Top 10 Triggers of Migraine Headaches

June 30, 2024

We understand how that throbbing pain that just seems to affect one side of your head puts quite a damper on your day. While the exact cause of migraines is still under research, learning about migraine triggers can help a great deal in understanding the condition better and management. Let’s get into more details.

10 Common Stimuli of Migraine

Here is a list of the top 10 migraine contributors:

1. Stress

Usually, stress is the biggest trigger of migraine headaches in almost 70% of people. It serves as a stimulus for physiological changes that can directly lead to an episode. Reducing stress with the help of relaxation techniques such as meditation, exercise, and a consistent sleep schedule can manage this condition.

2. Hormonal Fluctuation

Women are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from this condition due to hormonal changes that take place during their life. Fluctuations in hormones estrogen and progesterone levels around menstrual cycles trigger menstrual migraines in up to 75% of women.

3. Light

Sensitivity to both natural and artificial light is a common migraine trigger. Wearing sunglasses, avoiding glare, and using green light bulbs manage this condition effectively.

4. Irregular Sleep Cycle

Lack of sleep, oversleeping, or inconsistent sleep/wake times is a recipe for disaster. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule of 7-8 hours per night is recommended to prevent sleep-related migraine attacks.

5. Weather Changes

Storms and excessive heat are no good for your headaches. Staying indoors during severe weather and avoiding other triggers like dehydration is the best approach.

6. Certain Foods

Foods that contain a component of tyramine, such as aged cheeses, cured meats, smoked fish, and nitrates (like hot dogs, bacon, and sausage), MSG, along with artificial sweeteners, trigger migraines. Eliminating such foods for a good span and then reintroducing one item at a time can help a lot. Keep a diary and checklist of the foods that are common troublemakers.

7. Stimulants and Depressants

Caffeine in coffee, tea, and chocolate is a stimulant that can trigger headaches but also provides relief for some. Other than that, you would want to stay away from alcohol and staying hydrated.

8. Smell

Talk about that pungent odor that not only makes you gag but induces debilitating pain. Strong odors from perfumes, foods, and chemicals can activate your nerve receptors to cause headaches. Avoid these smells when possible and use scent-free products.

9. Dehydration

Keep up with your water intake! Not drinking enough fluids, like water especially in the heat or exercise, can lead to dehydration-induced migraines. Drinking at least 2 liters of water daily and limiting the use of diuretics is the best route.

10. Skipping Meals

Make sure to set a specific eating hour, just like your bedtime. Having meals at irregular times or skipping them altogether can serve as a major migraine inducer.

Closing Note

In a nutshell, identifying and avoiding personal triggers for migraine headaches is the best way to manage this condition effectively.  By participating in clinical trials, you can contribute to scientific progress and gain early access to life-changing medicines and routes. Identifying and addressing the causative factors, one can reduce the frequency and severity of their migraines and enjoy a better quality of life. If you have more questions or queries, get in touch with us at AGA Clinical Trials by dialing (786) 326-1583.


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