Migraine Genetics: What Do I Do If it Runs in My Family?

Are migraines hereditary? Unfortunately, in some cases, they are. Our genetic makeup affects us in many different ways and certain genes can affect how your body responds to specific types of stimuli. Additional research is still needed to understand the exact causes of migraines, but researchers have already learned that because of certain alterations in select genes, some people are more susceptible to migraines than others.

The Migraine Gene

Migraines that can be traced back through family medical histories are known as familial hemiplegic migraines. It has been documented that certain genes can cause a person to be more susceptible to migraine pain than others. This genetic inconsistency is passed down from generation to generation and can cause the same symptoms in each person who carries that specific piece of DNA.

Not everyone in the family will be affected with the condition as some family members may not have the subtle gene differences that lead to migraines and other headache pain. For those who do, however, finding out what their triggers are and how their body responds to them, is the key to finding effective treatment.

How Genetics Work

Your DNA determines everything about you, from your hair color to your height and body shape. It also dictates how your body responds to various stimuli that affect your health, how quickly your body will respond to an infection and how your body metabolizes the foods you eat.

Individuals who suffer from hereditary headache pain may be able to find the relief they need, if they can discover their triggers and learn to avoid them.

While the migraine genes do not actually cause the headache and related symptoms, they do alter how the body functions. These subtle differences can dramatically increase the risk of migraines when the body is exposed to certain triggers. Bright lights, strong odors, extreme levels of stress and exposure to certain chemicals can cause headaches and genetic migraines to develop.

Houston Headache Institute

If you believe you may suffer from genetic migraines and want to know how to prevent this condition from controlling your life, contact the friendly professionals of the Houston Headache Institute in Houston, Texas.

Our staff understands how genetics work and the impact genetic differences may have on how your body reacts to certain triggers. When migraines and other types of headache pain have become a part of your life, we can help you find relief. Please contact us today.