What is triggering my Migraine headache?

Migraine is a condition where people have episodes of headaches which is usually on one side of the head. The headache could be mild or moderately severe.

In addition to one-sided headaches migraine could also cause a feeling of nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound, and tingling on the face and arms.

In some cases, people have warning symptoms when they are about to experience migraine headaches. These could include seeing flashing lights or zig-zag lines.

What causes Migraines?

It is not clear why people suffer from migraines. There are different theories that attempt to explain the cause of migraines.

Although the exact cause of Migraines is unknown, for most people who suffer from the condition, there are often triggers that could be identified. For these people, if those triggers are avoided, then it is possible to at least reduce the frequency of them suffering from migraines.

So what are the triggers for Migraines?

Some foods and drinks. Certain foods and drinks can trigger an attack of migraines in people who suffer from the condition. Examples are:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee and tea
  • Alcohol
  • Cheese 
  • Salty foods

Menstrual period. Some women experience migraines at the start of their periods, due to changes in their hormones. 

Stress. Physical or emotional stress can often be a trigger for migraines

Dehydration. Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration and even mild dehydration can be a trigger for migraines.

Sleep Changes. Disruption in sleep patterns, lack of sleep, or unrestful sleep could be triggers for migraines.

Weather changes. Some people can find that their migraine headache comes on when there is a change in the weather.

Medications. There are a number of medications that can trigger migraine headaches. These include.

  • Birth control tablets
  • Some antidepressant medication
  • Steroid nasal sprays
  • Hormone replacement therapy

How can I recognize my migraine trigger?

The triggers for migraines are different from person to person, so it may be useful to find out what your own particular trigger might be.

One of the ways of finding out what your trigger might be is to keep a migraine diary which involves writing down the details of your migraine attacks and all the circumstances surrounding each attack. It might be possible, that way, to identify a pattern to your migraines.

How do I treat my Migraine headache?

There are a few different treatments for migraines depending on how severe or how often you get them.

For most people, early treatment with pain-killers such as paracetamol or Ibuprofen relieves the symptoms. This is in addition to staying well hydrated and having a period of rest.

If your symptoms are not relieved by simple pain-killers, you may benefit from specific migraine treatments that you can discuss with your doctor.

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