A migraine is known as a headache disorder, which is characterized by severe pain on one side of the head. It is a complicated ailment and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Though it is not a fatal disorder, it is still a terrifying experience when it occurs.
Although migraines occur in 4 stages known as prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome respectively, it is not necessary that an individual experience all of them distinctively. While the major symptoms include pulsating headaches, nausea, dizziness and extreme photosensitivity, they are not the same for every individual who suffers from it.
The underlying cause or top migraine triggers have been a debate among the scientists and researchers, but it is understood that their occurrence is related to the activity of the brain stem and its response to certain external stimuli. In some cases, migraines can even be inherited.
Some people who suffer from it have claimed that there are certain substances or factors which induce a migraine. These factors have been identified and termed as migraine triggers. However, these triggers are not universal. For some people, they would act as migraine inducers, whereas for others they might not. Also, the degree to which they cause the problem varies from person to person. There is a broad spectrum of migraine triggers, but they can be classified into:
– Emotional Triggers
– Environmental Triggers
– Dietary Triggers
– Physical Triggers
– Medication Triggers
– Hormonal Triggers
The above-stated migraine triggers are described in detail as follows:
Emotions differentiate one human being from another. While life gives us a chance to have a taste of different emotions and feelings, some of them are even capable enough to induce migraines. They may not always be the top migraine triggers, but they certainly trigger it. They are as follows:
Arguments: Arguments not only put a strain on our brain but also fan the flames of a migraine.
Sadness: An emotion that none of us want is sadness. Not only does it produce negativity around us, but it can also bring about migraines.
Stress: When a person is stressed, he/she is more prone to being a victim of migraines as stress acts as a major trigger for migraines.
Excitement: Excitement might pack you with positive energy, but on the flipside, it might act as a migraine trigger.
The environment we live in has a major influence on our lives, especially on our health and body. Environmental triggers, in most cases, are some of the top migraine triggers. There is a list of environmental factors that can provoke the pain in your head, and some of them are listed below:
Temperature: A rise or fall in the temperature can sometimes be enough to initiate the pain, which eventually gives rise to a migraine.
Pressure: Changes in atmospheric pressure can also induce a migraine in the case of a number of people.
Light: Bright light can induce migraines and can make them worse. A number of people become photosensitive when they are hit with migraines.
Sound: Not all people suffer due to this problem, but the sound has been identified as one major factor that leads to the activation of migraines.
Smell: Strong fragrances are also known to induce migraines. Osmophobia, also known as the fear of smells is a common condition encountered by people during a migraine attack.
What we eat affects our body and thereby our health directly, and the same rule applies to the eatables that can lead to attacks of a migraine in an individual. Avoiding these products in your daily routine would help a lot in tackling migraine.
Lack of a Balanced Diet: If the body is devoid of nutrients, it would be more prone to ailments like migraines. Skipping meals and fasting have also shown to do the same.
Caffeine: Addiction to caffeine has been reported to accelerate the migraine attacks and has become one of the top migraine triggers. Also, it has been observed that a sudden withdrawal from caffeine products can lead to the same. Therefore, a moderate intake of caffeinated products must be maintained.
Chocolate and alcohol: Consumption of chocolate and alcohol is often can become top migraine trigger.
Food additives: Certain substances that are widely added to food are responsible for inciting migraine. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and Aspartame (sweetener) are common additives that act as migraine triggers.
Physical activities affect our body, and there are some physical activities that have shown to induce a migraine in many people.
Physical exertion and vigorous exercise: It has been observed in a number of cases that migraine sufferers have it rough when they expose themselves to physical exertion, vigorous exercise, and hectic routine.
Physical weakness: If your body is weak, it makes you more susceptible to recurring headaches and migraines.
Insomnia: Insufficient sleep triggers migraines. A person who is a victim of sleep disturbances generally becomes more vulnerable to this disease.
Hunger and dehydration: If your body lacks essential food and water, you will feel weak and become vulnerable to migraines.
At times, the top migraine triggers could also be the medications we take to get rid of health ailments and attain a good health. But do you know that certain medications can give rise to migraines too? Here are some of them.
Vasodilators: Some vasodilators (e.g. Nitroglycerin), which are used to reduce the blood pressure of the body can lead to a migraine.
Painkillers: Analgesics, commonly known as painkillers can lead to acute migraine problems if they are overused.
Oral contraceptive pills: Prolonged use of oral contraceptive pills can also result in a migraine.
Hormonal triggers: Hormones govern our body by means of the endocrine system. Any fluctuation in hormonal levels in our body disrupts its regular functioning and thus affects our life. A number of hormonal changes have been known to cause migraines, which are as follows:
Ovulation: It has been found that the changes in the level of Estrogen, which occur in the female body during ovulation can cause a migraine in females.
Pregnancy and menopause: During pregnancy and menopause, hormonal changes occur in the body of females which can give rise to headaches.
Hormonal variations: Changes in the level of hormones in the body can affect the endocrine system and also induce a migraine in case of certain people.
Hormone replacement therapy: There are women who opt for hormone replacement therapy in order to balance the levels of hormones like Estrogen and Progesterone. This has been reported to cause migraines in some cases.
A migraine is not an easy condition to deal with. And its unforeseeable arrival can disrupt the life of the one who is suffering from it. But now that you know about major migraine triggers, you can safeguard yourself and your loved ones to some extent.