• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Migraine Triggers – Can You Deal with Them?

A painful and debilitating condition, migraine is one of the leading illnesses that make life unbearable for most people who suffer from it. Migraine attacks are infamous not only for the aching pain that they cause to their sufferers. They are also known for striking out of the blue without any warning.

Presently, doctors have not determined any particular cause behind the onset of migraine attacks in certain populations. People who have to face this condition become desperate to know how to cure migraine permanently. While there is no magical cure that will help you to get rid of this condition, there are specific ways by which it can be prevented.

Chief among the preventative measures is gaining an awareness of the factors responsible for triggering your migraines. When recognized and dealt with, there are various triggers that can work as a migraine treatment and help you get relief from it.

Most Common Migraine Triggers

If you want to know how to prevent a migraine when you feel it coming on then just pay attention to the factors that cause your migraines to occur. The most common triggers are:

  1. Tension and stress

  2. Disturbed sleeping pattern

  3. Hormonal fluctuations

  4. Excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine

  5. Sudden weather changes

  6. Food that contains MSG and nitrite

  7. Light and smell

How Can You Deal with Migraine Triggers

1.   Tension and Stress

Stress

Woman feeling stressed, Credit: Pixabay


Almost 70% of people with migraine deal with stress. It is one of the leading causes of migraine attacks. They need to monitor their daily stress levels to reduce the frequency of these attacks. Constantly worrying about the next migraine episode will exhaust your mind and make you prone to experiencing frequent migraine headaches.

Make a list of all your sources of stress and work towards eliminating them from your life. Relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, and getting adequate rest can help a lot in lowering your stress levels.

2.   Disturbed Sleeping Pattern

Irregular sleep patterns

Woman feeling depressed, Credit: Pixabay


Sleep restores and repairs your body and mind. If your sleep schedule is interrupted or irregular, you are more prone to experiencing migraine attacks. Those who have sleep disorders like insomnia are at a higher risk of experiencing migraines as many such attacks occur between 4 AM to 9 AM. Hence, you should cultivate good sleeping hygiene and give yourself the rest you need.

3.   Hormonal Fluctuations

How to cure migraine permanently

A women checking her blood sugar, Credit: Pixabay


Migraine attacks affect more women than men. “Menstrual migraine” is a term denoted to migraine episodes that occur during the time of a woman’s menstrual period. It happens because of the fluctuations in progesterone and estrogen hormone levels. Women can avail of the right treatment plan by referring to a gynecologist.

4.   Excessive Intake of Alcohol and Caffeine

alcohol

A cup of coffee and alcohol, Credit: Pixabay


The link between caffeine intake and migraine is still unclear. People who suffer from migraines are divided on caffeine’s effectiveness to treat or worsen their migraine symptoms. Many people feel that the frequency of their attacks increases after consuming caffeine, while others think that coffee can, in fact, stop their migraines.

Regarding alcohol, studies show that red wine is the leading trigger of the migraine attack. So you need to limit your alcohol consumption to a minimum.

5.   Sudden Weather Changes

how to prevent a migraine when you feel it coming on

Woman fanning herself, Credit: Pixabay


There are weather related migraine triggers like storms, excessive heat or very cold temperatures. Dehydration is another common trigger of migraines. It happens in summer when the humidity levels are very high. Remember to keep yourself hydrated and not venture out under the sun too much during summers.

6.   Food That Contain MSG and Nitrite

Dairy products

Dairy products, Credit: Pixabay


You might want to know what can you eat to prevent migraines. There are many food items like chocolate, artificial sweeteners, and other dairy products that contain MSG and nitrites. They are known to trigger a migraine attack. So avoid them to your best abilities. Also, eliminate or keep to a minimum the intake of those food items that have a strong smell.

7.   Light and Smell

bright light

Greed light bulb illustration, Credit: Pixabay


Bright light and fluorescent light bulbs are the main triggers of migraine attacks. Those who work in an office can avoid them by wearing sunglasses. Avoid sitting close to the sources of flickering or fluorescent light bulbs. In your home,  you can install bulbs that emit green light as it is not known to aggravate migraine symptoms.

Avoid coming in contact with strong perfumes, food smells, or chemicals. These are major triggers of migraine.

Avoiding the above-mentioned triggers necessitates that you speak up about your condition at your workplace so that everybody knows about it. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and triggers to enable him to prescribe you an appropriate treatment plan.

References

  1. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/top-10-migraine-triggers/

  2. https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/trigger-factors/common-triggers/

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