10 Common Migraine Triggers

November 28, 2015
migraine triggers

Millions of people suffer from migraines, which cause a range of debilitating symptoms that negatively impact life quality. While experts still don't fully understand the exact cause of migraines, they have identified potential migraine triggers that can increase the risk of an occurrence.
Reducing Frequency
Currently, there is no cure for migraine headaches; however, there are a number of things you can do to reduce headache frequency. These include:

  • Avoid stress. Dramatic increases or decreases in psychological or physical stress can trigger attacks.
  • Prioritize sleep. Inadequate sleep is a primary trigger for migraine headaches. To reduce your risk, go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Watch for food additives. Research suggests certain food additives have the potential to trigger migraine attacks. These include monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame.
  • Eat and hydrate. Studies indicate that hunger and dehydration have the ability to spur migraines. Do not skip meals and drink plenty of water to reduce your risk.
  • Don't overmedicate. Research has shown that people who regularly use analgesics have higher incidents of migraines.
  • Limit alcohol. Numerous studies have linked alcohol consumption with an increased risk of migraine attacks.

Should I Avoid Caffeine?
Research suggests that caffeine may have a positive short-term impact on migraine symptoms. This has led many companies to include it as an active ingredient in over-the-counter migraine medications. On the other hand, several studies also suggest that regular consumption of caffeine can actually increase the risk of an attack. While each person is different, it's important to note that caffeine has the potential to disrupt sleep, which has been shown to increase the risk of migraine attacks. Likewise, because caffeine is a diuretic, it promotes frequent urination, which can lead to dehydration. If you do choose to consume caffeine, do so sparingly and avoid caffeinated beverages close to bedtime.
Getting Help
Fortunately, there are a number of modern medications that have the ability to drastically reduce the severity of migraine symptoms in many patients. If you suffer from debilitating migraine attacks, visit your physician to learn how you can better treat this chronic condition.

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