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What is Causing my Migraines?

Updated on February 19, 2018

According to The Migraine Trust, around 1 in 7 people (14.7%) worldwide experience migraines on a regular basis. And 90% of the sufferers in question are unable to work or function normally whilst they are having a migraine.

A Migraine or a Headache

Tell someone with a migraine that they are just headaches and they will tell you where to go. A migraine is a very different beast when compared to a headache and although I don't suffer with them, my wife does and I certainly know I have headaches, she has migraines.


A headache pain will be one that can normally be dealt with by taking over the counter medication and will normally subside after a couple of doses, although some headaches can last over a week. The pain can range from mild and unpleasant, all the way up to severe and debilitating. It can be in various different parts of your head or occasionally on one side, this is usually known as a cluster headache.

If you suffer with more than three headaches a week, you should consult your doctor or optician, this is what I was advised the last time I had my eyes tested.


A migraine is not as simple or as easy to deal with as a headache, because the symptoms do not end in the head. The symptoms of a migraine can include:

Nausea and vomiting

Extreme light sensitivity

Extreme sound sensitivity

Extreme smell sensitivity (to the point where a strong smell could cause vomiting, even if that person usually likes that smell)

Pain behind one eye or ear

Pain in the temples

Seeing flashing lights or spots

Temporary loss of vision

The sufferer may also experience a change in taste and smell, sometimes smelling things that nobody else can. They may also feel less alert and seem a bit tired, confused or irritated.

As I mentioned before, 90% of people who suffer with migraines are unable to function normally during one which means they may miss work or be unable to keep up with day to day tasks if they have them on a regular basis.

Migraine Treatments

This is something only a doctor can prescribe, but there are options available to anyone suffering with migraines. Your and your doctor should first try and establish what is causing your migraines before treating them.

They may prescribe you anti depressants, stress and anxiety are a huge cause of migraines and combating this should help to reduce or even eliminate them.

They may prescribe you blood pressure medication, high blood pressure and high cranial pressure can cause migraines and this can help reduce their frequency. These need to be taken everyday in order for them to be effective.

There is a group of medications used to treat migraines called Triptans, I am unsure of the others, but I know sumatriptan is a pill that you take when you feel a migraine coming on.

One pill can be used to combat a lot of different things so if they prescribe you something that seems a bit odd, don't be nervous and give it a try, it could be the pill that changes your life.

Causes of Migraines

These will be unique to each individual person, but there are certain things that are common triggers. These include:

  • Stress
  • Cheese
  • Hormonal changes
  • Food additives and E-numbers (particularly aspartame and MSG)
  • Lack of food
  • Dehydration
  • Alcohol
  • Tannin
  • Physical Exertion
  • Medications (especially birth control)
  • Weather Changes
  • Caffeine
  • Too little Sleep
  • Too much sleep
  • Disturbed sleep

Speak to a Medical Professional

As you can see, there are so many things that can potentially cause migraines that you and your doctor should try to pinpoint what might be causing them.

Speaking to a doctor is something I would definitely recommend because it has helped my wife so much, the pills she takes have totally transformed her life.


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