Top 10 Migraine Triggers And How To Deal With Them

  • 1.Stress- Perhaps the biggest culprit of all, stress is a trigger for almost 70% of people with migraine.
  • How to cope- Start by making a list of the things known to cause you undue stress and tension, and then work toward reducing these triggers in your life. Relaxation therapy, meditation, exercise , etc can help immensely.
  • 2.An irregular sleep schedule- The connection between migraine and sleep is undeniable. So, when sleep becomes irregular, you become more prone to migraine attacks.
  • How to cope- Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. Eliminate TV, texting, reading, and listening to music while in bed, and try your best not to nap during the day.
  • 3.Hormones- Women are three times more likely to have migraine than men, and up to 75% of women find that they experience attacks around the time of their menstrual period, which is known as 'menstrual migraine'.
  • How to cope- Introduce changes into your diet and lifestyle. Consult with a headache specialist and/or a gynecologist to find the right treatment plan for you.
  • 4.Caffeine and Alcohol- Many people find their migraine symptoms are heightened after consuming caffeine or alcohol.
  • How to cope- Limit and know your limits when it comes to alcohol consumption. If you are experiencing the warning signs and symptoms of a migraine attack after drinking alcohol, take your medication immediately.
  • 5.Weather changes- Storms, excessive heat, high humidity and changes in barometric pressure are common weather-related triggers that can lead to a migraine attack.
  • How to cope- One can’t control the weather, so if the current conditions are not favorable for your migraine, stay inside or adjust your schedule accordingly.
  • 6.Diet- There’s a laundry list of foods known to trigger a migraine attack, the most common ones being foods that contain histamine and MSG, chocolate, cheese and other dairy products, artificial sweeteners and caffeine.
  • How to cope- If you can identify specific food triggers, be sure to avoid them as much as possible.
  • 7.Dehydration- About 1/3 of people with migraine say dehydration is a trigger, and for some, even the slightest hint of dehydration can be the fast track to debilitating head pain.
  • How to cope- Always carry a water bottle and keep track of your fluid intake, and limit your consumption of diuretics. Sometimes an attack can be stopped in its tracks by simply drinking a glass of water.
  • 8.Bright lights- For many migraine patients, bright light and fluorescent or flickering bulbs are problematic, making it difficult to spend time outside or be in an office environment.
  • How to cope- Wearing sunglasses is helpful when you’re outside, and it’s a good idea to carry a pair with you at all times. When faced with artificial light, sit closer to windows and avoid flickering lights.
  • 9.Smell- Some odors may activate certain nerve receptors in the nasal passages that may trigger a migraine attack or make worse one that already started.
  • How to cope- Avoid strong smells like perfumes, strong food smells, chemicals or gasoline.
  • 10. Medical overuse- If you have regular migraine headaches and take acute medication prescribed by your doctor more than 10 days out of a month, it can in itself cause more migraine attacks.
  • How to cope- If you have Medical Overuse Headache, you must first stop taking the medication and clear it out of your system before you can stop the cycle of pain. Consult your doctor for guidance on this.

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