Migraine is very severe and painful headache that is very common medical condition at adult people. The migraine attack can last from a few of hours to three days. Medical experts explain that these headaches are still poorly examined and treated, due to the fact that their cause is of complex nature. Namely, migraine attacks can be caused by neurological, environmental and genetic factors.
All attacks are quite different and vary to a great extent. Thus, except the common symptoms such as throbbing and searing pain, many people experience “auras” before onset. Moreover, some individuals also experience nausea, chills, sweating, sensitivity to light, sound, or smell and vomiting.
It is scientifically proved that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from migraine headaches, and 6-7% of them are men, while 15-18% of women. In addition to that it was estimated that on average 20 million migraine attacks occur every day.
CAUSES OF MIGRAINES
There are many studies that have dealt with the causes of migraines, but unfortunately none of them managed to completely explain the occurrence of migraines. These theories most commonly are incompatible, but still most of them agree that the causes of migraine are the following:
- VASCULAR CONSTRICTION IN THE BRAIN
Often the cause of migraines are blood vessel constriction and a decrease in blood flow. Namely, this constriction often is followed by dilation and stretching of blood vessels, which in turn activates the neurons responsible for pain.
- CHANGES IN SEROTONIN
It is considered that migraine pain can be caused by swollen and inflamed blood vessels, including those in your brain.
- A NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER RELATED TO NERVE CELL ACTIVITY
Neurological disorder linked to nerve cell activity may cause migraine attacks. It actually moves through the brain and causes pain.
- EXCESSIVE INCREASE OF BLOOD FLOW IN THE BRAIN
There are certain studies which have discovered that headaches are not preceded by decrease in blood flow but by an increase of up to 300%. However, once the migraine attack is in full swing, circulation seems normal or slightly decreased.
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY AND MIGRAINES
According to one recent study, vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid supplements cause reduction in migraines over the course of six months. It is important to mention that these results were gathered by earlier researches as well, for example a 2004 study by the European Journal of Neurology which emphasized the fact that migraine attacks successfully can be prevented by consumption of high doses of riboflavin.
Certain gene mutation or dysfunction which is caused by increased levels of homocysteine is another factor that makes people prone to migraines. It was proved that hymocysteine can be reduced with the help of B6 and B12. The appropriate dose of these vitamins depends on your genotype.
According to Professor Lyn Griffiths:
“… if all patients received the same vitamin dosage for the same period of time it would be expected that those with TT genotypes, having a reduced enzymatic rate, would metabolize less homocysteine over the treatment period compared to C allele carriers, thus resulting in a smaller reduction in homocysteine and consequent migraine symptoms.
Indeed, it may be that TT genotypes although having a higher risk of disease actually require a larger dosage of vitamins to exhibit the same effect as C alleles. Further clinical trials of much larger patient cohorts are required to test this hypothesis.”
Namely, according to Griffiths, the optimal dose of B vitamins heavily depends on the genetic profile. “The success of our trial has shown that safe, inexpensive vitamin supplements can treat migraine patients” she adds.
However, other types of vitamin deficiency may cause migraine attacks. Study presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Headache Society explains that it was discovered that 42% of patients with chronic migraine have vitamin D deficiency. In other words fact, the longer some individuals suffers from chronic migraines, the more deficient in vitamin D that person has.