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Migraine Triggers

Most people know about the common migraine triggers: chocolate, MSG, caffeine, aged cheese, red wine.  What you may not know is that there are a lot more potential triggers of migraine headaches.

Sudden changes in the weather can cause headaches.  Some days I get a headache and don’t know why, until I look outside and see a weather system has rolled in or out.  In junior high school, I once told my gym teacher we shouldn’t go out because it was going to rain.  She didn’t believe me because it was sunny and there was no rain in the forecast, but sure enough, halfway through our softball game it started raining on us.

Migraine, Sinus or other Pain Medication
Most meds (even by prescription) need to be taken in moderation or they can cause rebound headaches.  If you are taking a pain med every day because you have headaches every day, chances are you are in a self-perpetuating cycle of rebound headaches.  The only way to get out of it is to stop taking the meds and wait a few days for the headaches to go away.  Of course, you have to also remove any other potential triggers as well.

That time of the month = headache.  Nuff said.

I use as many fragrance-free products as possible, otherwise on the days when I have a headache I can’t stand my own stink.  As far as others go, I don’t mind a little perfume as long as I don’t already have a headache.  The best policy if you’re going to be around migraine sufferers, or you get them yourself, is to avoid any added fragrance in the form of perfume, cologne, after shave, lotion, body spray or powder.

Stress, Lack of Sleep and/or Dehydration
Stress can trigger a migraine.  Lack of sleep can trigger a migraine.  Dehydration can trigger a migraine.  Pretty straightforward, right?  Well, it can actually be tough to relax, get enough sleep and to drink enough liquids.  Also, they can all feed off of each other, starting up a vicious cycle that it can be tough to get out of.  Gotta stay vigilant on this one.

Oy vey, where do I start?  As you can see, I saved the best for last.  This is the one migraine trigger that I truly have total control over.  In order to minimize the impact of the triggers that I can’t control, I have eliminated a huge list of foods from my diet.  I can’t claim that each and every single one of them will trigger a migraine, because I haven’t tested all of them yet.  So far, however, so bad.  Each time I’ve tested a food, eventually I get a migraine.  And as long as I stick to this diet, I don’t get headaches.

Here’s the list of what I don’t eat:

Lest you think I am deprived, here’s a short list of foods I do eat:



1. Eat Meat, Bitches! « Starship Exercise - August 5, 2012

[…] Migraine Triggers jump to navigation […]

2. Blogs and Sources | Food for my Head - March 17, 2013

[…] Exercise – has some great posts and the Migraine Triggers page is definitely worthy of a […]

3. Reference andLinks | Food for my Head - May 13, 2013

[…] Exercise –  Migraine Triggers page from another […]

4. Migraine Triggers | Food for my Head - June 13, 2013

[…] on migraine triggers. Take a look at Health Central, Mayo Clinic, Migraine.com, and a good blog Starship Exercise.  Migraines often run in the family. According to the Mayo Clinic up to 90% of people with […]

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