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A migraine is the most common type of headache that propels patients to seek care from their doctors. Roughly 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, with women affected almost 3x more often than men.

People who get migraines may be able to identify triggers that jumpstart the symptoms. Some possible triggers include the following:

  • Stress and other emotions

  • Biological and environmental conditions, such as hormonal shifts or exposure to light or smells

  • Fatigue and changes in one's sleep pattern

  • Glaring or flickering lights

  • Weather changes

  • Certain foods and drinks

Zofran, Toradol and hydration are considered to be safe migraine symptom treatments.

A number of studies have implicated genes such as MTHFR (Methyltetrahydrofolate Reductase) in migraine headaches. This gene, and the enzyme it controls, are critical for the body’s ability to use Vitamin B, folate, and for the vital biochemical pathway, methylation.

Methylation plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, including detoxification, energy production, and mood balancing. It also helps to regularly repair your DNA (which helps to prevent cancer), controls homocysteine (a dangerous compound that can damage blood vessels and lead to cardiovascular disease), and is involved in the production of neurotransmitters and the control of inflammation.

With a MTHFR gene defect, you have what is called a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). The two primary MTHFR SNPs are C677T and A1298C. The C677T variant is most commonly associated with early heart disease and stroke and the A1298C variant with a variety of chronic illnesses. Either variant can cause a wide variety of health problems, including fibromyalgia, depression, fatigue, migraines, frequent miscarriage, frequent blood clots, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

To determine if you have these genetic variants, you can order a blood or saliva test through conventional laboratories such as LabCorp, Spectracell and even 23andMe.



  1. Migraine Research Foundation Staff. Migraine Facts. Migraine Research Foundation.

  2. Moore LD, Le T, Fan G. DNA methylation and its basic function. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013;38(1):23–38. doi:10.1038/npp.2012.112

  3. Wan L, Li Y, Zhang Z, Sun Z, He Y, Li R. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and psychiatric diseases. Transl Psychiatry. 2018;8(1):242. Published 2018 Nov 5. doi:10.1038/s41398-018-0276-6