- Take the Headaches Quiz
- A Visual Guide to Migraine Headaches - Slideshow
- Headache & Migraine Triggers - Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Migraine - Triggers
- Patient Comments: Migraine - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Migraine - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Migraine - Relief
- Patient Comments: Migraine Headache - Causes
- Find a local Neurologist in your town
- Migraine headache facts
- What is a migraine?
- What are migraine triggers?
- What causes migraines?
- What are the risk factors for migraine?
- What are the signs and symptoms of migraines?
- How are migraines diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for migraines?
- Migraine medications
- What self-care treatment and lifestyle changes work for migraines?
- How are migraines managed during pregnancy?
- How are migraines managed in children?
- What is the prognosis for migraines?
- Can migraines be prevented?
Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment
What are migraine triggers?
Many factors have been identified as migraine triggers.
- The normal hormone fluctuations which occur with regular menstrual cycles may predispose some women to experience migraine headaches.
- Some types of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) can trigger migraines.
- Various foods such as:
- Alcohol beverages
- Exposure to strong stimuli such as bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells.
Changes in barometric pressure have been described as leading to migraine headaches.
Not every individual who has migraines will experience a headache when exposed to these triggers. If a person is unsure what his or her specific triggers might be, maintaining a headache diary can be beneficial to identify those individual factors which lead to migraine.
What causes migraines?
The specific cause of migraines is not known, but there may be fluctuations in certain neurotransmitters, chemicals that send messages between brain cells. These changes may predispose some people to develop migraine headaches.
What are the risk factors for migraine?
Up to 25% of people experience a migraine headache at some point in their life. Most migraine sufferers are female. It is estimated that after adolescence, the ratio of female to male patients who experience migraines is about 3:1. There seems to be a genetic predisposition to migraine, as there is often a strong family history of migraine in patients with this disorder.