Author: Ines Marinho
Darkroom, pills, silence, and a cold towel. These are the needs of the majority of people that suffer from migraines. A migraine seems to come out of nowhere, with no meaningful reason, but there are usually some signs that a migraine attack is on the way. These signs can reveal some kind of patterns in the symptoms of people and even provide preventive tools for fighting it.
Every one of us has different triggers, however, there are a few common culprits that affect a larger number of citizens around the world living with migraine. When the triggers are identified, managing the migraine and avoiding future attacks becomes a possibility. Here are the seven most common migraine triggers and some basic tips to deal with it.
Stress is the most famous cause of a migraine trigger that affects nearly 70 percent of people. The fast way people live their lives cause to their daily routine stress, sleep deprivation and anxiety associated with depression. Migraines can be behind this case scenario.
How to cope? Start by making a list of things known to cause you stress and tension and try to work towards reducing these triggers in your life. Therapy, meditation, exercise and a good sleeping schedule are helpful when it comes to dealing with stress. These strategies are powerful, but they won’t eliminate all the stress of your life. However, they can change your body’s response to stress and reduce the ability for stress to trigger a migraine.
2. Changes in the sleeping schedule
The connection between sleeping hours and migraines is undeniable. Sleep has the function of repairing all parts of the body – mainly the brain – so if your sleeping schedule gets irregular, you become more prone to migraine attacks.
How to cope? Go to bed at the same time each night and aim to sleep at least seven to eight hours. Eliminate TV, texting and listening to music in bed and don’t take a nap during the day. If reading a book or listen to a bit of music helps you to relax and fall asleep, try to do it before bed but not on the bed. Making a sleep plan is crucial to a good lifestyle.
Women are more likely to have migraine than men. 75 percent of them claim to experience a migraine while they are at their period time. This is called menstrual migraine, occurring only during the women’s period due to the change of estrogen and progesterone levels.
How to cope? Birth control can stabilize hormone levels and therefore prevent some migraine attacks. Meeting with a headache specialist or a gynecologist is important to find the right treatment plan.
4. Changes in the weather
Excessive heat, storms, and changes in the barometric pressure are common weather-related triggers that can lead to a migraine. High humidity and heat can lead to dehydration, which can also trigger an attack.
How to cope? Weather is not controllable. So, if the weather is not favorable for your migraine, stay inside the buildings and adjust your schedule, if possible.
5. Caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol may cause migraine attacks after being consumed. On the other hand, some people say that a cup of coffee can stop their migraine feelings. It is variable from case to case. In the case of the alcohol, red wine is pointed out as the principal alcoholic trigger. Other types of alcohol can provoke it too.
How to cope? Know your limits, the way you feel and react to different symptoms. If you are having a migraine after drinking alcohol or coffee, take the medication you need to stop it and control the consumption.
There is a full list of food products known to trigger a migraine. The most common ones contain histamine and MSG, chocolate, cheese, artificial sweeteners, coffee and other things with a strong smell.
How to cope? Identify specific food triggers. Avoid them as much as you can once you know them. Many people adopt a migraine diet that avoids a certain kind of food and ingredients. Change your lifestyle and diet.
7. Overuse of medication
On an ironic way, if you have regular migraine headaches and take medication prescribed by your doctor more than 10 days on a month, it can cause itself more attacks. This phenomenon is known as Medication Overuse Headache.
How to cope? If you suffer from medication overuse headache, first stop taking the medication and clear it from your system. You should get an appointment with your doctor to find solutions and avoid certain medications. Hold your horses when taking the medication and be cautious to not have several migraine attacks.
Each situation is a different situation. Know yourself good enough to identify your triggers and fight to prevent them. A proper diagnosis will be helped by the description of your self-knowledge about the way you react to the symptoms and what triggers it.