How to Determine (and Manage) Your Migraine Triggers

Migraines are an intensely painful type of headache that can make even the simplest tasks feel impossible. Though the underlying cause of migraines isn’t clear,  several known triggers can influence your risk for acute or chronic migraines.

At New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine, we specialize in the ongoing management and prevention of migraines. Interventional pain specialist Jose De La Torre, MD, and our team take an integrative, whole-body approach to your treatment.

We can help you identify your migraine triggers, so you can avoid them as much as possible. Our specialists can also provide the pain relief you need for active migraines.

Identifying common migraine triggers

Migraine triggers vary from person to person, but several known triggers are common among those who experience migraines.

Here are five common things that trigger painful migraine headaches, along with tips to lessen your exposure:

1. Stress

Stress is one of the leading migraine triggers. In fact, as many as 70% of migraine cases link back to stress. Unfortunately, many with chronic migraines even become stressed about suffering another episode, which can lead to a vicious cycle of pain and exhaustion.

Practicing stress reduction techniques like deep breathing and meditation can support a sense of relaxation throughout your body to reduce the frequency of migraines. You can also burn off excess stress with daily exercise and recharge your body with quality sleep each night.

2. Insufficient hydration

Our bodies are largely made up of water. When you become dehydrated, it can lead to all types of pain, including painful migraines.

The daily recommendation to maintain optimal health is to drink at least two liters of water every day and more if you’re exercising or participating in other high-impact activities. At the onset of a migraine, you may even find some pain relief by drinking a full glass of water.

3. Overuse of alcohol and caffeine

Migraine symptoms can be triggered by the consumption of caffeine and alcohol, especially red wine. These substances can also make migraine symptoms worse if you use them during an active migraine attack.

When using wine or caffeine, stay mindful of any migraine symptoms you experience shortly after. Take action by using these substances in moderation or avoiding them altogether.

4. Dietary ingredients

A multitude of foods can be a trigger for migraine attacks. Some of the top culprits include chocolate, cheese and other dairy products, and artificial sweeteners.

If you aren’t sure what foods may be the source of your migraines, try to pinpoint your triggers by eliminating certain ones from your diet for some time. For instance, if cheese is something you usually consume, stop eating it for a little while then notice how you feel after adding it back into your diet.

5. Overuse of medications

Medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers, can effectively treat migraine pain. However, the overuse of medications can do the opposite and become a trigger for a painful headache – a condition known as medication overuse headache (MOH).

If you suspect medications are a cause of your migraines, our team can work with you on a plan to adjust the dosage and the type of medicines you use to treat underlying health issues.

We also offer therapies like Botox® to ease and prevent chronic migraine pain, so you can avoid the use of oral medications that can lead to a headache.

Call New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine in Wesley Chapel, Florida, today to learn more tips for avoiding migraine triggers. You can also book an appointment online.

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