Migraine Cause vs Migraine Trigger!


I was talking about headaches with other colleagues. And it became apparent that there is a misunderstanding of migraine for some healthcare professionals. What it is, what causes it, and what are triggers.


People use the words “cause” & “trigger” synonymously. But these words are not the same thing. I feel it’s important to distinguish between the two in order to create a better understanding of migraine as a disease, and change the way it is perceived by those who don’t suffer from it.


Migraine is a neurological disease with a genetic component, about 60% is related to genes. The cause is due to hyper-reactivity in the brain that results in nerve, chemical, and blood vessel changes. These reactive changes in the brain bring on a migraine episode that may include aura, headache, and many other accompanying symptoms.


Migraine triggers are factors that start a migraine episode that has already been primed to occur. Triggers can be modifiable and non-modifiable. And vary greatly from person to person. It's important not to blame triggers as the cause of migraine as the disease is serious and complex. By blaming migraine on stress, sleep, or weather we woefully minimize how significant of a burden the disease places on one's quality of life.


Did you know the difference?


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