Migraines can come on quickly and, seemingly, out of the blue without any warning. However, if you’ve had migraines for a while you start to notice signs when a migraine attack is on its way. Although migraines are not fully understood, we know the environment and genetics are involved. Identifying and avoiding your triggers can help you prevent future attacks.
So on to the nitty gritty…
Migraine Triggers And Risk Factors
- Strong or unusual smells
- Bright or flickering lights, especially fluorescent ones
- Loud sounds
- Food triggers including aspartame, nuts, citrus fruits, red wine, soft cheeses, large amounts of caffeine, and food with added nitrates or nitrites and MSG. And despite what you may have heard, chocolate doesn’t seem to be a trigger. This common misconception is likely due to people craving sweet foods, such as chocolate, before a migraine strikes.
- Stress (Read 5 Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Relax for helpful tips)
- Not eating
- EMFs from computer screens and cell phones
- Weather changes, including high humidity, barometric pressure and high altitude
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Vigorous exercise, especially if you’re not used to it (Check out 4 Essentials Before You Start A Health Or Fitness Program for advice to help you ease into a fitness plan.)
- Teeth grinding
- Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy
- Taking drugs including cannabis and cocaine (Related: Working Out Your Recovery: The Importance Of Fitness For Recovering Addicts)
- A change in your routine
- Overuse of migraine medication, opiates and barbiturates
Related: 10 Signs You’re Having A Migraine
Migraine Risk Factors
- Family history of migraines
- Being overweight or underweight
- Hormonal changes in women
- Lower education levels
- After puberty, women are up to three times more likely to get migraines than men
- Age – Most people get their first migraine during adolescence, but there are always exceptions. (My first migraine didn’t come until I was 20 and student teaching.)
Knowing your migraine triggers and the risk factors involved is an excellent preventative tool. Also, keeping a migraine diary can help you recognize common patterns. I’ve found an app that serves this purpose and I absolutely love it! It’s called Migraine Buddy and it is free.
You can learn more about it here: Migraine Buddy: THE App For People With Migraines
Also, if you have a child who suffers from migraines you might find Migraine Headaches In Children: Types, Symptoms & Treatments helpful.
What are your migraine triggers?
Please share in the comment section below. I love hearing from you and will respond to you as soon as possible!
If you enjoyed this, you may want to check out:
- The First Steps For Living With A Chronic Illness
- 7 Tips For Coping With Chronic Illness
- Top 10 Habits To Help You Live Longer
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