How to Identify Migraine Triggers and Prevent Headaches

migraine headache symptoms

Are you one of the 39 million people living with migraines in the US? Or perhaps you’re part of the undiagnosed population who had to deal with the pain and discomfort mindlessly, not knowing why and how it happens? Migraine headache symptoms, such as throbbing pain, nausea, and increased sensitivity to light and sound, can make even the simplest tasks daunting. How often do you feel isolated and alone because you cannot express what you’re experiencing to your loved ones? Or because none of them understand how you feel, and they don’t know any symptoms of a migraine headache, you tend to sort things out on your own, away from everyone.

Do you know how to identify your migraine headache symptoms and triggers? Doing so can help you understand your condition better, pointing you to a more promising resolution to deal with your discomfort. This can also help you better communicate your condition to your loved ones, making you feel less alone and more understood. 

Top 8 Migraine Triggers You Must Look Out For

  1. Emotional or physical stress 
  2. Hormonal changes, especially in women experiencing fluctuations in estrogen levels, particularly during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
  3. Certain foods like aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods that contain additives like MSG
  4. Environmental factors like bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, and changes in weather conditions
  5. Irregular sleep patterns, lack of sleep, or excessive sleep can contribute to migraines.
  6. Intense physical activity, overexertion, or sudden changes in exercise routines
  7. Certain medications, including hormonal contraceptives and vasodilators, can lead to migraines as a side effect.
  8. Irregular eating habits or insufficient fluids can trigger migraines in some individuals.

Triggers can vary from person to person, and identifying individual triggers is crucial for effective management. A migraine diary can help you track potential triggers to identify your patterns. Keeping a log of these things can guide you in what lifestyle adjustments you can make to help reduce the frequency and severity of your migraine headaches.

Common Symptoms Of A Migraine Headache

Besides familiarizing yourself with the top triggers of migraine headaches, you might find it extra helpful to pay close attention to the leading migraine headache symptoms. Doing so will help you mitigate the impacts of your migraine episode:

  1. Throbbing pain that is often on one side of the head
  2. Sensitivity to light (photophobia), sound (phonophobia), and smell (osmophobia), where even the slightest stimuli can intensify your pain
  3. Nausea and sometimes vomiting
  4. Visual disturbances that may include seeing flashes of light, blind spots, or zigzag lines, known as an aura, before the onset of headaches
  5. Dizziness or vertigo
  6. Fatigue and lethargy 
  7. Difficulty concentrating or experiencing cognitive impairments
  8. Neck pain or stiffness
  9. Emotional changes, such as irritability, anxiety, or depression, which may occur before, during, or after the migraine episode

Not everyone can and will experience all of these symptoms, and the severity and duration of attacks can vary from person to person. If you regularly experience these symptoms, keeping track of them in your migraine diary can help you assess your symptoms and what possibly sets them off. This can help you avoid the triggers in the future and prevent the onset of your migraine headache symptoms from happening. However, having a more long-term resolution, such as dealing with a possible underlying condition, can lead to lasting relief. You can consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate management strategies.

Get Ahead Of Your Migraine Headache Symptoms With The Help Of Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Did you know that a misalignment in your Upper Cervical spine could be the culprit behind your relentless migraines? Accidents, injuries, or even slouching at your desk day after day can mess up the proper balance and alignment of the bones in your upper neck. This can potentially lead to those throbbing headaches and migraine-like symptoms.

Your upper cervical spine, specifically the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae, protect the brainstem, an integral part of your central nervous system. When these vertebrae become misaligned, they can irritate or compress the brainstem disrupting the normal flow of information between the brain and the rest of the body. This interference can trigger symptoms and physical conditions such as migraines.

Getting your spine alignment checked can help assess if your migraines are linked to a misalignment in this area. Once a misalignment is confirmed, an Upper Cervical Chiropractor can recommend a series of safe and gentle adjustments that will help realign the misaligned bones and restore the proper function of your brainstem. 

There have been a lot of reports from patients who have suffered from migraines for years, experiencing relief after a few adjustments. So, if your migraines have been holding you back, setting up a consultation with an Upper Cervical Chiropractor can be a life-changing move to stop your migraine episodes from happening. Get your spine alignment checked today!

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.