Causes (Migraines)

What are the most common causes of migraines? That’s the million-dollar question researchers are attempting to prove. While we may not know all the exact causes of migraines, scientists have labeled over 100 migraine triggers that increase your chances of having a migraine attack. By systematically isolating various causes- food ingredients, hormonal changes, and environmental factors, you can effectively manage the frequency and severity of chronic headaches.

A common misconception about migraine triggers is that they cause migraine attacks- this is untrue. Rather, certain foods (wine, for instance), moods, weather patterns, or biological landmarks (menopause) cause a non-migraine-friendly environment. A direct correlation exists between the number of triggers in your life and your frequency of attacks. Reduce the number of headache-inducing influences, and you likewise reduce the many causes of migraines in your life, resulting in fewer headaches.

Which triggers are the most common causes of migraines? The list is long, and it varies for each individual, but here are a few:

  • Foods- Dried meats, smoked fish, overripe fruit, coffee and tea, MSG, chocolate, dairy products, nightshade vegetables, red-skinned fruits, gluten, yeast, and alcohol top the list of foods and ingredients most likely to cause migraines.
  • Sensory stimuli- Bright lights, stark white surfaces, bold stripes, loud noises, and strong scents frequently cause migraines.
  • Environment- Certain uncontrollable influences like hot or cold weather, humidity, pollen, barometric pressure, and general air quality are among many causes of migraines.
  • Hormonal changes- Migraineurs have difficulty managing fluctuations of any kind. Pregnancy, menopause, perimenopause, menstruation, and puberty often cause the onset or increase of migraine headaches.
  • Sleep and eating patterns- As with the hormonal fluctuations, changes in the way you regularly sleep and eat are common causes of migraines. Always eat at regular intervals, and avoid afternoon napping or sleeping in late during weekends or holidays.
  • Mood- Your emotional state has a strong impact on your migraine frequency, as well. Long-term stress, anxiety, or depression weakens your resolve and causes migraines. For many, antidepressants help to balance the mood and significantly ward off migraine attacks.