Migraine triggers

Migraine triggers are identifiable factors that are known to cause a migraine attack in an individual who is so predisposed. Often people ask what actually causes migraine- unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question. It appears that some people are predisposed to suffering from migraine and others are not. What is probably more relevant is identifying and managing the triggers.

There are lots of triggers identified (listed below) however they are individual- some people may have absolutely no identifiable triggers. Others may be able to withstand one or two triggers but if three occur together (such as dehydration, stress and sleep deprivation) a migraine may occur. The best way to identify triggers is to keep a diary. Once a trigger has been identified ways of avoiding it can then be established. This may be as simple as always having a snack with you so that hunger as a trigger can be largely avoided.

A regular routine including sleep, meals, hydration and regular exercise are lifestyle factors that may help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine.

  • Triggers
  • Sleep irregularities
  • Hunger
  • Dehydration
  • Stress/ anxiety
  • Alcohol, especially red wine
  • Changes in routine
  • Hormonal changes
  • Exercise- too little or too much
  • Caffeine and withdrawal from caffeine
  • Computer- staring at a screen for hours
  • Bright lights/glare