Migraines are severely debilitating headaches that can last for a few hours or a couple of days. Chronic migraines can last for about 72 hours. Apart from a severe headache, it can also cause amplified sensations, dizziness, and pain in the body. Migraine could be genetic; sometimes, there could be multiple genes that are causing it.
Apart from the predisposition, migraines occur due to virus infection, poor sleep, diet, and dehydration. Doctors can now clearly identify that the disruption in the nerve activity within the brain triggers a migraine. The main reason to know the triggers is to avoid them and prevent an impending attack.
1. Irregular diet
Energy comes from the food we eat. A regular and balanced diet and adequate water are required for all the organs to function normally. There are various reasons that can cause migraines, like unable to eat on time or maintain a routine. Irregular and inadequate food can lead to low sugar levels and activate headaches.
There are some specific foods that could trigger migraines. It is not a blanket rule, as it could be a trigger for some and be safe for others. Note down the food that you eat regularly and eliminate it from your diet. It could be a specific fruit, vegetable, grain, or even a type of meat or protein. Once you identify the trigger, ensure that you avoid it completely.
Sometimes, even milder odors can trigger a migraine in those at risk. Odors from a cigarette, fuel, car exhaust, household cleaning products, and specific perfumes can trigger migraines in many.
Lack of sleep and too much sleeping can lead to migraines. Other sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, and teeth grinding can also lead to migraines. Neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine are produced by the brain only when we are sleeping. Disturbed sleep can affect their production, leading to migraines. Rapid Eye Movement Sleep or REM sleep is heightened before we wake up, resulting in migraines.
Self-medication and over-the-counter medication, missing regular or prescribed medication, and some painkillers can trigger a migraine. If you are prone to migraines, have other medication on time, or never take any medication without a doctor’s advice, it can lead to many other complications later.
Accumulated stress, lifestyle changes, impulsive and reflex reactions to stressful situations, pent-up emotions, depression, and grief can trigger migraines. Suppose you are recovering from a stressful incident or period at work or home that, too, can lead to migraines.
If you are exhausted with some additional workload at home or workplace, it can lead to migraines. A lot of physical activity, including exercising, running, or additional time in the gym, leads to dehydration and could trigger a migraine attack. Fatigue or exertion due to travel can also trigger a migraine.
Another common trigger is bright lights. Those who have too much screen time or are exposed to bright lights like a stage or flashlight are at a higher risk for a migraine attack. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, or if you haven’t had an eye examination in a long time, these too can lead to a migraine attack.