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What Causes Migraine?

No one knows exactly why migraine headaches occur.3 Hormonal variations, such as fluctuations of the female hormone estrogen (just before menstruation) affect a chemical called serotonin.3 When serotonin levels in the brain fall, the dilation (expansion) of blood vessels in the brain that is characteristic of migraine often follows.3
Many factors or “triggers” can start a migraine.3 In people who get migraine, most experts think certain activities or foods may trigger temporary changes in the blood vessels around the brain.3 Swelling of these blood vessels may cause pain in the nearby nerves.3

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