Researchers are at a loss as to what causes migraines or how to stop them from happening. While there are some medications that mitigate symptoms, there are a ton of downsides including things like side effects and the potential for dependence. As a result, many physicians are now encouraging patients to keep a migraine journal to learn your triggers and avoid them if possible. Here are some of the top migraine triggers to give you a head start on things to look for. Then we will discuss a natural therapy that has helped dozens of migraine patients in case studies.
The Top 10 Migraine Triggers
According to a number of surveys, researchers have narrowed down some of the events that precede a migraine. See if yours are on this list.
1. Changes in stress levels
Rather than just saying stress, it is important to note that sudden changes in stress levels in either direction can lead to migraines. That means you can end up with a migraine if you don’t control your stress. But you can also get one when you finally come down from a stressful situation. This may be due to the rise and fall of the level of stress hormones in the body (we’ll discuss hormones again later on our list).
2. Sudden or drastic changes in weather
This is the trigger you have the least control over, and it is, unfortunately, one of the most common. Sudden swings in temperature, wind velocity, barometric pressure, or humidity can all trigger an attack. Nearby lightning strikes are also a known migraine trigger.
3. Sensory overload
Overstimulation of any of your senses can lead to a migraine. In fact, sensory sensitivities are one of the most common migraine symptoms, so there is a clear connection between your senses and migraines. This also helps link migraines to the central nervous system where all of the data taken in by the senses is transmitted and processed.
4. Fluctuations in hormone levels
It is not just changes in stress hormones that can trigger migraines. In fact, this is the idea behind why the number of women who get migraines outnumber men by about three to one. Migraines become more common during menses, pregnancy, and before or during menopause.
5. Tobacco use
Smoking or chewing tobacco affects blood flow in your body. It can slow down healing and constrict the blood vessels. As a result, many people find that smoking triggers a migraine. This also helps to confirm the link between blood flow and migraines.
Not getting enough water throughout the day can lead to migraines and other headaches. You may not even realize that you are dehydrated if it is wintertime or you live in a cooler climate. Working at a desk can also lead to dehydration since you may not think about getting up to refill your water bottle throughout the day. Regardless of the reason, not getting enough water into your system can trigger a migraine.
7. Changes in sleep schedule
Whether you sleep too long, not enough, or have your sleep interrupted, any changes to your sleep schedule can trigger a migraine. Be sure to have set times to go to bed and wake up each day and stick to this schedule if changes in your sleep pattern trigger your attacks.
8. Missing a meal
It is important to eat on a regular basis if you get migraines. Skipping a meal can drop your blood sugar, and this may be what is triggering your migraine episode if one of your triggers is missing a meal.
9. Medication overuse
Some of the medications that people are most likely to use for migraines can actually cause rebound attacks if you take the medication too frequently. This is particularly a problem when it comes to over-the-counter pain relievers since most people view these as “safe.” However, you still have to use them as directed, and that means you can’t take NSAIDs and other pain relievers on a daily basis (at least not for very long).
10. Unregulated caffeine intake
A little caffeine may actually help your migraines, but too much can be a trigger. The key is moderation. Caffeine can actually help with blood flow, so your regular morning cup may help stop an attack, but if you drink cup after cup, you could be having too much of a good thing.
Natural Relief from Migraines Can Be Yours
Upper cervical chiropractors have been finding success in helping migraineurs to improve the function of their central nervous system and increase blood flow to the brain. As a result, many patients find that they have fewer or less severe migraines. Others end up being completely migraine-free right from their first adjustment!
If this sounds like a natural form of care that you would be interested in trying, find a practitioner in your area today by using the search feature on this website. Scheduling a consultation may be your first step down the path to getting control over your life again. Many are impressed with the gentle adjustments that do not involve any popping or cracking.
This is a particularly good option if you have a history of head or neck injuries, although this is not required to be a candidate for care. An examination can help to reveal if a misalignment exists, and correcting it may be just the help you need.