Patients very commonly report that environmental factors, such as diet or meteorological changes, provoke or aggravate a migraine.
The most commonly reported food triggers are: chocolate, cheese, coffee or other caffeinated drinks, nuts, citrus fruits, processed meats, additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame (an artificial sweetener), fatty or salty foods, and alcoholic drinks (usually red wine and beer).
Other triggers include: bright or flickering light, motion, loud sounds, strong odours (especially perfume, but also paint and smoke), changes in weather (atmospheric pressure), fatigue or lack of sleep, stress, hormones (especially around the time of period for women), skipping meals and some medications. These triggers do not universally apply to all migraine sufferers.
By identifying the factors that trigger your migraine attacks you can work out what lifestyle changes you can make to help cut down on the number of migraines you experience.
A headache diary can be very useful in determining what triggers your migraines and how your effective your current treatment is.
Click here for tips on managing migraines.