Migraine Causes and Treatments

Learn more about causes, treatment and prevention of migraines.

What Causes Migraines?

The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but there are a number of factors that are associated with them. Migraines tend to run in families, although no specific gene has been linked to the disorder. Age and gender may also play a role in determining who will get migraines. Although migraines can appear at any age, they often begin in adolescence, are most frequent when people are in their 30s, and then decrease over the following decades. During childhood, boys are more likely to get migraines than girls, but that trend reverses during puberty, and women are three times more likely than men to have migraines.

Migraines have also been linked to smoking and depression. Stress, oversleeping, normal hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle and some oral contraceptives, and fluctuations in barometric pressure can also bring on a migraine. Some common foods and food additives can also trigger migraines, including: Cheeses, Chocolate, Alcoholic beverages, dairy products, sweeteners, MSG (monosodium glutamate) and nitrates (preservatives used in smoked meats).

Treating and Preventing Migraines

The aims of treatment are to prevent them, if possible, and ease the symptoms when they do occur.

Once you've got a migraine, the only thing you want is for the pain to stop. The key to managing a migraine is to start treatment as soon as you feel the migraine pain –whether its over-the-counter medication like Advil Liqui-Gels® or something your doctor prescribes. Treatment is more effective when the pain is still mild.

You may be able to reduce your chances of suffering from a migraine attack by knowing your potential migraine triggers. A good place to begin is by keeping a headache diary Recording lifestyle factors such as what you eat, how much sleep you get, exercise routines, and stress levels along with when your headaches start and the type of pain you experience can help you monitor these patterns. That way you will be able to make lifestyle changes to reduce the number of migraines you get.

Be sure this product is right for you. Always read and follow the directions on the label. This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Speak to your healthcare professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or before beginning or discontinuing any course of treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.