What Are the Causes of Chronic Migraine?

Q:
What are the causes of chronic migraine?

A:
Researchers haven’t identified a definitive cause for migraines. However, they have found some contributing factors that can trigger the condition.

Factors that may trigger a migraine include:

  • bright lights
  • changes in brain chemicals, such as a decrease in levels of the brain chemical serotonin
  • changes in barometric pressure
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • dehydration
  • excess stress
  • severe heat, or other extremes in weather
  • hormone changes in women, such as estrogen and progesterone fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, or loud sounds
  • menopause
  • intense physical activity
  • skipping meals
  • unusual smells
  • use of certain medications, such as oral contraceptives or nitroglycerin

If you experience a migraine, your doctor may ask you to keep a headache journal. Writing down what you were doing, what foods you ate, and what medications you were taking before your migraine began can help identify your triggers.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.