Migraines affect each individual differently and can range in frequency and intensity. Not only does the experience of a migraine vary from person to person, but it also varies from migraine to migraine. One migraine may produce throbbing and slight nausea, while the next may be debilitating with aura (a visual disturbance) and vomiting.
Recording details of your migraine attacks can be useful in recognizing trigger factors and warning signs and assessing if your acute or preventative medication is working. Effective diaries include noting the duration, symptoms and all the possible factors surrounding your migraine. We even developed a migraine journal to help migraine sufferers track trends.
Triggers are factors that can set off a migraine. They are not the root cause of migraines but can spur them on. Keeping track of which triggers affect you can help you make changes that could help reduce the frequency or intensity of migraines.
It is often useful to note if you did anything different prior to the attack, such as missing a meal. The 6-8 hours before the migraine attack are particularly important to record.
Here are some common triggers:
Lifestyle Triggers: Some people find that changes in their routine can contribute to a migraine. Changes in routine like sleep patterns, fasting or skipping meals, dehydration, alcohol, exercise and stress.
Food Triggers: Many people will crave sweet food such as chocolate before the pain of a migraine which leads them to conclude that eating sweet food is a cause. These foods and additives are often named as common triggers: sweeteners, MSG (a flavor enhancer in many processed foods), nitrates (cured meats), and tyramines (fermented foods, aged cheeses, freshly baked yeast bread and cake), alcohol (especially red wine and beer), and caffeine.
Weather-related Triggers: humidity (both high and low), sudden or big changes in temperature, changes in barometric pressure, or bright sunlight. High humidity and heat can easily lead to dehydration, another common trigger. Read more about how traveling can be a trigger due to the environmental changes.
Hormonal Triggers: Our body is a hormone machine. Changes in hormone levels, pregnancy, menopause and oral contraceptives (birth control) are triggers for many people.
Medication Triggers: overuse of pain medications (both over-the-counter and prescription), oral contraceptives, medication side effects can also trigger migraines.
Remember, everyone’s experience with migraine and migraine triggers is different. For more information on the various migraine triggers and how to manage them visit https://stantonmigraineprotocol.com/ .
When it comes to migraine prevention, balance is everything. Since eating is how we supply ourselves with nutrients, it’s important to make our food choices based on what will provide us with the right ratio for Electrolyte Homeostasis.