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Migraine tends to be the most common health issue that people suffer after getting into a stressful day at work but little did you know that it is not an equal opportunity disorder. Migraines are not typical headaches but instead they are the painful chronic crippling attacks that get accompanied by the feeling of nausea or blurred vision. The person suffering from migraine also gets ultra sensitive to the light, smell or the sounds.
The research says that more women tend to get prone to migraine when compared to men and the Migraine Research Foundation has mentioned that among all the people suffering with migraine, 85 percent of them tend to be women.
The scientists at the Universitas Miguel Hernández in Elche, Spain believe that the activity of the sex hormones might be the answer to why migraines are more common to women when compared to men.
Prof. Antonio Ferrer- Montiel says that significant differences can be observed in the experimental migraine model that has been conducted between the males and the females and the reason behind the molecular correlation for the differences is yet to be known.
According to the researchers, a cranial nerve which is known as the trigeminovascular nerve consists of the neurons which when put together form the trigeminovascular system and the system is said to be involved in the migraine mechanisms.
The lab animal experiments are also being conducted in order to find out the reason behind the women being more prone to migraine when compared to men. According to the lab experiments, it suggests that the changing in the levels of the female sex hormone estrogen makes the cells which are situated around the key nerve in the head and the blood vessels that are connected more sensitive to migraine triggers which in turn increases the risk of migraine.
It has been said that the boys get to experience more attacks of migraine before puberty and then the equation changes with the girls and the women experiencing and suffering with migraine until after menopause. It has been observed that the migraine which is a disorder eases for most of the women after menopause.
Based on this observation, many researchers believe that the fluctuation of the hormones in women as the major influence for the cause of migraine attacks. The attacks of the migraine has been observed when there exists fluctuation in the hormone level especially when the level of estrogen falls around the time a woman has her menstrual period. It has also been observed that most of the migraine attacks occur several days prior or after the menstruation.
Since migraines affect young women and it gets better with age, they tend to be more prevailing when women ought to be productive both at home as well as work.
Mark W. Green who is the professor of neurology and anesthesiology and also the director of the Center of Headache and Pain Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine says that the migraine attack affects the work and the daily routine as the pain that is being experienced at that time would be worse and the productivity of work would also get affected.
Mark W. Green believes that the withdrawal of the estrogen hormone is a major trigger to the migraine attacks.
Migraine is said to be a condition where in the cerebral cortex is more excitable which is often genetically and it has been observed that the levels of estrogen tend to be low after menopause and would get improved in most of the women. The excitability of the cortex in the brain increases as the level of the estrogen falls and there fore the reason of the attacks of migraine getting reduced after menopause can be considered to be true.
A migraine can also be set off by other triggers which includes stress, changes in the sleep patterns, exposed to loud noises, bright lights, strong scents and also includes various food and beverages with wine and chocolate being few among them.
The role of hormones on migraines is complex and in order to get a clear idea, there has to be much more research done, says Ferrer- Montiel. He added saying that the research that is being currently done relies on the studies in the labs and on the animals which is hard in order to translate to the human migraine sufferers. He has also said that the findings in the animals cannot be the same in the human beings.
By Shrithika Kushangi