One of the best ways to manage migraines is to identify the foods, habits, and environmental factors that trigger them for you, and to avoid those as much as you can. While migraine triggers vary from person to person, we have identified ten that can lead to migraine attacks in many migraine sufferers. Keeping a detailed diary of your daily routine including eating, sleeping, and exercise habits can help you recognize and steer clear of the factors that contribute to your migraines. Knowing your tirggers and avoiding them can reduce the frequency and severity of your attacks and improve your overall quality of life.
Common Migraine Triggers
1. Changes in Weather or Air Pressure
Humidity, changes in atmospheric pressure, rapid fluctuations in temperature, or exposure to extreme heat or cold can all bring on migraines.
Bright sunlight, strong or glaring light, reflections, fluorescent lights, or flickering lights from a television or computer screen can contribute to migraines.
3. Hormone Fluctuations and Menstrual Cycles
In many women, migraines begin immediately before or during their period. Migraines also tend to be more prevalent during treatment with artificial hormones such as birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy.
4. Certain Foods
Foods that tend to bring on migraines include processed meats, red wine or port, beer, dried fish, broad beans, fermented cheeses, chocolate, aspartame (an artificial sweetener found in diet sodas and light yogurts) and MSG .
5. Smells, Odors or Fumes
If you suffer from migraines, you may be particularly sensitive to certain smells from products such as cigarettes, perfumes and cleaning products.
6. Motion Travel
This will be most likely to trigger migraines in individuals who tend to suffer from motion sickness.
7. Loud or sudden Noises
8. Dieting and Eating Habits
Any changes in diet or eating habits, such as fasting or skipping meals, can trigger a migraine.
9. Changes in Sleeping Habits
10. Overuse of Headache Pain Medications
This can lead to rebound headaches.