What is a Migraine
Many people who have experienced intense headaches wonder what is a migraine because they worry that the pain that they've experienced is out of the ordinary and unlike other headaches they have had in the past. If you have been having unbearable headaches you are most likely wondering what is migraine exactly so that you can find some migraine headache relief from what is most likely very serious discomfort.
A migraine is a headache that is characterized by a throbbing or pulsating feeling in an area of the head. It can cause you to feel sick, you may vomit and you may find that you are quite sensitive to light and loud sounds. It is very likely that you will be focused on finding a dark, quiet place where you can lie down.
What is a Migraine Cause
A migraine is a type of vascular headache caused by the enlargement of blood vessels. This vasodilatation as it is called causes chemicals to be released from nerve fibers which coil around the large arteries of the brain. When the nerves are stretched the chemicals cause inflammation and pain which further enlarges the arteries so that the pain becomes intense.
A drop in the levels of serotonin is believed to be responsible for the widening of the blood vessels which is one of the main migraine causes.
Migraine headaches activate the sympathetic nervous system. This is the system in the body which controls basic responses to stress and pain and which triggers the 'fight or flight' response. Often the pain associated with a migraine is located in the forehead region, around one eye or it can be on both sides of the head.
A migraine headache is defined as being a neurological disorder which is characterized by moderate to severe headaches and feelings of nauseousness. A migraine headache can develop due to some type of trigger' such as stress, hunger and fatigue. There is some proof that potential migraine triggers can be poor air quality and lighting. Other triggers are hormonal changes and certain foods and drinks such as cheeses, chocolates, coffees, teas and alcohol. Also, low levels of magnesium can trigger migraine headaches. Studies have proven that just before and after a migraine, magnesium levels decrease which causes the nerve cells in the brain to misfire.
Millions of people around the world experience migraine headaches on a regular basis. These headaches are very painful and they can rob you of your quality of life. Migraines are rather common as one in four women get them and one in twelve men will develop a migraine at some time in their lives. Typically, migraine headaches start during childhood or when a person is a young adult. Some people have frequent migraines and other only have attacks every now and then.
Up to half of all migraine headache sufferers have what is called a premonitory phase. This phase is often the first indication that a migraine is going to occur and it can consist of feeling strange, craving food or simply somehow knowing that a migraine will set in soon.
Visit Your Doctor
Your family doctor can help you learn what is migraine if you are experiencing intense headaches. It is important to know exactly what is a migraine as some of the above mentioned symptoms can also be due to having a stroke or another serious medical problem.