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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Migraines: Finding and Avoiding Triggers
The best way to manage
migraine headaches is to avoid them. And to
avoid them, you need to know what things (or triggers) bring them on. By
finding and avoiding your triggers, you can limit how often you get migraines
and how bad they are.
Try to avoid as many
triggers as you can. Triggers add up, so the fewer you have at one time, the
better your chance of preventing a migraine.
To manage your migraines:
You can find out what your triggers are
by keeping a headache diary and trying to follow a routine every
headache diaryheadache diary(What is a PDF document?), you write down:
Over time, you may see a pattern to your
headaches. For example, maybe you get a headache after you drink wine or eat a
It may take only a few months before you
can find your headache triggers. When you find your triggers, you can take steps to avoid them.
Doing the same things every day and at the same times can help
you find triggers. If you change your routine and get a migraine, then you may
have found a trigger. To keep a routine, try to:
You can't control some triggers, such as
changes in the weather and in your hormones (during pregnancy or
menstrual cycles). But knowing that these things trigger your migraines may
help you have a plan in place when you are around your triggers.
Triggers add up, so if you can limit your triggers, you may be
able to prevent a headache or reduce the pain when you get one. For example, if
it's hot outside (and hot weather is a trigger for you), make sure to drink
enough water so that you don't get dehydrated. While you're in the heat, you
also may want to avoid any foods that you know are triggers for you.
June 4, 2013
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
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