What Causes a Migraine?

What causes a migraine? This is a common question that can lead to a lot of confusion for anyone suffering from headaches or migraines. Some of the most common causes include diet, lack of exercise, hormonal changes, and stress. All of these factors are similar to what causes a headache.


Severe migraine causes can be different than the migraine causes that are less severe. Some people may be more prone to migraines due to genetics or serious health problems.
Women undergoing hormonal changes associated with menopause often suffer the worst from migraine headaches. Their migraine triggers can include the time before and during periods. Often, estrogen level fluctuations can be a major player in the changes in migraine triggers. For women undergoing menopause, some hormonal medications that are commonly prescribed can significantly increase the pain associated with migraines. While some women experience worsening migraine symptoms when taking these medications, other women have reported that their migraine triggers and symptoms have been lessened, resulting in a better quality of life overall.

Migraine inducing foods are one of the most common severe migraine causes. Cheeses, salty foods, and foods that are processed can be the main culprits behind migraine causes. If you or someone you know eats a large amount of these types of foods and also suffers from migraines, let them know that their diet could be cause.

Other migraine inducing foods include artificial sweeteners and food additives. Aspartame, a sweetener found in many diet beverages and health drinks as a replacement for sugar has been identified as one of the main culprits of what causes a migraine.

Not only food additives and salty processed foods can cause migraines, but also drinks can play a major role. Wine and alcoholic beverages have been identified as major contributors to migraine headaches. Drinks that are high in caffeine can also contribute to the significance and frequency of migraine headaches.

Along with all of the above causes, various sensory stimuli can induce a migraine in people. These stimuli can include bright lights, loud sounds, and even strange or strong smells. Perfume and paint thinner have been known to cause migraines for people.