The simple one word answer is: genetics.
Genetics plays a major role in migraines. In more than 98% of the cases we have worked with in the past five years, a family history of migraines can be found. This is because the migraineur has inherited a gene for the propensity of migraines.
Gene for the Propensity for Migraines. The inherited existence of this gene doesn't always mean that the person will get migraines. Eileen's (the person for whom Migraine Defense was originally developed) family is a good example. Eileen's mother and grandmother, as well as her great aunt, suffered violently from migraines throughout their lives, as Eileen did for 43 years prior to the creation of Migraine Defense. However, neither Eileen's sister or Eileen's 40-year old daughter have ever had a migraine. Case in point, migraines can skip generations and having the migraine gene may not necessarily condemn one to a life of migraines.
Secondary to this point is that each body is unique and there are differences as to how the cells containing the migraine gene respond to migraine stimulating factors of the body. For the most part, these stimulating factors are "messenger" hormones. Since women have these occurring at regular intervals (i.e. menstrual cycles), this is one of the reasons why females are much more subject to migraines than males.
Other factors that can start the migraine syndrome are what we commonly call "migraine triggers" and are introduced into the body through ingestion (i.e. MSG, red wine, yogurt, etc.) or body environment changes (i.e. heat and weather changes).
Migraine Defense for the prevention of migraines is based on the fact that certain cells containing the migraine gene with hormone receptors for specific hormones is the actual cause for migraines. We believe by taking a natural approach to the management of a problem of nature, the most benefits can be provided without introducing side effects.
Family History of Migraines. In searching for family members with migraines, keep in mind that it is only recently that people feel more comfortable discussing problems that may be related to hormonal problems. When one talks about a grandmother who never admitted having migraines but would spend three days in a dark bedroom each month, you can assume she was suffering from migraines during her menstrual cycle. Also, keep in mind that there are cases where the only family history that can be found is on the fraternal side of the family.