Anyone who hasn’t had the misfortune of experiencing a migraine (and there are plenty of people out there), it can be easy to pass them off as a mere headache.
Unfortunately, for the millions of us who have gone through a migraine, it’s anything but.
We don’t need to spell out exactly what a migraine is here – if you’ve reached this article you most definitely know that it’s so much more painful than the typical headache.
What you probably don’t know is that migraines are caused by countless triggers. Some have been proven, others have been dismissed, but there are at least ten which experts believe can directly cause that throbbing pain that so many of us have experienced.
We have listed the primary ten triggers which are said to be responsible for migraines. If you can identify with any of them, it’s worth at least trying to act on them and potentially stop your migraines for good.
You are what you eat
It sounds almost ridiculous, but there are suspicions that the food and drink you consume can have a direct impact on your migraines.
There are exhaustive lists out there which supposedly tell you which foods to avoid, although it’s understood that cheese, chocolates and citrus fruits are some of the primary offenders when it comes to migraines.
Unfortunately, the lists are going to vary between individuals. Therefore, the best piece of advice is to keep a food and drink diary and attempt to see if there is any correlation between certain items and your migraines. If there is – you know exactly what to do.
Keep to a strict food routine
It’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat as well. If you’re the type of person who skips meals and doesn’t eat on a regular basis, studies suggest that you are the prime candidate for a migraine.
This time, the solution is quite simple. Merely making sure that you eat at the same point each and every day should suffice, whilst also ensuring that you don’t go long spells without eating a meal will help.
Everything can be pinned on the hormones
Hormones are regularly blamed for a whole host of things – whether it’s mood swings or anything else which causes a change in our day. Suffice to say, there is some speculation which links them to migraines.
Specifically, if you are pregnant, experiencing the menopause or menstruating, some people believe that these can cause migraines.
While hormones can be a tricky thing to tackle, there are safe supplements out there which are administered by doctors.
If you feel that hormones could be the reason behind your migraines (and again, checking for those correlations is a good idea), then speak to your doctor about these supplements as they might be able to help.
Your pillow can be another factor
Unsurprisingly, most of us probably realize that too little sleep is enough to cause a migraine. However, there are other sleep-related factors.
If you get too much sleep, this can prove to be a problem, while irregular sleeping patterns are thought to be another trigger.
The answer here again revolves around a visit to the doctor’s surgery. As well as migraines, sleeping problems can cause a whole host of other medical issues. Fortunately, there are plenty of aids now available that can help you through the night. Many of these have clinical backing and are again safe to use.
Keep the fluids running
Hopefully, most of you will have already realized that a lack of hydration is a big reason behind migraines. When your body becomes dehydrated, your blood volume drops and less is therefore able to reach the brain.
The result is that this loss of electrolytes can prompt those dreaded pain signals that accompany a migraine.
The solution? Well it’s quite straightforward really. As well as drinking more water, you should attempt to drink less of the substances that can dehydrate you. Alcohol and coffee are the common offenders, so keep away from these as often as you can.
Perfumes and cleaning products – they’re tarred with the same brush
It might seem bizarre to put perfumes and cleaning products in the same category, but when it comes to migraines it definitely occurs.
Both of these substances boast strong odors and, particularly if you are based in an enclosed area, this can wreak havoc for migraine sufferers. Again, it’s all about these chemicals causing the blood vessels to dilate, which prompts the same problem as we’ve just spoken about for dehydration.
Unfortunately, the answer might not be a popular one. If you believe that a perfume is the reason behind your migraines, it goes without saying that you should stop using it.
Of course, it might not be your own fragrance – it could belong to someone around you. In these cases you need to do the unpopular task of asking them to stop wearing it, or just try and distance yourself from them. In the workplace, your employer is legally bound to act if you need relief from these odors.
Sometimes it’s completely out of your control
A lot of the triggers we have analyzed are down to you and you alone. There are some triggers which you don’t have any control over though, with the temperature, humidity or pressure being some of them.
Studies have shown that these factors are common amongst migraine sufferers, although experts are still somewhat perplexed as to why.
To get around these triggers, you just need to keep one eye on the forecast. Then, make sure that you can react if the weather does swing against you.
Don’t boil over
This leads nicely onto the next trigger; hot climates. Whether it is caused by the temperature outside, or just the hot room you are based in, overheating has been known to cause migraines.
This is one of the few factors that can be rectified fairly easily. Apart from removing yourself from the room, look towards a portable fan or anything else that can keep you chilled.
The healthy things aren’t necessarily healthy for migraines
This is a somewhat disappointing trigger, but it’s understood that sex, sport and even exercise can all be causes behind a migraine.
Whether it’s due to the fact that all of these activities can cause dehydration, or that your body is overexerting itself, we’re not sure. The point is, a lot of people have reported that these activities enhance they’re migraines.
Of course, you shouldn’t be “punished” for engaging in the above. Therefore, if you do believe they are a contributing trigger, you should consult a doctor to see what the base of the problem is.
Avoid bright lights
Those TV shows which warn you about flash photography are doing it for a reason – some people truly are affected by bright and flickering lights. This is understood to be a key trigger for migraine sufferers and one that you should be looking to avoid.
Fortunately, this is also a trigger which can be simple to get around. Merely wearing sunglasses can eradicate the problem, or using anything else that can shade your eyes somewhat.