We all know that migraine can be triggered by things like stress and hunger. But there are also some misbeliefs like coffee and chocolate are included in this group. We prepared a gallery to introduce some interesting migraine triggers. In addition to the ones we listed here, there may be some personal triggers that no one can think about.
What needs to be remembered is, these are just the triggers, not the real causes.
1 – Sensitive Personality
Being hypersensitive is the essential reason for migraine. In addition to being emotionally sensitive, patients are usually pedantic and sometimes obsessive. A sensitive personality means being closed to external stimulations. Sensitivity for light, noise and smell may be observed.
There are also some upsides of hypersensitivity. Individuals may recognize the details quickly, organize complex works faster than others and be well in multitasking, all of which are very useful in business life. Also, high level perception increases creativity.
2 – Overweight
A recent study showed that migraine is related to body mass index (BMI). In over weighted people (BMI>30), migraine is observed 35% more than in normal. This ratio increases to 80% in obese people (BMI>40).
However, this study was made in USA where most of the population is classified as obese. Thus, by looking at my patients, I can tell that it is not that applicable to Turkey.
3 – Excessive Exercise & Sexual Activity
Migraine is a bio-electrical disorder. When the body is tired, this disorder cannot be controlled and the attack begins.
Excessive exercise, fatigue and sexual activity is a physical challenge for the body and this may cause a migraine attack. The pain may begin during orgasm as well as the intercourse itself. However, there are some cases reporting that orgasm is relieving their headache.
4 – Inactivity, Passive Life
Being inactive and living a passive life may cause migraine. Producing things makes people happy, increase their life energy but inactivity drives you away from that. And unhappiness triggers migraine.
Since migraine attacks prevent you from producing and living your life, you begin going round in circles. Migraine, causes a depressive mood by taking your life away.
5 – Weekends
There are some patients having headaches only in weekends. People may want to sleep more and rest during weekends and change their sleep routine but migraine does not like this. Hence come the attacks.
Similarly, excitement in happy moments or resting after working / studying hard for a long time may trigger migraine.
6 – Paint Odor and Perfume
Migraineurs sense smell more than other people since they are hypersensitive. Especially strong odors like paint and perfume are disturbing for them.
These may trigger an attack or sharpen an already existing one. Migraineurs usually can tolerate these odors but during the attacks, they complain not because they are cranky but overly sensitive.
7 – Dehydration
Everyone has a personal daily amount of water or liquid intake. When for some reason they do not reach that limit, they feel dehydrated and this is a challenge for the body. And when our body is challenged in anyway, comes migraine attacks.
We do not have to drink lots of liquids but we have to fulfill the requirement of our bodies. Because dehydration triggers not just migraine but other diseases as well.
8 – Hunger, Skipping Meals
Hunger and skipping meals is the most well-known triggers of migraine. Migraineurs cannot do that at all. That is why, it can be very hard for Muslims to fast during Ramadan.
Hunger is a challenge for our bodies and the body, cannot control a trigger while also dealing with another challenge like this. Patients cannot eat anything after the attack began, since it sometimes cause nausea as well.
9 – Excessive Coffee and Tea Consumption
People think that drinking too much coffee or tea might trigger migraine. Even some physicians prohibit patients from drinking coffee but in fact, coffee is innocent. Yes, there really are some cases where coffee is a trigger but also, there are others that use coffee to stop the pain. Nietzsche, for one, was locking himself in a room for days just with coffee.
In Turkey, tea is a lot more popular than coffee. However, I did not see many patients complaining about that being a trigger.
10 – Sleep Deprivation, Disturbed Sleep
The changes in our sleep routine trigger migraine. Here the main reason is breaking the pattern. Getting up earlier or later than usual, trigger migraine. Also, sleeping during the day might as well cause an attack to begin.
If you are a migraineur, you have to be careful with your sleep routine.
11 – Happiness and Excessive Excitement
Migraine has a strong relation with stress. It also is triggered by happiness and excitement. Briefly, when we get emotional, even if it is for a good reason, our body becomes unbalanced and migraine, does not like this.
Patients say “My migraine does not want me to live at all. It does not matter whether I’m sad, upset, happy or excited. It is always on alert.”