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Migraine Headache: Symptoms, Causes,
and Triggers

Migraine Headache

Do you ever feel like you need to put a drill to your head? Do you feel like your brain is twisting and contorting in ways never thought possible? Do bright lights hurt you? Do smells bother you? Do you just want to hide in a dark room with a pillow over your head? If any of this sounds familiar, you probably are one of those poor people that suffer from migraines.

Millions of people suffer from migraines. However, the majority of sufferers are women. The true cause of migraines is not really known. Some people get them due to a previous head injury. Some people get them only certain days of the week and aren't sure why. Some people get them when they eat certain foods. Some people just have no clue why they get them.

If you suffer from migraines, there are certain things that can trigger the migraine attack. Avoiding these migraine triggers can effectively reduce the number of attacks. The first thing most people do when they get a migraine is to take a over the counter medication or a prescription migraine medication. However, it has been shown that doing this often can actually give you more migraines because your body becomes dependent on the medication. This is called rebound migraines or rebound headaches. If you are a woman, it has been widely known that birth control can cause a woman who never had migraines to suddenly have them. This includes oral contraceptives, Depo-Provera, etc. This is because birth control alters a woman's hormonal level. These hormonal fluctuations can trigger migraines. Oftentimes, women have the migraine attacks when they are due for a new Depo-Provera shot or right when they get the shot. This is because of the rapid increase or decrease in hormones. This is the same for oral contraceptives. Many women find that the migraines start at the beginning and at the end of the contraceptive pack. If you happen to have birth control related migraines, you may need to find another method of birth control.

There are also many foods that trigger migraines. This includes: caffeine, processed foods and meats (sausage, pepperoni, bacon, milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.), TV dinners, wine, chocolate, MSG (monosodium glutamate), alcohol, vinegar, certain fruits and juices (bananas, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, etc.), raisins, certain vegetables (onions, pea pods, sauerkraut), Aspartame (NutraSweet), and fresh baked goods that are yeast risen (bagels, doughnuts, soft pretzels, pizza. etc). Keep in mind that not all triggers affect everyone. It is best for you to keep a journal of what you eat each day and see what days you get migraines.

Lastly, some people get migraines on certain days of the week. This is often because of stress or work related issues that cause stress. Many people also get migraines because of lack of sleep or an unstable sleep schedule. Pregnancy can also cause migraine attacks.

If you suffer from migraines, know that there are many who feel your pain. Do some research and work with your doctor to find out what may be triggering your migraine attacks. This way, you can learn to avoid these triggers and perhaps have less migraines. Then you can put that drill away!

Article by Kristy Law.

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