Trigger identification and management are essential to effective migraine management. I've written that many times because it's so important. Today, I want to offer you 10 tips about migraine triggers and handling them.
Triggers can be cumulative or "stackable." That means that when one is present, it may not bring on a migraine attack; but when two or more are present, look out!
Some migraine triggers are avoidable. That means we can do or not do things to avoid those triggers, resulting in fewer migraines. Whoohoo!
Some triggers can be paradoxical. Caffeine, for example. Caffeine is a migraine trigger for some people, BUT it can be helpful during a migraine for those same people. Caffeine can act as a drug that makes our other medications work better and more quickly.
Our triggers can change over time. Some things may stop being a trigger, and we can develop new migraine triggers.
Foods and beverages can trigger a migraine up to 72 hours after they're consumed. That makes it more difficult to recognize them. The best way to determine if we have food and beverage triggers is through an elimination diet. You can find more information and a free downloadable workbook in Managing Migraine - Migraine Food Triggers.
Dehydration is an avoidable migraine trigger, but not all beverages are great for hydration. Caffeine and alcohol tend to be dehydrating, so they're not the best choices when we're trying to stay well hydrated.
Migraine triggers are very individualized. Stimuli that are triggers for us may not be triggers for other migraineurs, and vice versa.
When we're ill or overly tired, we're more susceptible to our migraine triggers. During these times, triggers that might not be strong enough to bring on a migraine when we're feeling well and rested, can result in a migraine.
A hysterectomy is not the answer for migraines triggered by hormonal fluctuations. Following surgical menopause, 67 percent of women found that their migraines got worse.
Migraines don't just happen; they're triggered. If you can't identify your triggers, ask your doctor for assistance. One of the best ways to identify our migraine triggers and spot important patterns is by keeping a migraine diary.
More helpful information about migraine triggers:
10 Common Triggers of Migraine (infographic)
27 Foods That Can Trigger Migraines
Migraine and Headache "Betters" - Trigger Management
Do you have other helpful tips about migraine triggers? If so, please post a comment below, and share them with us!