Suffering From Migraine? You’re Not Alone.
What Is Migraine?
A migraine is more than just a bad headache. It’s an extremely debilitating condition that can keep you from performing daily tasks.2 A migraine usually includes a severe, recurring, intense throbbing pain on one side or both sides of the head, and attacks can last between 4 and 72 hours.
In order to be diagnosed with a migraine, a patient must experience one of the associated symptoms of migraine. These include nausea, sensitivity to light (photophobia), and sensitivity to sound (phonophobia).1
Know Your Triggers Before a Migraine Hits
Since the exact cause of migraine is not fully understood, the best way to avoid a migraine is to know what triggers them. Although migraine triggers vary from person to person, common triggers include3:
Environmental and physical stressors3:
- Stress and anxiety from work
- Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Weather changes, specifically humidity, temperature, and air pressure
- Lack of or too much sleep
- Bright lights, loud noises, or strong odors
Certain foods and beverages containing3:
- Tyramine (a natural substance in aged cheeses, soy, fava beans, hard sausages, smoked fish)
- MSG (a flavor enhancer often in fast foods, broths, seasonings, and spices)
- Nitrates (hot dogs, lunch meats)
- Alcohol or caffeine
Identify and keep track of your migraine triggers.DOWNLOAD TRIGGER TRACKER
1. Migraine fact sheet. Migraine Research Foundation website. http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/fact-sheet.html. Accessed March 15, 2016. 2. About migraine. American Migraine Foundation website. http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine.html. Accessed March 15, 2016. 3. US Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. Migraine: Frequently asked questions. Office on Women’s Health website. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/migraine.pdf. Updated May 2008. Accessed March 15, 2016.