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Migraine Headache Triggers

Topic Overview

Triggers of migraine headaches are different for each person. Triggers include changes in daily routine, foods, hormones, medicines, lights, odors, or other things in the environment.

The most common migraine triggers are:

  • Stress (either during a stressful time or right after stress subsides).
  • Menstrual cycle in women.
  • Changes in your routine, such as how much you exercise or how much you sleep.
  • Fasting or skipping meals.
  • Changes in the weather, heat, or high humidity.
  • Bright lights, glare, or reflected sunlight.
  • Foods, such as chocolate.
  • Alcohol—all alcohol, or one type of alcohol in particular, like beer or wine.
  • Odors such as perfume, paint, dust, and certain flowers.

Other migraine triggers include:

  • Strong emotions, such as depression or anxiety.
  • Pushing yourself too hard when you exercise.
  • Aspartame.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • Nitrates, which are found in cured meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and cold cuts.
  • Tyramines, which are found in pickled or marinated foods, aged cheeses, and yeast.
  • Smoking or being around someone who smokes.
  • Excessive caffeine or caffeine withdrawal.
  • Birth control pills and hormone therapy.
  • Medicines that expand (dilate) the blood vessels (vasodilators), such as nifedipine, and nitrates.

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Credits

Current as of: November 20, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

COVID-19 Update

Women’s Care is closely following the most up-to-date announcements and information on the known cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Because this information is always changing, we will be monitoring all updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. 

If you are experiencing a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, any other COVID Coronavirus or flu symptoms, or had COVID exposure, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (913) 384-4990. We are accepting appointments, however we are currently not allowing guests with the exception of ONLY allowing ONE guest for patients’ new OB visit and ultrasound, 20 week anatomy ultrasound, and 3D ultrasound. Infants and children are not allowed into our office at this time. 

Here are a few additional resources as well: 

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

We appreciate your patience during this time, look forward to continuing to serve our community!

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