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These elements can trigger a migraine attack

These elements can trigger a migraine attack

In France, around 20% of the population is prone to migraines. This type of headache is particularly common in women.

In many cases, it takes years for those affected to discover the trigger for these attacks because migraines can have many different causes.

The following article discusses the different possible triggers and can help you determine your own.


1. Food

The human body is influenced in many ways by the foods we eat. Healthy eating can only provide the body with energy, but in some cases, it can also weaken it and trigger a migraine attack.

a) Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons contain, among other things, tyramine, which plays a role in breaking down proteins in the body. Tyramine can trigger a migraine attack in sensitive people.

b) Tea and coffee

The caffeine in coffee and some teas is a double-edged sword. In some people, caffeine can prevent an impending migraine attack. For ordinary coffee drinkers, however, caffeine can precisely trigger this attack. This is the case when the body receives less than usual amount of coffee or tea.

c) Cheese

Cheese contains histamine and tyramine. These substances can cause inflammation in the body and therefore migraine headaches. In general, young cheeses are better tolerated than products ripened for longer.

d) Meat

We know that the consumption of processed meat, such as cold meats, can in particular trigger migraines. This is due to the high nitrate content added to these products for a longer shelf life.


2. A change of routine

Human beings like to have their own habits. It is therefore not surprising that a change in routine can have a negative effect on the body.

a) Sleep

Lack of sleep or an altered sleep phase can lead to a migraine. This mostly happens on weekends, when some people sleep less or go to bed at a different time than the rest of the week.

b) Hearty meals

People who suffer from migraines need to keep their blood sugar levels constant. Too large a meal can trigger a seizure. Doctors believe that too low a glucose level could also be responsible for migraine attacks.

c) Stress

A typical phenomenon in people who suffer from migraines: the crisis starts after a stressful period, that is to say when calm has returned. The reason ? The reduction of substances that are released in the body during a stress reaction.

rain© Pixabay / Hans

3. External influences

There are also stimuli which come from outside and which can therefore only rarely be influenced. While you can’t always prevent these triggers, you can at least prepare for a possible seizure.

a) The weather

While it hasn’t been conclusively proven that time can trigger a migraine attack, patients report it time and time again. Some people cannot stand the hot spells, while others get migraines when it rains.

b) Sensory stimuli

The loud noises of the construction site, the dazzling lights of the cinema or the aggressive scent of a colleague. According to medical experts, these things are part of the sensory stimuli, the impulses that we perceive with our five senses, and can trigger a migraine attack.

c) Physical effort

Some people suffer from a migraine attack after playing sports. According to medical experts, this is due to chemicals in the brain that are released in excess. It is especially beginners who often suffer from this phenomenon.


4. Bodily influences

In addition to outside influences, the triggers for a migraine attack can also be found in the body itself.

a) Hormonal fluctuations

The female body, in particular, is subject to many fluctuations over the course of its life. Whether it is menstruation, pregnancy or the use of contraceptives. These fluctuations can trigger migraine attacks or lower the migraine threshold, making it more susceptible to other triggers.

b) Tensions

Some doctors wonder if tension in the neck is a trigger, symptom, or consequence of a migraine attack. What is certain is that many people who suffer from migraines also suffer from neck pain.

to sleep

The reasons for a migraine attack are many and above all very personal. It is best to keep a log of events that often trigger migraines. This may help you better prepare for, or even prevent, an impending migraine attack.

You can find more articles on the topic of headaches here:

Cover images: © Flickr / Fiona Henderson © Flickr / Fiona Henderson

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