HEALTH

Headache Triggers

Do you suffer from annoying migraines? These "headache triggers" could be affecting you

Headache

Migraines affect approximately 28 million Americans, but they are often misdiagnosed and treated improperly by the patient.

Typically, when a person experiences a migraine, the throbbing pain is on one side of the head, but up to 40 percent of patients have pain on both sides.

Migraines, if left untreated, can last up to 72 hours. Accompanying features include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and/or vomiting.

Red Wine

Typically, when a person experiences a migraine, the throbbing pain is on one side of the head, but up to 40 percent of patients have pain on both sides.

Migraines, if left untreated, can last up to 72 hours. Accompanying features include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and/or vomiting.

And while red wine may promote heart health - it is also known to trigger headaches. If this happens to you, consider switching to white wine.

Stress

Stress is one of the most common headache triggers. If you find you are a particularly stressed-out person, it may be helpful to try relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. At the very least, mention to your doctor that stress is playing a role in your headaches.

Hot Dogs

Nitrates, which are found in processed foods like deli meats and hot dogs, can trigger migraines.

Coffee

As much as you may want your morning 'pick-me-up,' foods and beverages containing caffeine can trigger migraines, including coffee. However, some patients find that caffeine relieves headache symptoms. Go figure.

Chinese Food

Monosodium glutamate, which is better known as MSG, is another migraine trigger. It is commonly found in Chinese food, and some processed foods.

Birth Control Pills and Menstrual Cycles

Women experience migraines three times more often than men. The hormones estrogen and progesterone, which play key roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, may affect headache-related chemicals in the brain as well, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

Higher estrogen levels may improve headaches, while lower estrogen levels can make headaches worse, according to the Mayo Clinic. That's why women taking birth control pills may have an increase in migraines, and a woman may experience migraines around the time of her period. However, some women report a decrease in their migraines during pregnancy.

iStock

Headache Triggers

Do you suffer from annoying migraines? These "headache triggers" could be affecting you

More From Our Sponsors