Every year, about 45 million Americans complain about having chronic headaches and 28 million of those are suffering from migraine headache. According to research, migraine is considered as one of the top non-emergency reasons people end up seeking emergency room care. With that, it is best to determine the different triggers and causes to help you avoid dreaded chronic and migraine headaches.
Symptoms of migraines can vary from light sensitivity and blurry vision to radiating neck aches, confusion, and nausea and vomiting. Here, the website Apost listed 5 things to look at that could be causing your headaches.
1. Whacky Hormones
Hormone migraines are often caused by either an abundance of estrogen hormone levels or low progesterone hormone levels. These hormones naturally fluctuate up and down in unison and in relation to each other throughout the follicular and luteal phases of your menstrual cycle. If this balance is off or you’re sensitive to the shifts, then you can experience hormonal migraines. Your OBGYN can draw a few labs to determine your exact levels before, during, and after your menstrual cycle. You can also do some rudimentary self-analysis to see if this might be the problem beforehand by keeping a time log of your menstrual cycle and looking for connections between hormone levels and your migraines:
•Progesterone drops just before menses.
•Estrogen peaks around ovulation.
•Progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest during menses.
2. Gluten & Dairy
These are often biggies for women having chronic headaches. Not only does dairy have hormones in it that can cause hormonal deviations, gluten and dairy are both high-level allergens. Many people have mild gluten and dairy allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances and don’t even realize it. And, these issues manifest themselves with a number of GI symptoms and migraines.
The good news is that this is one of the easiest causes to test out on your own. You can use an elimination diet. For two to four weeks, cut out all dairy and gluten products from your diet. Take note of how you feel, including your headache frequency and severity. Begin a food journal as you add back gluten and dairy to your diet one at a time. Record any symptoms you experience that could signal sensitivity, allergy, or intolerance.
Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals may be causing your chronic and migraine headaches. Do keep in mind that too many vitamins, minerals, and supplements can also trigger headaches, such as it does with large doses of Vitamin A, L-glutamine, and beta-carotene. As far as deficiencies go, low magnesium levels affecting the blood vessels in the brain is one of the predominant causes in much of the migraine research. Adding 400 mg of magnesium can also help soothe tense muscles involved in tension headaches.
Stressors strain your body in whole, making your muscles tense, disrupting your hormone levels, making your heart pump more blood at higher velocities, and unbalancing your blood glucose levels. All of these systemic issues attribute to chronic stress headaches and migraines. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, reading a book, or gardening, you must take time for your body to de-stress, relax, rebalance, and repair for it to function properly.
Histamine can collect and amass in the body in response to environmental allergies, high-histamine food choices, low levels of di-oxidase in the bowels, and immune system responses. Too much histamine in the body prompts migraines and chronic headaches. Keep a food journal for histamine foods and note when you possibly come into contact with histamine in your environment. An allergist can also perform an allergy test to determine if histamine is an issue for you.
Considering hormonal migraines alone account for some 50% of migraines in all women sufferers, you’re likely to find your own triggers and causes amongst these five top migraine causes. But, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different. I noticed that my migraines, for example, initiate every single time I drink anything with red food coloring. Of course, there are also more serious health conditions, such as tumors, to consider with your primary health care provider if your migraines and chronic headaches persist. The above are simply designed to give you starting points based on prevalence and commonalities in migraine research.
Based On Materials From Apost