A migraine headache can put you out of action for days. As well as the feeling that your head is splitting open you may also experience nausea along with sensitivity to light and sound. These unpleasant symptoms can last as long as 72 hours. It seems that only some people are prone to this type of problem so if you are not one of these individuals there is little you can do. If you are prone to migraine attacks though there is a lot you can do to trigger the symptoms.
What is a Migraine?
Before we examine how you can get a migraine it might be useful to look at what it actually is we are referring to. A migraine is caused by an enlargement of blood vessels. This vasodilatation causes nearby nerves to stretch and this is what causes the main symptoms. When the nerves are stretched it leads to the inflammatory response; this inflammation leads to further swelling in the area. The bigger the blood vessels get the more pain and other symptoms are experienced.
There is not much agreement on the actual cause of migraine. It may have something to do with the neurotransmitter serotonin. Three quarters of the adults who get these headaches are females. The distribution of headaches is fairly even between young boys and girls. Studies suggest that there may be some type of genetic component to the problem but more research is needed.
How to Get a Migraine Headache
As we have already mentioned, you will need to be prone to migraine headaches to get them. If you fall into that category then the following triggers have been known to bring them on:
- A room full of cigarette smoke can bring on a migraine. These days a lot of public bars and restaurants are smoke free so this makes it more of a challenge to find a smoke filled room. You can get around this by asking a few of your smoking friends to drop by to your home and stick them in one room. Give them a couple of hours and when you walk into the room you will have a great migraine producing environment.
- Stress is another great trigger for migraines. The best advice then is to deliberately make your life as difficult as possible. You should also avoid any type of relaxation that is likely to lower your stress levels.
- Eating chocolate can trigger this condition so get munching.
- Some people will get this type of headache if they are around bright and flashing lights. You can set up your own collection of flashing spot lights and just sit in front of them anytime you want to have a migraine. Just be careful with the bright lights though because they can also blind you if you are not careful.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) also has a reputation for being a good trigger for these symptoms. If you love Asian food then you will find that there is plenty of MSG used in these dishes – tuck in.