5 Habits That Can Trigger Migraine Attacks

Migraine attacks can be precipitated by certain events, food or changes in your body. These events are known as precipitants or triggers. Although precipitants do not actually cause migraine, they can make you more vulnerable to attacks.

It can be very useful to know these risk habits in order to be able to take them into account in everyday life and thus try to avoid migraine attacks. In this article, we will tell you about 5 habits that you may be doing and thus triggering the migraine. Know them!

What is migraine?

Not all headaches are migraines, nor all migraines with headaches. A migraine is a recurrent, throbbing, and intense headache that usually affects one side of the head, although it can affect both.

The pain starts suddenly and may be preceded or accompanied by other visual, neurological or gastrointestinal symptoms.

Habits that could be triggering your migraine attacks

In a study of 200 patients with migraine, more than 90% of the patients identified at least one precipitant associated with their migraines: the most common are physical or emotional stress (77%), menstruation (72%), exposure to light bright or blinking (65%) and various smells (61%).

1. Drinking alcohol

A survey among more than 2,000 Dutch people has revealed that many people who suffer from migraine avoid alcohol because it can trigger severe headaches. 78% of patients who drank alcohol mentioned red wine as the specific drink that could trigger an attack.

The authors of the study published in the journal ‘ European Journal of Neurology ‘ point out that alcohol is a trigger of migraine, since it affects about a third of those prone to migraines, and the amount of alcohol and time spent It takes to cause a headache also vary.

2. Stress

Anxiety and stress have been identified as the main triggers of migraines in most of the studies considered.

Stress is the most frequent trigger. Everyone has felt stress and anxiety at some time. Stress is a response to an emotional stimulus (mostly a threat) in a given situation. Anxiety is a reaction to stress.

Undoubtedly, who suffers from migraine attacks shows a difficulty to adapt to the moments of change. In addition, it is known that you have a predisposition to suffer anxiety. People suffering from migraine attacks are usually a perfectionist and demanding. There is, then, a clear association between migraine and anxiety.

3. The dream

There is a clear relationship between sleep and migraine, which also covers a wide variety of aspects. The variation of sleep rhythm, either by excess or by defect, is recognized as a trigger for the crisis.

Approximately half of the patients with migraine manifest difficulty when initiating or maintaining sleep: 38% sleep an average of 6 hours or less per night and there is, in the coincidence of this disorder, a significant increase in the frequency and severity of migraine attacks, with 71% of headaches upon awakening.

4. Feeding

Cheese and many products cured or processed are rich in biogenic amines, possible triggers of migraine attacks.

Although there are no conclusive studies that show in detail the mechanism by which a certain product can produce migraines or other types of headaches, some research suggests that foods with greater danger are those that contain large amounts of a class of substances called biogenic amines.

Two of these amines,  tyramine and histamine, are the most suspect, and are found in:

  • Processed Meats
  • Preserves and smoked products.
  • Peanuts
  • Avocados
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Seafood
  • Cheeses

5. Smoking

Tobacco acts as a precipitating factor of headache, in particular, of migraine. This is indicated by a study that shows that smokers have more migraine attacks. The work has appeared in  The Journal of Headache and Pain.

The researchers highlight the important role played by the dose. The results of the interviews reveal that migraine starts from five cigarettes a day.

Finally, to help you assess what are the risk factors that lead to you developing migraines, we recommend you take a kind of personal diary. In this diary, you can write down what day and in what circumstances you had a migraine outbreak as well as other types of characteristics of that crisis.

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