When it comes to migraine triggers, sometimes it’s not so much what you do or what you don’t do. Below is a list of the top migraine triggers and further information on them. As always, make sure you consult your physician before changing diet or implementing new methods to relieve migraine headaches.
Be selective in what and when you eat. Food is a primary migraine trigger. Studies show that the majority of migraines are triggered by food and food additives. Foods to monitor include aged cheeses, chocolate, lunchmeats and hot dogs that contain the food additive nitrate, as well as foods high in monosodium glutamate (MSG). Build up of nitric oxide in the bloodstream is a major cause of migraine headaches.
2. EXCESSIVE CAFFEINE
Caffeine in high doses can be a major migraine trigger. More than 6-8 ounce of a beverage containing caffeine may be considered excessive for migraine sufferers. Do not drink caffeine if you know it causes migraine attacks in your case.
Cigarette smoke or other, whether directly inhaled or secondhand, is a top migraine trigger and should be avoided whenever possible.
4. VISUAL STIMULATION
Sudden contrasts between light and dark or exposure to bright lights, can trigger migraine headaches. TV and computer monitors will frequently cause migraines if the surrounding light and the light from the monitor(s) are too bright.
5. HIGH-STRESS LEVELS
Stress levels contribute greatly to migraines. While it’s almost impossible to avoid stress it is possible to decrease it.
6. DOUBLING UP ON PAINKILLERS
If the recommended dose isn’t effective in relieving your migraine headaches, don’t increase the dose otherwise using more than the recommended dose of prescription and/or OTC(over the counter) medications can result in a rebound headache amongst other complications. Consult your Doctor frequently and let him or her know if the prescription or OTC medication isn’t working.
7. IRREGULAR SCHEDULES
Try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Regular sleep patterns are very effective in combating migraines.
8. LACK OF EXERCISE
Exercise can help with migraines. It is an established fact that physical fitness, in general, helps prevent migraines. However, warming up before exercise is strongly recommended otherwise it may lead to building up of nitric oxide in the bloodstream and precipitate an attack.
9. LACK OF COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR DOCTOR
Keep your physician informed of your migraine headaches and communicate with him or her often, especially if they get worse. Keeping a diary or journal is also a good idea so you can enter details such as when attacks usually occur, what causes the attacks, which prescription or OTC medications are effective, what non-drug remedies help.
By keeping a diary or journal you may get a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t and communicating this information to your Doctor may enable him or her to use a different approach in treating your migraine headaches.