Having the information about what is causing your migraines is sometimes the biggest part of the battle when trying to reduce the amount of migraines you experience.
Although there is a real mystery to what causes migraines, they cause pain for around 8% of the population. As I mentioned a couple of days ago there are 4 stages to a migraine, which are prodrome, aura, attack and postdrome. These attacks can be triggered by tension, fatigue, medications (contraceptive pill), alcohol, hormones and certain foods.
Gluten & Dairy – Gluten and dairy products are for some people one of the top things that contribute to their migraines. Take 2 weeks eliminating gluten and dairy / journal from your diet. Keep a diary of how you are feeling and any changes to your migraines. After the 2 weeks, slowly introduce each dairy and gluten products back into your diet, one product at a time. Note down in your diary / journal how you feel and how each product is having an effect on your migraines.
Hormones – High oestrogen levels as well as progesterone levels can be element in causing your migraines. Keeping a note in your diary of what you experience during your monthly menstrual cycle can help you work out which of these two hormones need adjusting. Also note down on the calender when you have a migraine and when you have your menstrual cycle. By doing this you can track if there are any connection between your migraines and your monthly menstrual cycle.
Vitamin Deficiency – Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraines in some research papers. This is because your magnesium levels effect the blood vessels in the brain. Increasing your daily magnesium can be a great preventative but I strongly advice you take advice from your doctor before increasing your magnesium levels.
Stress – Stress disrupts so much in our bodies such as hormones, blood sugar, muscle tension, just to name a few and a lot of these things are also related to migraines. Good stress enables our bodies to decided weather it should fight or flight but the bad stress defaults this safety mode, resulting in our body being unable to repair. Cutting down on the bad stress and focusing on the positive helps our bodies to start to relax and repair resulting in less migraines.
- Warm weather – When the temperature goes up, so does the likelihood of developing a migraine. Researchers have found there is 7.5% increase of migraines with every 9 degrees heat increase.
- Strong scents – Any strong smell can trigger migraines in a lot of people as certain scents stimulate the nervous system. The most common scents that trigger migraines are paint, perfume and certain types of flowers.
- Poor posture – You don’t necessary have to go to the gym to build up pressure in the head and neck muscles, slouching produces the same result. There are two common forms of poor posture that can cause a migraine. These are hunching your shoulders forward for long periods of time and holding your neck to the side for long periods of time (like cradling a phone between your ear and shoulder). If you are having a lot of migraines, it would be good to look at your working / desk conditions and how you can avoid these postures.
If you can identify your most common triggers, you may be able to reduce the amount of migraines you have. The best way to accomplish this, is by keeping a migraine log of foods you eat, monthly menstrual cycle, vitamin deficiency, Stress, temperature, scents, posture and physical activity when ever you have a migraine. Keep a record of what happened before, during and after your migraine. This will help you find patterns that occur connected to your migraines, which will help you to avoid your personal triggers.