Behind the Migraine Pain

Few things can successfully ruin a day’s plans like a migraine; ignoring the throbbing pain behind your eyes can often seem impossible. Read our blog to learn more about the science behind migraine pain and how you can keep those head-pounding days at bay.

Migraine Pain – Where We Are Today 

Migraines may be invisible on the outside, yet they can be debilitating to one’s professional, academic, and social lives. What is the cause of these painful episodes?

In the past, health professionals believed lack of proper blood flow to the brain could be the reason for pain. However, time has revealed that while changes in blood flow can contribute to migraine pain, it’s not where it originates. Presently, a widely accepted reason is that waves of hyperactivity occurring in one’s brain cells prompt chemicals such as serotonin to narrow blood vessels. The pain sensitivity can be due to these changes in chemical compounds like serotonin and estrogen in the body. While serotonin levels affect both men and women alike, changes in estrogen levels only occur in women. This may explain why women are three times more likely to be affected by migraines. Some scientists believe genetics play a role in predisposition to chronic migraines. However, one concrete reason has yet to be identified.

Common Migraine Triggers 

The severity of a migraine can vary, but tracking episodes can reveal certain similarities in what helps set the stage for one. Here is a list of factors that can contribute to migraines:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Biological conditions such as hormone levels or medical history
  • Dehydration
  • Dietary decisions such as certain foods
  • Environmental conditions such as exposure to light
  • Excessive medication use
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Inconsistent and irregular sleep patterns
  • Weather changes

Documenting in a headache diary is an excellent way to reveal common migraine triggers. Keeping track of when episodes have occurred can help you avoid those triggers in the future. Now, if your migraines are persistent and severe, it may be time to seek out the assistance of a healthcare professional. Don’t let today’s migraine keep you down tomorrow!

Chronic migraines can seriously impact your health. Here at Seattle Clinical Research Center, we have multiple migraine studies for you to explore! Visit our website to view our enrolling and upcoming studies on migraines or give us a call at (206) 522 -3330 ext. 2 to learn more. We want to help you take back the time migraines took away!