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5 Tips to Avoid Migraine Triggers

Migraines can be chronic, disabling you for hours – or even days. The intense, pulsing pain of migraines plague more than 30 million men and women in the United States regularly.

Although no surefire cure for migraines exists, you can take steps to avoid common triggers and control migraines. Certain common aggravators, such as your menstrual cycle or the weather, can’t be avoided. But many others, including food, sounds, lights, stress, alcohol, and odors triggers can.

Even with awareness, you may not prevent all migraines, but these steps can help you reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches.


Start a migraine journal so you can document what you were doing, what you ate, and your state of mind prior to the start of the migraine. You should also record how you slept and any stressful events.

After a few weeks, you’ll likely see a trend. Maybe it’s a particular food or beverage. Common aggravating foods include aged cheese, cured meats, baked goods, dried fruit, and alcohol. Or, if you always experience a migraine after hanging out with a certain friend, it may be a particular perfume they wear.

When you pay attention to what your triggers are, they’re much easier to avoid.

Stay hydrated

Migraines are physically and mentally draining.   When the brain isn’t feeling well one of the best ways to help it recover is to ensure you are well hydrated.  Your body is made up of 60% water and you need every bit of it to overcome the severe, intense pain of a migraine.

Stick to a good sleep schedule

Being overtired triggers migraines in many people. Make sleep a priority. Get to bed early, even if it means you leave some tasks unfinished. Disruptions in your sleep schedule can also trigger migraines. Oversleeping or sleeping too little can make you vulnerable to a migraine attack.

Keep your bedroom dark and cool. Go to bed around the same time every night and wake the same time most mornings. If you have trouble getting to bed at a reasonable time, adopt a sleep ritual. Perhaps you take a warm epson salt bath or read to get ready to quiet your mind down for sleep.

Manage stress

Stress, from relationships, work, or finances, causes a release of hormones that can trigger a migraine. You can’t escape all stress, but you can learn how to manage it with deep breathing, meditation, and other forms of self-care. A regular yoga practice and learning to manage your time so you don’t face unrealistic deadlines can also reduce your stress levels.

Curb caffeine intake

Caffeine can exacerbate migraines in sufferers. Curb your intake, especially if you consume several servings daily. But, cutting yourself off cold-turkey is also a trigger for migraines. So, wean yourself slowly by cutting back a little at a time. Remember, caffeine is found in coffee, black and green tea, chocolate, and many energy drinks.

The specialists at Integrative Pain: A Division of Progressive Health in Dallas, TX, can help you manage the pain from migraines. Contact us at 972-290-1507 for your consultation appointment today.

Neil Verma, MD Chief Medical Officer - *The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinions of the author. Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Should you need medical advice, see your physician.

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