How to Pinpoint What Triggers Your Migraines

migraine triggers

Facts that you need to know if you suffer from migraines.

migraine triggers

Migraine headaches affect 29.5 million Americans, and if you have ever had one, you know how debilitating they can really be. Migraine symptoms involve intense, throbbing pain on one, or both sides of the head and can cause nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and/or sound. Migraines can last a few hours, or a few days depending on the severity. Obviously there has been a lot of research on migraines, but we don’t yet know what actually causes them. We know that they most often affect people between the ages of 15 and 55, are more common in women, and generally affect people who have a family history of the ailment.

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Migraines do tend to have triggers however, a series of factors and events that combined, can lead to a migraine attack. Obviously these triggers vary from person to person, but women who suffer from migraines tend to attribute it to the following:

Skipped meals

Hormone changes during menstruation

Lack of sleep, or excessive sleep,

Stress and anxiety,

Weather changes


Caffeine (too much or too little)

Foods with nitrates (like hot dogs or lunch meat)

MSG (found in foods, broths, and seasonings)

Aspartame (found in sugar substitutes)

To find out what triggers your own migraines, you should keep a migraine diary. There are plenty of apps out there to make it easily accessible on your phone. Every time you get a migraine, write down the time of day, when and where you were, what you ate and drank 24 hours prior, and each day you have your period (so that doctors can determine if that is a factor).

Every migraine sufferer has a unique set of experiences, so keeping track of your own symptoms can help lead to a treatment that works specifically for you.

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Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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