Migraines have long thought to be caused by fluctuations in the chemicals of the brain – specifically when the level of serotonin decreases.
But as no one really knows why the level of serotonin is decreasing, a new study has shed light on another possibility – people who get migraines may have differences in the blood vessel structure of their brains.
“These differences seem to be associated with changes in blood flow in the brain, and it’s possible that these changes may trigger migraine, which may explain why some people, for instance, notice that dehydration triggers their headaches,” study researcher Dr. Brett Cucchiara, MD, associate professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, explained in a statement.
• In the UK, there are an estimated 190,000 migraine attacks every day (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)
• Women are more likely to have migraine attacks than men – 18% of women and 8% of men (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)
• Among adults of all ages, migraine is one of the top 20 causes of disability expressed as years of healthy life lost to disability (The World Health Report 2001, WHO)
Source: Migraine Trust
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Over 8 million people in the UK suffer from migraines, and the low levels of serotonin can make blood vessels in one part of your brain suddenly contract, which makes them narrower. The NHS adds: “Soon after the blood vessels dilate, which is thought to cause the headache.”
There are several ways to raise serotonin – reducing stress, exercise and being in direct sunlight are three – but you can make an immediate start with your diet.
Avoid white sugar and simple carbs (white bread, pasta and rice) as these will raise your blood sugar and then send it crashing down. Make sure you’re also eating plenty of protein.
Try MigraHerb, containing 100mg of Feverfew herb, a traditional herbal medicine used for the prevention of migraine headaches. For people who have a doctor’s diagnosis for this condition. For more information and special offers visit www.migraherb.co.uk. Always read the label.