Is Our Hypothalamus Responsible For Migraines?

Migraine sufferers might soon have a new pathway to relief. New research has found a connection between the hypothalamus (a part of the brain that regulates hormones and the autonomic nervous system) and migraines. This may help identify more specific migraine triggers which could lead to finding the reasons behind the triggers and help prevent attacks for good.

Check Out How the Hypothalamus Could be Responsible for Migraines...

What Is the Hypothalamus?

The hypothalamus is an almond-sized area of the brain that rests above the thalamus and pituitary gland. It’s responsible for many of the functions that keep our body’s autonomic and endocrine systems in balance. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to regulate our body temperature, blood pressure, appetite or sex drive. Our body wouldn’t know when to sleep or wake up, and we’d find it difficult to keep our emotions in check. The hypothalamus is a master control center in our brain.

Stress and Hormones

The two main avenues of migraine research have revolved around stress and hormone-related triggers. The hypothalamus regulates both systems. Researchers believe we each have a stress threshold, determined by our genes, that governs when a migraine will strike. Any kind of stress -- good or bad -- can push that threshold. This includes spikes in certain hormones that can come with perimenopause and during times in the reproductive cycle.

The Hypothalamus and Migraines

No one fully understands how this strange cause and effect leads to migraine headaches, but studies have uncovered another interesting connection: Brain imaging shows the hypothalamus lights up like a Christmas tree when patients are in the premonitory phase, which is when some people experience pre-migraine symptoms. During this phase, when there isn’t any pain but a migraine is imminent, we might also feel nauseated, tired, moody or unusually hungry or thirsty.

Researchers believe they might be able to prevent migraine attacks by looking at hormones and other compounds the brain releases during the premonitory phase. The solution could be as easy as finding medications that can regulate those compounds. Until additional therapies arise, there are some things we can do to keep our hypothalamus as stress-free as possible:

    • Keep a regular schedule. Disruptions in sleep or not getting enough food or water can trigger migraines.
    • Keep track of your migraines. Keeping a diary of when they hit and what you were doing when they occur can help identify any specific triggers specific.
    • Keep stress minimized. The more we push our body, physically or emotionally, the higher our chances of pushing that migraine threshold.

    Researchers are still seeking out the larger picture behind migraine symptoms, but the current advancements look promising. Pinpointing the triggers is half the battle; tackling those triggers is the next step. Someday soon, we might actually see a cure for migraines.

    ~ Here’s to Your Health and Wellness

    4/17/2020 7:00:00 AM
    Wellness Editor
    Written by Wellness Editor
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    I've had Migraine Headache for several years and not realizing that they were Migraine Headaches. I assume I had just a plain old headache and the only way I knew how to get rid of the headache was to lie down in a dark quite room until the problem would go away. Until I went to the VA (Veteran) Clinic and my Doctor right away put me on Sumatriptan Succinate 25mg tablets and that SOLVED MY HEADACHE PROBLEM.
    Posted by Carlos Branham does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment nor do we verify or endorse any specific business or professional listed on the site. does not verify the accuracy or efficacy of user generated content, reviews, ratings or any published content on the site. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.
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