What causes frequent migraines other than an aneurysm?

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October 14, 2011 6:44PM

Migraines are a neurological disorder which usually cause repeated episodes of severe pain with many other symptoms. A Migraine has many stages however, and pain is only one of the stages. A Migraine attack can involve one or more of the stages, but does not necessarily even involve pain (acephalgic Migraine).

A brain aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel in the brain. This is often due to an congenital abnormality or weakness in a blood vessel (an abnormality present since birth). The head pain caused by an aneurysm is usually a one time event. The vessel bleeds - many times causing the "worst headache of your life"- and either you are able to catch it in time to repair it and stop the hemorrhaging, or you die.

People who end up having an aneurysm may or may not have a history of migraine. If a person does suffer from both, it is coincidence. There are no studies that state the two are related.

Very rarely, people who have migraines end up having a stroke. This is thought to be caused by extended ischemia (loss of blood flow) to an area of the brain due to migraines causing a change in the blood flow due to constriction and dilation of blood vessels. Strokes are not the same as aneurysms.

Migraines have many, many different triggers. Diet, sleep patterns, dehydration, weather changes, hormone changes, and stress are just a few of these triggers. In order to find out what is triggering your migraines, it is very helpful to begin keeping a migraine diary - so that you can look back and try to remember what happened in the 24 hours leading up to the attack. You may be able to identify a pattern and then prevent the trigger.

If you are having more than two migraines a month you should seek the care of a neurologist to try preventative migraine medications. It is trial and error to find the medication combination that works for you, however, it can reduce the frequency and duration of your migraines significantly.

Another Answer

As a sufferer of frequent migraines, the causes are many. (Thanks goodness for new treatment options) Usually the cause can be as simple as a food allergy. Many trigger foods include proceesed meats,aged cheese, red wine (is really bad), or foods that contain a high content of tyramine. Hormonal fluctuations can bring on a pounder. (the day before your period). It is also a known fact that barometric pressure changes cause wicked headaches. Here in Calgary Alberta when a "Chinook" blows in (the temperature can go from -25 to +3 ) in a matter of hours, people that never get headaches are now reaching for strong painkillers. The same phenomena happens in California (Santa Anna winds). Tension and stress can bring on a migraine. Grinding of teeth as you sleep can cause headache pain. It is IMPORTANT that if you suffer from headaches to wake up at the same time everyday. (This helps reduce the # of headaches you get). Drinking a cup of coffee (to combat the dilation of blood vessels in the brain) also can help greatly. I know it feels like our brains are "bleeding" when you're in the middle of a migraine but I can assure you that migraine sufferers RARELY and I mean RARELY die from an aneurysm. It is a medical fact that people that do die from annurism"s have NO former history of migraines. Aneurysms are RARE and migraines are COMMON. Get your self to a quiet place when you feel a headache coming on. Go see a DR. to get a prescription for your headaches. There is NO need to suffer. There is a lot you can do to help yourself. Good luck and don"t worry. Thanks Redflower7

--just to add to this, caffeine is actually a vasoconstrictor- it is a stimulant- and can compound problems by creating dependency and inducing migraines when caffeine is not consumed... it helps to soothe the pain of migraines presumably by decreasing pressure in the brain because there is a theory that migraine pain is caused by increased blood vessel size in the brain...waking up at the same time every day is indeed a great suggestion though- and drinking more water, getting adequate amounts of rest, eating a balanced diet, and regular exercise--keeping blood pressure in check can curb off headaches that could lead to migraines as well--and destressing on a regular basis...if you're having recurrent episodes of migraines you should keep a record of how often, how intense, and how long they last- and see a physician...