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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What Really Causes Migraines?

Black woman with migraine

Migraines are not just ordinary headaches. They are headaches that involve severe pain in the head, sometimes lasting hours or even days. They are often accompanied by nausea and vomiting and are completely debilitating, sending patients straight to bed. These are the types of headaches that affect 38 million men, women and children in the U.S. and 1 billion people worldwide. What causes migraines?

It all starts in your body's nervous system

Migraines represent the most common disorder of the nervous system. They include severe pain as well as nausea, visual problems, dizziness, numbness in the extremities or face, and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, smell and touch. Researchers know that certain foods like chocolate, wine and food containing nitrites can trigger migraines. Processed foods such as lunch meats, bacon, salami or sausages contain nitrites. But nitrites can also be produced by oral bacteria, according to some researchers.

The problem could be hormonal

Another cause of migraines may be hormones. A study at the University of Cincinnati showed that migraine sufferers were also at greater risk for thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism. The study showed that people with migraine headaches had a 41 percent increased risk of developing hypothyroidism, a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. This can also cause symptoms such a slow heart rate, hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, fatigue, and depression.

A vitamin deficiency could be to blame

Other studies show that migraines can be caused by certain vitamin deficiencies, including CoQ10, magnesium, and riboflavin. Many times, changing your diet and eating foods rich in these vitamins may alleviate migraines. In addition to eating these foods, it's important to eliminate foods known to trigger migraines and all foods that are genetically modified, organic and pastured.

If diet change does not help, see a doctor to determine if the cause is hormonal.

DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.