Migraine headaches are common and often disabling. An initial constriction of blood vessels in the head cause characteristic visual disturbance called an aura in some sufferers. They know that this presages the onset of a severe headache as the vessels then dilate within the confined space of the skull. Nausea with or without vomiting accompanies the headache. The patient usually has no choice but to lie down, preferably in a quiet darkened room until the migraine passes. This can take from a very few hours to a few days. Occasionally transient partial paralysis occurs during a very severe migraine.
Migraines can be triggered by a variety of stimuli. Twenty five percent of migraine sufferers believe their attacks can be provoked by foodstuff. Chocolate, caffeine, red wine and mature cheese are commonly cited. There is also some evidence that the following are also often implicated: wheat, oranges, eggs, milk, beef, corn, cane sugar, yeast, mushrooms and peas. Premenstrual and menstrual migraine are common as are post exercise migraine and stress induced migraine.2000