What Causes Migraines? No One Knows Exactly

What causes migraines is invisible! There is no cure in their 7,000 year history and no one knows for sure what the causes are – that remains elusive. Migraine headache triggers vary greatly between individual sufferers: food, allergy, hormones, menopause, the weather .....

Theories Change Over Time

Theories have changed over time.

Migraines have been attributed to digestive disturbances and vomiting for almost 2,000 years and are still referred to as “bilious attacks”.

Much later they were considered to be vascular in cause and it was not until the 19th Century that the evidence arose that “nerve storms” caused neurological dysfunctions.

More specifically when inflammatory chemicals are released and circulate around the nerves and blood vessels in the head creating over excitation, excruciating pain and other symptoms.

For a more detailed description click here to read “ What are migraines – Neuro Scientists currently believe ...”

So, we have triggers that cause an over excitation of our nervous system that results in symptoms and then pain. A number of bodily systems are involved including the stomach, muscles and blood vessels.


What Causes Migraines?

Recently a gene called “rs1835740” and the “TRESK” gene have been discovered and linked to common migraine.

What Causes Migraines

Genetic variants are called “allele” and this gene that has been linked to the common migraine is called “rs1835740”. The newly discovered gene made the world news of the Sydney Morning Herald in their 20th August, 2010 article ”First gene link to common migraine” which explains it like this:

Gene rs1835740 lies “on Chromosome 8 between two genes, PGCP and MTDH/AEG-1, it allows a messenger chemical called glutamate to accumulate in junctions between brain cells, and this unleashes the migraine, the scientists believe. If so, drug engineers have a tempting target in preventing glutamate build up, they hope.

So, again in English - this discovery may lead to more targeted drugs or more specific acting medications being invented for migraine sufferers around this building up of glutamate between the brain cells. That sure sounds promising. If that’s the cause!

In September 2010, after 15 years of research using over 3,000 individuals, Professor Lyn Griffith, director of Genomic Research Center and the Griffith Institute for Health here in Australia, at Queensland’s Griffith University, discovered the “TRESK” gene that directly causes a common type of migraine.

Professor Griffith says that the “TRESK gene is involved in the potassium channel signalling and the movement of ions and electrical charge in neuronal cells, which helps regulate pain pathways and sensitivity.”

Hope for More Effective Pain Abortives

The hope is that researchers and pharmaceutical companies will be able to target this gene to create a more effective pain abortive, if an individual has this genetic mutation.

Researchers always seem to say that further studies are needed to establish more solid reliable results! Scientific proof seems to take forever! This leads me to think that what causes migraines still remains elusive.

Still A Poorly Recognized and Inadequately Treated Medical Disorder

What causes migraines is still a bit of a mystery.

The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks migraine in the top 20 diseases and a recent US estimate put migraine's economic cost on par with diabetes.

Yet I feel it still remains highly under recognized in the scheme of things.

Dr. Mercola posted on his August 12th, 2008 “Why Migraines Strike” article:

“Historical records suggest the condition has been with us for at least 7,000 years, yet it continues to be one of the most misunderstood, poorly recognized and inadequately treated medical disorders.”

Ah - So, there is some external proof to my internal experience as well! After being told for over 15 years that this pain I am experiencing is all imaginary, I love a reality check.

With all of this only proving true for some individuals, what causes migraines remains obscure.

Some Ways to Prevent Migraine

These are just a few ways to help prevent a migraine attack when you get your warning signs.

iherb.com products can help to minimize some causes of migraines

• Use ice packs for instant migraine relief, because overall they are the most reliable for reducing the pain

Biofeedback for migraine reduction will train your body and mind all in the comfort of your own home.

Avoid your next attack by being proactive. Every migraine prevented is a victory. 

Read More on What Causes Migraines

Common Migraine Triggers – as causes of migraines. After years of researching here is my list of the Top 10 Offending Common Migraine Triggers. It is well known that caffeine and chocolate are triggers, but did you know about ... 

Foods that Fight Pain - There are actual foods that can help you reduce and prevent your pain ... become proactive.

Acupuncture for migraines - Click here for my do it yourself routine.

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