Can You Develop New Migraine Triggers?

Patient Expert
Medically Reviewed

Last week, I had an unusual migraine. What was unusual about it was that I couldn't figure out what the trigger was, and it never takes me long to figure it out. I thought and thought about it. Then I sat down and made a list of everything I'd done all day, what the weather had been like, and so on.

The only common migraine trigger I could find was red wine. But how could that be? Red wine had never triggered a migraine before. In fact, over all the years of having migraines, no food or beverage had ever been a migraine trigger. On my migraine diary for that day, I listed red wine as the trigger with a question mark after it. A few days later, I thought about it before I poured that glass of red wine, but I decided I'd might as well have the wine and see what happened.

After 55 years of migraines, it seems that I've developed a new migraine trigger. Red wine. So, no more red wine for me. Over the years, I've done an elimination diet to check for food triggers three times, but never found any food or beverage triggers, including red wine. That makes my new trigger a good example of something of which we all should be aware. Our triggers can change over time. At this point, I see no reason to repeat the elimination diet unless I start having more migraines with mysterious triggers.

On a positive note, even though I've developed a new migraine trigger, this one is easily avoidable. Do you know what your migraine triggers are? Have you and your doctor discussed your triggers? If you don't know what your triggers are, and you and your doctor haven't discussed them, this is a great topic for your next visit. Migraines don't just occur; they're triggered. AND our triggers can indeed change over time. By knowing what our triggers are, we may be able to avoid some migraine attacks. Wouldn't that be great?

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