What Are Migraine Triggers?
Updated: Feb 11
There are often some factors that can induce a migraine attack. These factors could be anything that happens to you, or something that you do, which thus results in a migraine attack. These are known as migraine triggers and may commonly range from environmental factors, such as foods and medications, to hormonal changes and stress. There is also a separate category of migraine triggers which are anatomical or nerve triggers. Nerves of sensation around the face and the neck send faulty signals to the brain, resulting in a domino effect that leads to a migraine. What Are The Most Common Migraine Triggers? When you start recognizing your migraine triggers, it enables you to identify a pattern in your symptoms, helping you work towards preventing them, and giving yourself a long-lasting relief from migraines. While everyone has different triggers, these are a few common ones generally seen in patients : 1. Stress: This is the most common migraine trigger, and studies show that almost 70% of people with migraine have found an association between their daily stress levels and migraine activity. People with migraines often worry about their next migraine attack, thereby increasing their stress levels as well. 2. Irregular Sleep Schedule: Sleep is absolutely necessary to restore brain function, and when this schedule gets disrupted, it is only natural that one becomes more prone to migraines.
3. Hormones: Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels make women more prone to getting migraine attacks. Several women have reported having these attacks during their monthly cycle, commonly known as “menstrual migraine”. 4. Diet: Changes in the diet tend to act as migraine triggers. The foods that commonly trigger a migraine are those that contain histamine and MSG, chocolates, dairy products, and artificial sweeteners. 5. Caffeine And Alcohol: These have adverse effects on one’s body as they also interfere with sleeping patterns. These also cause severe dehydration when consumed in large amounts, and dehydration also triggers migraine attacks.
6. Changes In The Weather: Some of the most common weather-related migraine triggers are storms, excessive heat, and changes in barometric pressure. High heat and humidity also cause dehydration, which is another common migraine trigger.
7. Light: Natural light, bright lights, and fluorescent or flickering bulbs also trigger migraine attacks. This condition is called photophobia and is one of the most common criteria used to diagnose migraines.
8. Smell: Migraine attacks are also triggered by some odors which activate certain nerve receptors in the nasal passage. This is a very common symptom of migraines.
Everyone experiences different triggers and it is essential that you work towards identifying them and let your doctor know while you consult them. Based on this your doctor will provide you with the best treatment plan.
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