Migraine headaches are caused by a combination of enlarged blood vessels and chemicals that are released
from nerve fibers around the blood vessels. Outside the skull around the temple areas of your head are arteries known as the temporal arteries. When a migraine happens, these arteries enlarge, and this stretches the nerves which are coiled around it. When those nerves are stretched, they release chemicals which cause inflammation, pain, and cause the arteries to enlarge more, which only increases the pain.
Most people who suffer from migraines have something that tends to be a common trigger for them. The triggers vary from one person to another, and not everyone is aware of what their personal triggers are. The triggers won't always cause a migraine headache, and avoiding the triggers won't guarantee a migraine will not happen.
Some things are common migraine headache triggers though, and by avoiding these things migraine sufferers can sometimes reduce the severity of the headache, reduce the time their headaches last, and sometimes reduce the frequency of the headaches too.
Common migraine headache triggers include dehydration, fasting or not eating well, hormonal changes and imbalances, flashing or bright lights, and certain smells or foods. A common smell which can trigger migraines for instance, is cigarette smoke. Foods which often trigger migraines include chocolate, wine, caffeine, MSG, and aspartame.
With stress and tension headaches, doctors aren't quite sure what biological functions happen to cause the headaches. It's possibly related to an increase in blood pressure though, since the blood pressure tends to rise when you're stressed out, tense, or angry.
Relieving tension and stress headaches is usually fairly easy though. Simply taking a few deep breaths to calm yourself often helps. Taking a quick break and removing yourself from the stressful situation can help as well. Going for a walk and getting fresh air are also excellent ways to help reduce stress and tension, calm yourself down, and all of this helps releive tension related headaches.
Headaches caused by allergies, colds or infections are caused for different reasons, and thus must be treated in different ways. Relieving allergies or removing the cause of the allergic reaction can help relieve allergy related headaches for instance, but sometimes not everyone is fully aware of what allergen is causing the headache to begin with.
Infection and sickness related headaches are of course cause by the body trying to fight germs and bacteria which are causing problems in the body. These headaches are considered to be caused from secondary sources, and by treating the actual problem the headache is naturally taken care of as well.
Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.