Migraines Causes

Migraine attacks can cause nausea, dizziness, vomiting and blurred or absent vision.

Migraines are intense, debilitating episodes of intense headache pain caused by the expansion and contraction of blood vessels in the head and neck area. These episodes can cause blurred or absent vision, nausea and vomiting among other symptoms. Migraine headaches can be triggered by a number of factors. Diet, tension, medications, eyestrain, food or chemical allergies and fatigue are among the most common with causes varying widely among individuals. Those with a family history of migraine-sufferers, smokers and those who drink excessively are at increased risk for this ailment. However, after proper diagnosis and treatment by a physician, there are ways for most sufferers to somewhat control and lessen the effects of migraines.

Since many cases of migraines are caused by foods and artificial additives, careful notice must be taken of which foods were consumed before an attack. After identifying these foods, they should be sparingly used, if not altogether eliminated from the diet. Some foods commonly seen as migraine triggers are chocolate, red wine, cheese and foods using nitrites as a preservative such as hot dogs and bologna. Keeping a record of foods consumed will give a clearer picture if migraines are caused by some food. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar may also cause migraines. A diet that is low in carbohydrates may help to control migraines for this group. Monosodium glutamate is commonly believed to cause migraines. This is a seasoning additive widely used in Chinese cooking, frozen dinners and packaged soups.

Helping to control migraines can be a simple or complicated task, depending on the individual and the trigger for the headaches. For some, eating foods high in Vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium help to control the frequency as well as the intensity of attacks. Iron can be key in treatment of migraines since iron deficiency anemia deprives the blood of oxygen. This causes blood vessels to dilate and compress blood vessel walls, which causes headaches. Foods such as bananas, potatoes, broccoli and milk products can supply the needed nutrients. For those allergic to milk products, the broccoli also contains a large dose of calcium. Another non-drug treatment is ginger. Taking one-third teaspoon of freshly grated ginger may have a strong calming effect on a migraine. The ginger may also be steeped into a tea for the same effect. While the caffeine in coffee is thought to be a powerful remedy for migraines, consuming too much coffee or tea may have the opposite effect, causing the blood vessels to dilate.

When a migraine strikes, the first thing to do is to apply a cold pack or icebag to the head. You may also splash your face with cold water. Then take physician-prescribed painkillers or whatever alternative remedy you choose. Immediately lie down, preferably in a dark room. Close your eyes and try deep breathing to relax. Do not read, to prevent eyestrain. If a migraine attack persists for more than 24 hours, consult a physician immediately.

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