In the United States, it’s estimated that over 38 million people suffer from migraine headaches. Of these 38 million, it’s estimated that around 2 million suffer on a chronic basis.
Do you suffer from migraines? If so, you’re probably looking for any possible way to make them stop.
While eliminating migraines entirely is not always possible, reducing their quantity and impact is. The key is to know what triggers migraines and then to avoid those triggers as much as possible.
What are the most common migraine triggers, you ask? Read on. We’re going to discuss them below.
The 10 Most Common Migraine Triggers
Migraines can be triggered by a variety of different stimuli. However, the most common triggers for migraines are as follows.
1. Poor Diet
All sorts of foods are known to trigger migraines, including but not limited to dairy products, chocolate, and meat. Foods which are high in caffeine, artificial sweeteners, MSG, and histamine are also known to trigger migraines.
While you might not have to completely eliminate these foods from your diet, you should practice eating them in moderation. Establish a diet plan and stick to it to ensure that migraines are minimized.
Perhaps the most common trigger for migraines is stress. Work stress, romantic stress, family stress, and all other forms of stress place strain on the body and mind, ultimately resulting in migraines.
While it can be difficult to avoid stress, there are ways to minimize it. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in physical exercise are all great ways to stave off stress and reduce the occurrence of migraines.
3. Bright Lights
While not all of them are, many migraine-sufferers are susceptible to light. Suffering from a condition known as photophobia, their eyes are overly sensitive to brightness. As their eyes experience discomfort in the presence of light, so too do their heads.
To protect yourself against excessive light, you’re advised to keep sunglasses with you at all times. You must also think strategically, placing yourself as far away as possible from windows and other light-letting entities.
4. Unorthodox Sleep Patterns
A regular and consistent sleep schedule is vital to a healthy life. Those with unorthodox sleep patterns tend to suffer from a range of different problems, including depression, memory impairment, and, of course, migraines.
The human body requires 7 to 9 hours of straight, undisturbed sleep every night. If you’re not getting this, you’re making yourself more susceptible to migraine headaches.
Do you find that your headaches start acting up after you’ve been out in the sun for a while? Maybe your migraines make an appearance whenever you fail to consume adequate amounts of water?
If so, it stands to reason, as dehydration is one of the most common causes of migraines.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to fight dehydration. Just keep a bottle of water on you at all times, drinking from it periodically throughout each day. A half a gallon of water each day is recommended.
6. Menstruation Periods
Menstrual periods rarely make for good feelings. Not only do they cause cramps and nausea, but, in some cases, migraines as well.
Why do periods cause migraines, you ask? It has to do with the fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. As these hormones fluctuate, they set the body askew, causing it all types of aches and pains.
The only way you can reduce the effects of this trigger is by utilizing a form of hormonal birth control. While birth control won’t work for all women, it will prove successful for some.
7. Rapid Weather Changes
Unfortunately, weather changes are sometimes the cause of migraines.
A rapid shift from warm weather to cold weather or from cold weather to warm weather can cause pressure to build in the brain, resulting in severe pain. Shifts in barometric pressure can have this effect as well.
As you probably know, there’s not a lot you can do about weather changes. You’re just going to have to ride through them and be sure to avoid as many other triggers as possible.
When it comes to migraines, caffeine is a funny thing. Whereas some individuals see an increased risk of migraines after consuming caffeine, other individuals see a reduced risk of migraines after consuming caffeine.
If you notice a connection between your caffeine consumption and the timing of your headaches, you’re advised to cut down on your caffeine intake. By doing so, you could eliminate your migraines entirely.
As far as migraines go, alcohol is just like caffeine. While some migraine sufferers are triggered by alcohol, others are actually put at ease by alcohol.
Your responsibility is to know your body and to drink responsibly based on the way that it reacts. If alcohol consumption gives you migraine pain, you’re advised to give it up, or, at the very least, moderate it.
10. Offensive Odors
Just as some migraine sufferers are triggered by light, others of them are triggered by odors. Suffering from a condition known as osmophobia, their senses become overwhelmed easily, resulting in severe head pain.
The most common migraine-causing odors come from gasoline, perfume, and strong foods. Note, however, that different individuals are triggered by different odors.
Treatment for Migraines
There are quite a few treatments for chronic migraines. In addition to avoiding specific triggers, you might also try staving off migraines through proactive measures.
Some medications which can help to relieve the effects of migraines include pain relievers, triptans, and ergots. While you can find minor-relief versions of these medications at drug stores, major-relief versions of these medications will require a trip to the doctor.
If you’re not interested in taking medications, you could instead try chiropractic migraine treatment. Chiropractors are well-versed in the treatment of migraines, and can very often provide their clients with results.
There is also a collection of foods said to help with migraines. Check some of those foods out now!
Find Other Health-related Information
And there they are, the most common migraine triggers of them all. By keeping these triggers at bay, and by actively undergoing treatment for your migraines, you can keep their quantity and severity to a minimum.
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