options, now there are literally close to 50!

Here, at Infinite Healing Arts, it isn’t within our scope or philosophy to discuss such treatment choices.  We practice Network Spinal Analysis or Network Care.  This style of care is effective for people looking to address many of the underlying reasons why symptoms appear in the first place.  Our chiropractor Gilbert, AZ resident enjoys serving this vibrant family community.  If you or someone you know is looking for answers to their migraine headache triggers and, more likely, migraine relief, contact us today.


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