Proper management of migraines includes migraine prevention. For some people, the easiest way to prevent a migraine is to keep track of things that set it off, commonly referred to as triggers.
Keeping a diary of common triggers can help a person prevent future migraines, according to Dr. E. A. MacGregor. (The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health; http://rsh.sagepub.com; February, 1992).
The triggers consist of various foods and activities that have been known to bring on migraines.
The following is a list of the most common triggers according to Dr. E. A. MacGregor:
- Foods: cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits
- Drinks: alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks
- lack of sleep
- hormonal changes in women
- neck and back pain
- environmental disruptions – loud noises, bright lights and strong stenches
- long trips
- general stress
According to Dr. E. A. MacGregor, his patients have claimed that sometimes a specific trigger will cause a migraine to occur, and sometimes this same one will not. Frequently, a multitude of triggers will trigger a migraine in one person, but an individual trigger will not. The “attack threshold” is defined as the point at which a combination of triggers will create a migraine. Obviously, this attack threshold is not the same for everyone.
People who are prone to migraines are advised keep a daily diary. In addition to keeping a log of the individual triggers, he/she should also pay close attention to when the migraine took place and its severity. Doing so may enable a person to manage the migraines without the aid of drugs.