Migraine is a severe headache, often on one side of the head, that tends to occur regularly. The pain varies from a dull nagging ache to an unbearable pounding pain, and most sufferers would agree that it is probably the worst headache you could have.

The classic migraine always gives a warning of when it is about to attack, and people quickly get to recognise the signs: vision disturbances such as blurring or partial loss of sight are common, as are other sensory disturbances, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

A more usual type of migraine headache gives no warning, but the pain can be just as bad. Sudden movements or bending down make it worse, and there may be nausea and vomiting.

A small number of migraine sufferers (mainly men) have 'cluster headaches' where there may be several short attacks of headache at short intervals with an intense pain behind the eyes, and then there will be a long gap (sometimes months or years) before another bout of headaches.

So what causes migraine?

Medically speaking, little is known about the exact causes of migraine. In physical terms, the blood vessels in the brain first contract, then dilate, and the changes in blood flow seem to be responsible for the typical symptoms outlined above. As mentioned on an earlier page, the biochemical substance histamine is able to dilate blood vessels, and is used by the body in cases of inflammation, attack from microbes and in allergic reactions.

Many migraine sufferers will tell you that they often experience a migraine attack after eating foods such as cheese, chocolate or coffee. Many migraine sufferers also experience other allergic reactions (whether they know it or not), and many Health Kinesiology practitioners have found that in treating a person's allergies, their migraines have also decreased or disappeared. Read more about this at www.hk4health.com.