Characteristics of Migraines
First of all, a migraine is a state of having a persistent, extremely painful headache. This condition may last for days, disappearing and reoccurring occasionally. Some people can tell when their migraine will strike since they have premonitions of it through different visual, concentration or other temporary sensory dysfunctions. Also, with some people, migraine comes hand-in-hand with sickness, vomiting, dizziness and other unfortunate fits. The worst thing about this condition is that it cannot be completely cured, since it is quite a mysterious illness. However, by following and identifying the symptoms of it, one may stop migraine before it starts, relieving him or her self of all the potential pain it brings.
Causes of Migraines
Even though medicine is still trying to find the correct and precise causes of migraines, there are a few suspicions. The first proves serotonin, a brain chemical acting as a painkiller, guilty for this state. Namely, there is a presumption that some nerve imbalance in our organism causes the levels of this chemical to drop, thus triggering other processes in our brain, causing us pain. Unfortunately, this is not the only reason, since there are many more. Hormonal imbalance, or a decline in estrogen may cause migraines in women. In fact, most of the women who suffer from this condition suffer during their pregnancy, menstrual cycle, menopause, or other states of hormonal decline. Also, hormonal drugs and similar products may also trigger this condition.
As far as lifestyles are concerned, sleep, eating habits, stress and many other daily factors may cause migraines. Alcohol and drug abuse, as well as excessive drinking of coffee, stressful daily life causing physical exhaustion all add on to the list. Foods which are too sweet, too salty or have some specific strong spices may cause these headaches as well. Strong lights and smells, as well as other similar sensory stimuli are known to trigger this condition too. Finally, migraine can be provoked by sleeping disorders or can act as a side-effect of certain medications.
How Does One Get Diagnosed?
Since this condition may be genetically transferred, sometimes, constant headaches related to the family history of the same condition lead to certain diagnosis of migraine and therefore a prescription of an adequate therapy.
However, in some more peculiar cases, where migraines come and go without a visible reason, the patient may have to CT or a MRI scan in order for the physicians to find the direct cause. Finally, sometimes, the doctor may have a presumption that another condition may be causing the migraines. In these cases, a lumbar puncture is done. This involves taking a sample from one's spinal cord and brain in order to examine it and check it for any additional conditions.