What Causes Migraine Headaches

Migraine headache is an inherited medical condition causing brain and nerve sensitivity which consist of a series of events that include:

  1. Stimulation of the nerves in the brain
  2. Inflammation and swelling of blood vessels situated at the surface of the brain
  3. Alterations in the method the brain processes pain

People suffering from this condition should try to prevent the episode from happening. This is the best option for these people to take although prevention may not always be successful. But there are several ways to reduce the severity and frequency of the condition. A lifestyle change is absolutely important to these individuals.  A regular eating, rest and sleep schedules is also helpful to keeping the condition away. Regular exercise schedule is essential too. To avoid migraine headaches, check out the following tips:

  • Steer clear from migraine headache triggers. When a person identifies the trigger to his or her migraine episode the condition can easily be avoided. The range of things that stimulate migraine headache is quite broad. To specifically identify them, the category is divided into two namely, food/beverage and environmental/lifestyle triggers.

Food and beverages that stimulates the condition:

  1. Aged cheese
  2. Alcoholic beverages, especially red wine
  3. Chocolate
  4. Marinated or fermented foods
  5. Dairy products that are cultured
  6. Seasoned salt
  7. Avocados
  8. Pea pods
  9. Beans
  10. Citrus fruits
  11. Raisins
  12. Yeast in doughnuts and breads
  13. Peanut butter and nuts
  14. Coffee

                Environmental or Lifestyle Triggers to Migraine Headache

  1. Chemical smells
  2. Sunlight
  3. Bright lights from fluorescent tubes
  4. Smoke of cigarette and/or tobacco
  5. Strenuous physical activity especially the sexually-related ones
  6. Loud noises
  7. Stress
  8. Strong odors
  9. Menses
  10. Sleeping difficulties or troubles
  11. Missed meals
  12. Weather or altitude change
  13. Hormonal changes
  14. Fatigue

It is important to understand that the item/s that triggers one person may not be the same trigger to the other. Not all of these things may cause the headache episode, only a few will be present to a client. Hence, proper identification of items that trigger the migraine attack is the key to successfully preventing it.

  • Have a regular exercise schedule. Tension is a common stimulus to migraines. When a person is involved in a regular exercise activity, the tension decreases so as the headache. However, it is important not to engage in strenuous exercises as it may also cause the condition.
  • Relax, relax, relax. Stress aggravates if not causes migraines. Hence, a person should keep the stress away by performing relaxation techniques such as biofeedback and meditation.
  • Quit smoking and get rid of caffeine. These items cause or aggravate the condition. Hence, clearing the body from these chemicals would get rid of the pain causing health condition.

 Image courtesy of healthylifesolutions.info


Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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