Avoid the Triggers: 4 Steps to Manage Migraines

May 7th 2016

Migraines may be unavoidable at times, but individuals who recognize and avoid triggers can potentially minimize the intensity of the pulsating headaches and reduce the occurrences that cause painful encounters. Triggers are present in everyday life, but tracking patterns and recording daily activities often helps identify actions and foods to avoid. Always consult with a medical professional when you are considering diet and lifestyle changes.

Keep a Headache Diary

Individuals who suffer from migraines consistently should track the painful headaches in a diary. It may help to note activities, daily routines and meals to identify common patterns that lead to migraines. Noting stressful situations, sleep patterns, workloads and responsibilities may indicate lifestyle habits or situations that trigger migraines. Exercise, menstrual periods and changes in the weather should be included in a headache diary as these elements can trigger a painful headache.

Avoid Food Additives

Chemicals and food additives in meals can trigger migraines for people who suffer from these types of headaches consistently. Tyramine, a substance that can trigger migraines, is often found in processed meats, alcohol, aged cheeses and red wine. Individuals who experience migraines should also avoid foods with preservatives such as nitrites and nitrates which are commonly found in sausage, ham, hot dogs and processed meats. Caffeine found in sodas, tea, chocolate and coffee can possibly trigger migraines as well. A healthy diet consisting of natural foods may help to reduce the onset of migraines.

Minimize Stress

Stress has been known to cause tension headaches, but increased stress, worry and anxiety can also trigger migraines. Individuals prone to migraines should work to minimize the amount of daily stress incurred. It may help to practice relaxation or meditation techniques when stress is unavoidable or look for ways to reduce contact with individuals who promote stress consistently.

Avoid Loud Noises and Bright Lights

Common triggers for migraines include sensory stimulation such as flashing lights and loud noises. It may be difficult to avoid these stimuli when venturing out in public at movie theatres or crowded areas. Taking precautions such as wearing sunglasses to avoid the glare of the sun or taking breaks from computer screens and television sets may help reduce the effects of these migraine triggers. Individuals who are prone to migraines can adjust the brightness level on digital screens and wear earbuds or protective ear gear to minimize the jolt of loud noises or bright lights.


Migraines are pulsating headaches that can derail daily routines and activities and cause significant pain for individuals suffering from this condition. It is possible to take control of headache pain by identifying the triggers that provoke migraines. Lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of migraines and allow individuals to adopt routines that keep the pain away.

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