Sex based discrimination is bad no matter who does it, but this time the suspect is a disease; migraine. In many surveys worldwide, it was found that one in every 4 women suffers from the illness. Also according to the results of the research, only one man had migraine for every 3 women.
What is it?
Migraine is a common familial disease. It is usually characterized by throbbing pain in one half of the head and recurs with decreasing frequency. First of all, it should be noted that this disease is only one of the causes of headaches. Among the causes of headaches; inflammation of the meninges and central nervous system, brain tumors, sinusitis, otitis media, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, visual defects, eye pressure, temporal arteritis, trigeminal neuralgia, calcification of the cervical vertebrae can be listed.
Complaints usually start between the ages of 16-35, and its frequency decreases around the age of 50. Exact diagnose can only be given by a physician because the disease is frequently confused with sinusitis. It should not be forgotten that there may be many causes of headache and some of them may be dangerous. A specialist must be consulted for diagnosis.
These headaches are caused by the dilation of blood vessels and the release of various chemical substances from the nerve fibers surrounding these blood vessels. During an attack, an artery (temporal artery) located outside the skull, just under the skin in the temporal region dilates. The dilation of this artery causes inflammation, pain and the release of chemicals that cause the artery to dilate further.
Characteristics of the disease
In the majority of people suffering this problem, the headache starts on one side of the head, at least at the beginning of the attack. Later on, in some patients, it affects both sides. Because of this feature, it is also known as “half head ache”.
The pain is throbbing, gradually intensifying, widening and affecting half or all of the head. The intensity and duration of the pain is variable. It can be very severe or moderate or mild.
While migraine attacks occur several times a week in some patients, they may be very rare in others. However, a general average is 2-3 attacks per month.
It is accompanied by nausea or vomiting with nausea, discomfort from light, noise and sound. Even average light and sounds can be very disturbing. For this reason, some patients prefer to sleep in a dark and quiet room.
The main factors that can cause the onset of migraine are stress, hormonal changes, dietary factors, sleep patterns, climatic changes and certain personal habits.
Stress and emotions: This is probably a major reason why the disease is much more common in women; emotional problems play an important role in the onset of the disease.
Hormonal changes: Here is another sex based cause: In about 70% of women suffering the disease, attacks become more frequent and more severe during menstruation. In some women, attacks occur only during menstrual periods. In some cases, the pain is more severe, especially during menstruation.
Dietary factors and certain medications: While some substances in food and beverages have a direct effect on the blood vessels, dilating them and thus triggering the problem. Some other substances may act more indirectly and trigger the pain through some reflex pathways. For example, alcohol acts directly, while substances such as caffeine and nicotine act indirectly.
Sleep: Too much sleep and lack of sleep can trigger an attack.
Climate changes: Some sufferers may be affected by climate and weather changes.
Personal habits, odors, etc: Smoking can provoke the disease. Also some strong odors can do the same and should be avoided.
Luckily, it’s treatable
Painkillers can be a prompt solution but the best treatment will be a few changes in lifestyle, like regular exercise, a good diet, quitting smoking and alcohol, lowering caffeine intake. All these comfort your vessels and you will see that migraine will not show itself as frequent as it did in the past.