Migraine is a serious, cyclical and painful headaches. Is characterized by a pulsatile pain that occur on one side of the head and usually is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. It is a common neurological disease as it affects 36 million men, women and children in the United States, approximately 12 percent of the population according to the American Migraine Association while its global prevalence is estimated to be 14.7% that means around 1 person in 7 people. Migraine starts to occur at puberty and people who aged between 35 and 45 are the most affected yet it can bother younger people including children. Researchers found that 4% of boys and girls in pre pubertal age undergo migraine and it’s more predominant among girls than boys as the children get older they refer this as it is hormonally driven. They found that this disease is more common than other widespread diseases such as diabetes, asthma and epilepsy. In addition, 2% of the world population found to be affected by the chronic migraine.
The causes of migraine actually are unknown but genetics and environmental factors found to play important role. There are many principle and theories found out from the studies that had been done that help to come up with the causes and reasons of migraine. The first theory called the cortical spreading dispersion theory which suggest that migraine is disease of the brain. It explained that migraine and aura believed to be caused by disruption of normal brain functions. While the vascular theory said that migraine occur because of the dilation of blood vessels surrounding the brain. In addition, serotonin which helps regulate pain in the nervous system has a role in migraine development but researchers still studying that role. During migraine attack serotonin levels decrease which leads the trigeminal nerve to release substance called neuropeptides. These substances move to the brain’s outer coverings or meninges results in pain. In spite of the actual cause of migraine still a mystery researchers identified a number of migraine stimulators. Many migraines in women can be stimulated by hormonal changes that occur because of menstruation leads to effect 50% of women and pregnancy. Especially changes in estrogen levels appear to trigger headaches in women. Researchers found that women with migraine history appear to have headaches during their periods at low levels of estrogen. Others appear to have migraine pregnancy or menopause. In addition, specific food and drinks can be reasons for initiating a migraine such as aged cheese, salty food, processed foods, coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages or nuts. Also migraines can be caused by skipping some meals or even fasting. Stress, bright light, loud voice, strong smells, and second hand smoke are all factors that can trigger migraine in some people. Moreover, weather or barometric fluctuations and some medications such as Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can worsen migraines.