Migraine - Triggers

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What are your migraine headache triggers?

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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:
    • Red wines
    • Aged cheeses
    • Preservatives used in smoked meats (nitrates)
    • Monosodium glutamate
    • Artificial sweeteners
    • Chocolate
    • Dairy products
  • Oversleeping
  • Alcohol beverages
  • Stress
  • 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.

Return to Migraine Headache

See what others are saying

Comment from: venus, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

My migraine headache triggers are processed foods of any kind, salty, sweet, mixed drinks and alcohol of any kind except Pinot Noir, aged cheese, stress and anxiety.

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Comment from: Anneksksk, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

Everything is a migraine trigger; barometric pressure - heavy cloud coverage, sinus problems, too much stress, eye strain, certain foods. And I get both cluster and ocular migraines. I am getting migraines on a regular basis. Sometimes daily. I cannot seem to find relief. Tried triptans oral and injection - make me feel very sick and they do not get rid of the pain. Butalbital works sometimes, but when it does not I end up in the emergency room (ER) to get pain relief. ER trips may happen 3 to 4 times a year. I have been getting migraine headaches since I was 12. I am now in my early 50s. I am trying to get in to see a new neurologist, the one I was seeing does not seem too concerned with my pain. I feel like he thinks I am wasting his time and he has cancelled my appointment with him twice.

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