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How To Trigger A Migraine

Morning Pickup Or Daily Grind

How to Identify Your Migraine Triggers

Caffeine can help treat migraine headaches. Patients often report that coffee or soda helps reduce head pain. Caffeine is also a common ingredient in over-the-counter headache medicines.; Many patients note that medicines with caffeine are more helpful than those without. However, caffeine is a drug, and like many other drugs, it can cause problems when overused. Caffeine can be useful when used infrequently, but using it daily can lead to medication overuse headaches, which are also known as rebound headaches. Using more than 100 mg of caffeine daily is a known risk factor for developing daily headache.

Some suggestions for caffeine use in migraine patients:

  • Episodic migraine patients should limit caffeine intake to one or two beverages daily .
  • Patients with daily headaches should consider avoiding caffeine completely.
  • Limit the use of caffeine-containing medications to no more than two days a week.
  • Reduce caffeine intake slowly, by 25% each week, to avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
  • The amount of caffeine in different brands and types of coffee varies widely, from 133mg of caffeine in a large McDonalds brew to 415mg in a venti Starbucks. The same is true for different medicines. Consider using an online calculator or talking to your doctor when figuring out your daily caffeine use.
  • Caffeine is probably not the only cause of frequent migraines, but reducing caffeine will often help improve headache.

How Are Migraines Treated

Migraine headaches are chronic. They cant be cured, but they can be managed and possibly improved. There are two main treatment approaches that use medications: abortive and preventive.

  • Abortive medications are most effective when you use them at the first sign of a migraine. Take them while the pain is mild. By possibly stopping the headache process, abortive medications help stop or decrease your migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, light sensitivity, etc. Some abortive medications work by constricting your blood vessels, bringing them back to normal and relieving the throbbing pain.
  • Preventive medications may be prescribed when your headaches are severe, occur more than four times a month and are significantly interfering with your normal activities. Preventive medications reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches. Medications are generally taken on a regular, daily basis to help prevent migraines.

A Migraine Trigger Is Anything That Brings On A Migraine Attack

It doesnt cause the migraine, it sets it off at any given time. Different things trigger migraines in different people. And the same trigger doesnt always provoke;a migraine;in the same person. To complicate things, everyone is different what triggers your migraine probably wont trigger someone elses.

Triggers should be thought of as risk factors. Several factors may actually spur;an attack. Keep a migraine diary and look for patterns in your attacks. By determining your personal migraine threshold the combination of triggers;it takes to produce your migraine attack you may be able to limit how often you get migraines and how severe they are. Triggers add up, so the fewer you have at one time, the better your chances of preventing a migraine.

Contrary to popular belief, there are no universal triggers, but here some;commonly occurring ones:

Lifestyle Triggers: changes in sleep patterns, fasting, skipping meals, dehydration, alcohol, over-exertion, exercise, stress.

Environmental Triggers: strong smells, bright or flickering lights, smoke/pollution, altitude, air pressure , motion sickness .

Weather-related Triggers: humidity , sudden or big changes in temperature, changes in barometric pressure, bright sunlight.

Hormonal Triggers: changes in hormone levels, pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, hormone replacement therapy, oral contraceptives.

Medication Triggers: overuse of pain medications , oral contraceptives, medication side-effects.

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Bright Lights And Busy Patterns

Bright lights and certain striped patterns can provoke migraine in some people. Lights are well known to lead to various types of headaches. Studies show that people with migraine report discomfort in dimmer light than others.

Pattern Glare

Sometimes patterns emerge within view that can trigger headaches. Scientists have studied patterns with tightly grouped lines, and found that these may provoke migraine in some people. Other studies have suggested that wearing lightly tinted glasses can ease this discomfort, which may be provoked by staring at lines of text, for instance.

Light Noise Or Smells Trigger Or Worsen Pain

Common Foods and Drinks Can Trigger Migraine

In the throes of a migraine attack, the migraine sufferer tends to seek refuge in a dark, quiet place. Bright lights and loud noises can trigger a migraine or intensify the pain. The same is true of certain odors.

“Once you’ve already got a migraine, smells can seem more intense and make it worse,” Dr. Calhoun says. “But a smell can also trigger a migraine in someone who didn’t have one before walked past the perfume counter.”

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Can Migraine Be Worse During Menopause

If your migraine headaches are closely linked to your menstrual cycle,;;may make them less severe. As you get older, the nausea and vomiting may decrease as well. About two-thirds of women with migraines report that their symptoms improve with menopause.

But for some women, menopause worsens migraine or triggers them to start. It is not clear why this happens.;, which is prescribed for some women during menopause, may be linked to migraines during this time. In general, though, the worsening of migraine symptoms goes away once menopause is complete.

What Are The Risks Of Daith Piercing

According to the leading headache specialists, researchers and advocates in the United States, the risks of a daith piercing far outweigh the reward. Any results from the treatment are believed to be attributable to the placebo effect, meaning they are temporary and psychological rather than physical. In addition, the piercing itself is often painful and carries a high risk of infection. It may even make migraine symptoms worse in the long run. The Cleveland Clinic says there is no evidence to support the claim that daith piercings help relieve migraine. In addition, the American Migraine Foundation firmly believes that seeking piercing from a nonmedical third party is not a solution to migraine pain. Please visit our website to learn about;alternative treatment options.

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A Few More Potential Trigger Foods

Even though weâd hate to take the fun out of even more of your favorite foods, we should let you know about these other potential trigger foods. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these foods are commonly reported as migraine triggers, but thereâs no scientific evidence that they really cause them, so donât clean out your fridge just yet. Instead, turn to a migraine tracker to see if any of these might be causing you pain.

  • Avocados
  • Chicken livers and other organ meats
  • Dairy products like buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt
  • Dried fruits like dates, figs, and raisins
  • Garlic
  • Most beans including lima, fava, navy, pinto, garbanzo, lentils, and snow peas
  • Onions
  • Pickled foods like olives, sauerkraut, and, of course, pickles
  • Potato chips
  • Some fresh fruits like ripe bananas, papaya, red plums, raspberries, kiwi, and pineapple
  • Smoked or dried fish
  • Tomato-based products

Food Drink And Additive Triggers

Migraine Headaches : How to Avoid Getting Migraines

Perhaps because of the genetic variations, no studies exist that prove a particular food or drink ingredient triggers attacks in all migraine sufferers. There have been studies that show certain ingredients trigger attacks in some people. Theres also evidence from surveys of migraine sufferers and headache diary analysis that these triggers exist. From those research findings and anecdotal evidence from migraine sufferers a few likely culprits emerge:

Tyramine-Rich Foods

It appears that some migraine sufferers dont process foods containing the amino acid tyramine in the same way that people without migraines do. A few examples of tyramine-rich foods include:

  • Aged cheeses blue, Swiss, Parmesan, feta, aged cheddar;
  • Cured meats salami, summer sausages, pepperoni, corned beef
  • Pickled foods olives, sauerkraut, kimchee
  • Broad beans fava beans, snow peas
  • Fermented soy products soy sauce, tofu, miso soup, teriyaki sauce

A slice of cheese in your sandwich wont necessarily trigger a migraine, says Stephen F. Knox, M.D., a neurologist with Sutter Medical Group neurologist who treats patients with migraine, but a platter of cheese, olives and salami at the party certainly could especially if you add a glass of red wine.


Food Additives

Some studies refute the idea that these additives trigger migraines, but the consensus seems to be that certain additives affect subgroups of migraine sufferers.


Citrus Fruits


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Coeliac Disease And Gluten Sensitivity

Coeliac disease is a serious condition where a persons immune system reacts when they eat gluten and causes damage to the lining of their gut. When this happens, they have symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, vomiting and stomach cramps. There can also be serious complications if it is not treated, such as anaemia. There is no cure for coeliac disease and people with it need to avoid gluten all their life.

There have been studies into the link between coeliac disease and migraine. There is no evidence to suggest that coeliac disease causes migraine. It is thought that if people with coeliac disease and migraine follow a gluten-free diet, this may help with both of their conditions.

Gluten sensitivity is when a person has a bad reaction if they eat gluten. They may have similar symptoms to coeliac disease, but there is no damage to the lining of their gut or the risk of serious complications that can happen with coeliac disease.

Gluten is found in foods that contain wheat, barley or rye. These include pasta, bread, cakes, some sauces and most ready meals.

One of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity is headache. But there is no evidence that gluten sensitivity causes migraine. However, if you are sensitive to gluten, you may find that if you eat food containing gluten, it makes migraine attacks more likely or the symptoms more painful.

S To Avoid Your Triggers

  • Watch what you eat and drink. If you get a headache, write down the foods and drinks you had before it started. If you see a pattern over time, stay away from that item.
  • Eat regularly. Don’t skip meals.
  • Curb the caffeine. Too much, in any food or drink, can cause migraines. But cutting back suddenly may also cause them. So try to slowly ease off caffeine if it seems to be one of your headache triggers.
  • Be careful with exercise. Everyone needs regular physical activity. It’s a key part of being healthy. But it can trigger headaches for some people. If you’re one of them, you can still work out. Ask your doctor what would help.
  • Get regular shut-eye. If your sleep habits get thrown off, or if you’re very tired, that can make a migraine more likely.
  • Downsize your stress. There are many ways to do it. You could exercise, meditate, pray, spend time with people you love, and do things you enjoy. If you can change some of the things that make you tense, set up a plan for that. Counseling and stress management classes are great to try, too. You can also look into biofeedback, where you learn how to influence certain things to calm down stress.
  • Keep up your energy. Eat on a regular schedule, and don’t let yourself get dehydrated.
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    Bright Lights And Loud Sounds

    Some people report that bright, flickering, or pulsating lights, or loud sounds, may serve as a migraine trigger.

    A small study in European Neurology found that even brief exposure to sunlight may trigger migraine. Study participants reported getting some relief by:

    • wearing a hat
    • avoiding sunny places
    • getting more sleep

    However, in a letter to the editor regarding that study, one neurologist noted that sunlight may not be a primary trigger for migraines. He stated that sunlight only triggered his own migraines if hed drunk wine the previous night.

    He also mentioned that sunlight triggered migraines if he was already sleep deprived, stressed, dehydrated, or experiencing low blood sugar due to skipping a meal. His conclusion was that bright light may be a sort of secondary trigger.

    People whose migraine attacks appear to be triggered by bright light should consider whether these other factors may also be triggers for them.

    Light And Sunlight Exposure

    Migraine Triggers

    The association between migraine and light is multifaceted. The most evident example is photophobia, which is a common element of the clinical syndrome of migraine. To elucidate the complex relationship between light and migraine, research has focused on clarifying whether migraineurs are also more sensitive to light during the interictal periods than healthy control persons, whether light can trigger migraine attacks, and whether the duration of sunlight exposure and its seasonal variation has any influence on the attack frequency. Several studies have addressed a possible interictal hypersensitivity to light in migraineurs. Results of these studies suggest that migraineurs are interictally more sensitive to light as well as to certain visual stimuli such as a pattern glare when observing striped patterns or black-and-white striped gratings and flickering light . In this context, certain visual tasks may even be processed more rapidly by migraineurs than their matched control subjects . Despite speculations about an interictal cortical hyperexcitability, the pathophysiological basis for this altered visual perception and processing remains largely unknown.

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    Healthy Eating For A Healthy Head

    The Dietary Guidelines for Americans make food recommendations to help you live a healthier life.;Some recommendations are:

    • Aim for half of your grains to be whole grains.;Whole grains have more fiber and vitamins.;Try to change things like white bread, white rice, and pasta in your diet to whole grains.
    • Aim for increasing fruit and vegetable intake.;Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables, every time! Eat a variety of vegetables.
    • Aim to eat;healthy;fats, not low fat. Limit saturated and trans fats when possible. Try to increase seafood consumption to two to three times per week to get your omega-3 fats.
    • Limit sodium to less than 2300 mg/day. Most salt in our diets comes from processed foods .;Cook from scratch whenever possible, or choose foods labeled as low sodium whenever possible.

    In addition to the basics of a healthy diet, there are a few things to think about if you have migraines:

    • Dont skip meals, especially if this triggers migraines.
    • Consider eating 5 small meals per day.;Eat a carbohydrate with a protein or a good fat to stay full longer.
    • Dont eat or drink anything that you KNOW triggers your migraine.;Some common food triggers are alcohol, aged cheeses, caffeine, and chocolate.
    • Drink water throughout the day instead of sugary drinks like soda or juice.


    Rockett, F. C.;et al.;Dietary aspects of migraine trigger factors.;Nutr. Rev.;70,;337356 .

    What Are The Treatment Options For Anatomical Migraine Triggers

    Botox has been shown to help treat three of the anatomical migraine triggers. It works by relaxing the muscle around the nerves, and potentially acts on the nerves themselves. Botox is long-lasting but temporary, requiring repeat injections every two to four months. Unlike Botox injections elsewhere, Dr. Cabin uses the smallest needles available and, combined with his unique injection protocol, are nearly pain free.

    Depending on the cause of nerve irritation, migraine surgery can be an excellent option in patients who may or may not have previously received Botox injections. Migraine surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that helps eliminate the faulty signals from the trigger nerves that can cause migraines. Migraine surgery is an outpatient procedure that typically lasts between one and five hours, depending on the number of trigger nerves requiring treatment. A patient can often return home the same day as surgery.

    Prior to migraine surgery, Dr. Cabin will use an in-depth patient evaluation and anatomical migraine trigger point confirmation techniques to determine if an individual is an appropriate candidate for the procedure. He will then develop a customized surgical plan for the patient, which may include up to four trigger sites. After surgery, over 90% of patients notice a significant reduction in the frequency, duration and/or intensity of migraines, and nearly 50% find themselves migraine-free within a few months of treatment.

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    Botox Injections For Migraine Are Safe Before Or After Covid

    There have been reported side effects when it comes to certain cosmetic fillers and the mRNA vaccines, says Estemalik. Some people who have received dermal fillers may develop swelling at or near the site of filler injection following a dose of the vaccine. This appears to be temporary and can resolve with medical treatment, according to the CDC.

    Dermal fillers are a different kind of medication from Botox, says Estemalik. This side effect has not been reported in people who have received Botox injections for preventative migraine treatment. It is safe for patients who are getting Botox injections to take the COVID-19 vaccine, he says.

    There are no reports of additional side effects or risks for the J&J vaccine in Botox users.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

    How to Treat Migraines at Home – 8 Tips

    The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.

    Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:

    • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
    • Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
    • Loss of appetite.
    • Feeling very warm or cold .
    • Pale skin color .
    • Euphoric mood.

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    What Is Daith Piercing

    A daith piercing is a piercing through the smallest fold of cartilage in your ear, right at the point where the outer ridge that runs along the top of your ear connects to your inner ear, just above the ear canal. Because its a small, curvy piece of cartilage, it can sometimes be hard to pierce, and once its done, most people dont change the jewelry often. It can take months to heal and can easily become infected if not pierced or cared for correctly. Still, some people with migraine have reported that their daith piercing resulted in reduced pain during migraine attacks, leading others to seek out the piercings exclusively for their potential to reduce migraine pain. Its important to note, however, that any reported results are widely believed to be placebo.


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