Perhaps the biggest cause of all is stress, which is the main cause of about 70% of people with migraines, and one study revealed that 50-70% of people have a significant correlation between daily stress level and daily migraine activity. When you add permanent worry about the next attack date, you can start to feel like a never-ending cycle.
How to deal: Start by making a list of the known things that cause you unnecessary tensions and tensions, then work to reduce these factors in your life. Biofeedback, relaxation treatment, meditation, exercise and maintaining a stable sleep schedule can be very helpful in managing stress. These strategies will not eliminate all stress from your life, but they can alter your body’s physiological response to stress and thus reduce the ability of stress to trigger a migraine attack.
2. Changes in or irregular sleep schedule
The relationship between migraines and sleep is undeniable. Sleep regenerates and repairs all parts of the body – including the brain – so it makes sense that when your sleep schedule becomes irregular, you are more prone to migraines. Another thing to note when it comes to sleeping: Nearly half of all migraine attacks occur between 4:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., putting people at greater risk of developing a sleep disorder.
How to deal: Try to go to bed at the same time each night, and aim to sleep for at least 7-8 hours. Get rid of TV, text messages, reading and listening to music while you are in bed, and try to do your best not to fall asleep during the day. This article from the AMF Resource Library contains great information and advice on how to create a sleep plan that fits your lifestyle.
Women are three times more likely to have migraines than men, and up to 75% of women find that they are attacked around the time of their menstrual period. This is called a “menstrual migraine”, which occurs only during the women’s period due to a change in the levels of estrogen and progesterone.
How to handle: Besides changes in lifestyle and diet, there are some birth control methods that can stabilize hormone levels and thus prevent future migraine attacks. Make sure to meet a headache specialist and / or gynecologist so that you can find the right treatment plan.
4. Caffeine and alcohol
Many people find that the symptoms of migraines increase after consuming caffeine or alcohol. On the contrary, other people say a cup of coffee can stop the symptoms of migraines, and some medications designed to combat migraine pain may contain a dose of caffeine. Although migraine patients consider red wine to be the main cause of migraine headaches, studies show that other types of alcohol are more likely to be the culprit – sometimes more frequent.
How to handle: You alone know when it comes to consuming alcohol. If you experience warning signs and symptoms of a migraine attack after consuming alcohol, you should take the acute medicine (as needed) immediately.
5. Weather changes
Storms, excessive heat, and changes in atmospheric pressure are common weather-related triggers that can lead to a migraine attack. High humidity and heat can easily lead to dehydration, which is another common cause.
How to handle: We cannot control the weather, so if the current conditions are not conducive to migraines, stay inside or adjust your schedule accordingly. If there is a problem that needs to be turned on, which is mid-July in Arizona, take care of it in the morning before it gets hot!
There is a laundry list of foods known to cause a migraine attack, the most common being foods containing histamine, MSG, chocolate, cheese, and other dairy products, artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame), caffeine, processed meats, and anything strong smelling.
How to deal: If you are able to identify specific nutritional triggers, be sure to avoid them as much as possible. Many people also adopt a migraine diet that eliminates foods and ingredients known to cause migraines. You can read more about how to change this lifestyle in our resource library.
About a third of people with migraines say dehydration is a catalyst, and for some, even the slightest hint of dehydration can be the fast track to debilitating headache. Dehydration affects the body at all levels, can cause dizziness and confusion, and can become a medical emergency.
How to handle: Always keep a bottle of water and keep track of fluid intake (daily recommendation is 1 liter), and limit your consumption of diuretics. Sometimes the attack can be stopped in its tracks by drinking a glass of water.
For many migraine patients, natural light is the enemy. This condition is called Photophobia, and is actually one of the criteria used to diagnose migraines. Both natural lights, bright light and fluorescent or flickering lights are a problem, which makes it difficult to spend time outside or in an office environment.