4 Common Migraine Triggers

What are some of the common triggers for a migraine?

  1. Genes
  2. Certain foods
  3. Stress
  4. Indoor lighting

Stopping a migraine before it even begins is one of the best ways to get rid of it because once it starts, it is not going to feel good. Just like buying a pregnancy test here in the Philippines to confirm and get prepared for having a baby, early detection is key. The symptoms of a typical migraine attack include nausea, vomiting, a pulsing, throbbing headache, and hypersensitivity to sounds and lights. If left untreated, these symptoms can last for as long as three days.

Unfortunately, for those who are experiencing frequent episodes of migraines, a lot of factors can trigger an attack. If you don't know what causes your own migraine and if you aren't careful, then preventing an attack becomes very challenging. Here are four of the most common triggers for a migraine attack:


Your Genes

While it is still not fully understood what precisely it is that causes migraines, some researchers believe that certain people are most likely to be vulnerable to them because of their genetics. It is worth asking your family members if they have experienced them too because many people with migraines often go misdiagnosed or even undiagnosed.

It is rare to find a person with migraines whose family also doesn't have a history, so ask your doctor the right questions. It is likely that there is someone else in your family that might also be suffering from migraine attacks but isn’t aware or hasn’t been asked about it.

Certain Foods

Even though you now know that there are certain people who are more susceptible to migraines, something still has to set it off, right? Doctors refer to a migraine as a “cascade of neurological events that are triggered by something specific.” That something can be a wide variety of things, the most common of which is food.

This long list of food that might be a contributor to sudden migraine attacks includes alcohol (red wine in particular), caffeine, chocolate, the preservative monosodium glutamate or MSG, processed or salty foods, certain spices, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, smoked meats like pepperoni or bacon, and aged cheeses.



The stress that can trigger a migraine might come from your home, work, or a relationship outside of your home like your mother or your friend. Because everybody has a different threshold for stress, it can be hard to make generalizations about it.

Stress is something that is personal; what is stressful to one person may not be at all stressful to another.

Indoor Lighting

When it comes to triggering migraines, the intensity of the light doesn't seem to matter. For example, outdoor light is not particularly irritating to some people but mainly, it is artificial, non-incandescent, indoor light that bothers migraine-prone people.

These kinds of lighting can include computer screens, massive overhead lighting, and fluorescent bulbs. Experts say that it might have something more to do with the particular wavelength of the light.

Key Takeaway

While some of these triggers are unavoidable, most of them are considered by some doctors as “modifiable.” This means that you can do something about these triggers by eating regular meals every few hours, managing your stress better, going to bed earlier, and adjusting your diet.

Similar to being pregnant and confirming it through a pregnancy test here in the Philippines, the best thing to stop migraines is making changes to your lifestyle. Taking care of yourself is important, especially if you are prone to migraine attacks.

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