Migraines are caused by the release of a chemical into the brain, causing the arteries to widen and increasing the pressure within the skull. This may give symptoms such as:
- visual disturbances
- severe headache
These headaches are characteristically one-sided and are thumping or throbbing in nature. They are sometimes associated with sensitivity to light, noise or smells, temporary numbness of the affected side, or loss of co-ordination and concentration.
Various triggers have been identified, most notably food sensitivities such as chocolate, sugar, orange juice, red wine, coffee, milk, yeast and artificial sweeteners. Also tiredness, stress and mechanical problems in the upper part of the neck often exacerbate migraines.