Migraine Triggers

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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We don’t really know what causes migraine, there is no diagnostic test or cure. However, we do know it starts deep in the brain with misfiring of neurotransmitters which set in place a chain reaction. This results in many symptoms which affect hearing, eyesight and ability to smell, and usually ends with a throbbing one-sided headache. Exactly what triggers a migraine is very individual to each person. For most people it is rarely just one trigger but a combination of factors which individually can be tolerated but when several occur together or accumulate, a threshold is passed and an attack is triggered.

Below is list of triggers that you might recognise, or maybe you are unaware that they could be making your migraine worse. Your triggers could be something not included here.

EMOTIONAL STRESS:

Anger Tension Worry Shock Depression Excitement


PHYSICAL STRESS:

Over-exertion / over tiredness
(both physical and mental)
Late
nights
Change in
sleep patterns
Tension in neck
and / or shoulders
Travelling


DIET/ FOOD:

Long gaps
between meals
Insufficient
food, fasting
or dieting
Dehydration Coffee
and tea
(caffeine)
Monosodium glutamate
(used as a preservative in
many prepared foods)
Citrus fruits Onions Seafood Marmite Cheese and other dairy
products
Pork

Chocolate

Aspartame
(sweetener)
 Wheat Alcohol, particularly red
wine, sherry or beer


ENVIRONMENTAL:

Bright light Flickering / flashing lights Loud noise Change of climate / weather
Intense or penetrating smells Smoking  Stuffy atmosphere


HORMONES:

Menstruation and
the premenstrual
period
Puberty Pregnancy Contraceptive
pill
Menopause /
Hormone replacement
therapy


OTHER TRIGGERS:

Eye
strain
Use of sleeping
tablets
Congested nose /
sinus problems
Toothache or other
dental problems
 
 
 
 
  Version: 2
  Last Reviewed: September 2011
  Next Review: September 2014
   
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