Top 5 Migraine Pain Triggers & How To Manage Them

The sudden start of a migraine headache means a dark room, bed and a cool towel for majority of us. While these seem to appearout of nowhere, many will understand that there are generally some signs that a migraine pain attack is on its way.

Gurneet Sawhney Created on 11th Oct, 21

The sudden start of a migraine headache means a dark room, bed and a cool towel for the majority of us. While these seem to appear out of nowhere, many will understand that there are generally some signs that a migraine pain attack is on its way. 

These signs can expose a pattern in your symptoms, and even offer you preventive tools for migraine management. Everyone has distinct triggers, but there are a few common ones that have an impact on a large number of people suffering from migraine. 


When you can recognize your triggers, you are one step nearer to efficiently do migraine management and avoiding potential attacks.


1 . Stress- Maybe the major culprit of all, stress is a trigger for closely 70% of individuals with migraine, and one study says that 45-65% of individuals had a substantial association between their everyday stress level and their everyday migraine activity. 


When you add the continuous worry of when the subsequent attack will strike, it can begin to feel like an endless, exhausting cycle.


How to cope: 

Begin by making a list of the things identified to cause you excessive stress and pressure, and then work towards decreasing these triggers in your life. Relaxation therapy, meditation, exercise, biofeedback, and following a steady sleep schedule can be very helpful in relieving stress & thereby helping in migraine management.


2 . Alterations in or an unbalanced sleep schedule link between migraine pain and sleep is quite strong. Sleep restarts and repairs all parts of the body—which includes the brain—so it is obvious that when your sleep schedule becomes unbalanced, you are more disposed to migraine headache attacks. 


Also, something else to keep in mind when it comes to sleep: Nearly half of all migraine headache attacks are active between 4:00 am and 9:00 am, putting people at a bigger risk for developing a sleep disorder.


How to cope: 

You must go to bed at the same time every night, and set up a goal of getting7-8 hours of sleep. Do not watch TV, text, read, and listen to music while in bed, and try your best not to take your afternoon siesta which will make you prone to feel active at night.


3 . Hormones - Women are thrice more likely to have migraine pain than men, and up to 65% of women find that they get these attacks around the time of their menstrual period. This is called “menstrual migraine”, happening only during a women’s period cycle owing to the change in estrogen and progesterone levels.


How to cope: 

In addition to changes in lifestyle and diet, there are some approaches that can stabilize hormone levels and thus prevent future migraine attacks. Make sure to meet your neurosurgeon to find the right migraine treatment plan.


4 . Caffeine and Alcohol - Many people see their migraine pain symptoms are aggravated after caffeine or alcohol consumption. On the other hand, other people say that a cup of coffee can halt their migraine pain symptoms, and some medications designed to battle migraine pain may contain a dosage of caffeine.


How to cope: 

Restrict and know your limitations when it comes to alcohol/caffeine consumption. If you are facing the warning signs and symptoms of a migraine headache attack after drinking alcohol/or caffeine, talk to your neurosurgeon immediately.


5 . Changes in the weather storms, extreme heat and changes in barometric pressure are general weather-related migraine pain triggers that can cause a migraine attack. High humidity and heat can simply lead to dehydration, another most well-known trigger.


How to cope: 

We cannot control the weather, hence if the current conditions are not in support of your migraine, stay at home or adjust your schedule accordingly. If there’s a task you need to run and it’s the middle of summer, take care of it in the morning before the climate gets too hot!



Relevant Questions

Q. What treatment can cure my mother from her migraine?

Migraine has a 2-step treatment 

  • 1st – Intensive treatment
  • 2nd – Long term treatment
Read more

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