Those who suffer from migraines know they are a constant concern as they are liable to strike at any time. Essentially, a migraine is an intense pain at the front or on one side of the head. This usually takes the form of a heavy throbbing sensation and can last as little as an hour or two and up to a few days. Other symptoms of a migraine include increased sensitivity to light, sound and smell, so isolation in a dark and quiet room often brings relief. Nausea and vomiting is also often reported, with pain sometimes subsiding after the sufferer has been sick.
It is thought that migraines occur when levels of serotonin in the brain drop rapidly. This causes blood vessels in the cortex to narrow, which is caused by the brain spasming. The blood vessels widen again in response, causing the intense headache. Emotional upheaval is often cited as a cause for the drop in serotonin in the brain, as is a diet in which blood-sugar levels rise and fall dramatically.