A trigger is any change, event, stimulus or physical act which appears to result in a migraine. This can seem like a broad definition and it is — but fortunately, common migraine triggers are experienced by most sufferers and can be easily tracked. Triggers may include food, drink, light or noise stimulus or sleep disturbances.
What’s a Migraine Trigger?
So how do I figure out what my triggers are?
Of course, you can download our free app… it’s all about tracking your triggers. It will help you track the most commonly-reported migraine triggers, with a free-form area to input any triggers you find special to you.
You can also go analog and track your triggers using a calendar. You’ll want to pay close attention to what you eat — chocolate, cheeses, and processed foods are ones to watch. Look at what you drink and how much — caffeine, alcohol, sugar-free beverages. How much are you sleeping? Does your sleep change from weekdays to weekends? Do your migraines seem to change around your hormonal cycles? Take a forensic accounting of your life to decide which triggers to track.
Be careful confusing your triggers
It’s all about timing. If you start to have migraine symptoms, get a sweets craving, have a piece of chocolate and your migraine develops — you may incorrectly identify chocolate as a trigger, when in fact your migraine was already developing. Pay attention to what’s happening before the migraine begins, whether that’s food or a routine change.
Double agent triggers
Sometimes something you do to prevent or decrease your migraine may cause a migraine. Maybe caffeine helps, and then suddenly you find caffeine is a migraine trigger. The key is to keep a solid routine, and track. A certain amount of caffeine, taken at the same time each day, may prevent migraines, but if you vary that routine, the caffeine may actually cause migraines. Track your triggers, including amounts, and then stay in the same routine. Shifts in routine are one of the biggest causes of migraines.
I’m overwhelmed. How do I avoid all of these triggers when life is busy?
Bottom line: you can’t be perfect. You can’t stay in routine and avoid your migraine triggers, 100% of the time. Remember that stress is a huge migraine trigger, and if you’re putting undue stress on yourself to stay perfectly on top of your migraine triggers, you’ll get caught in a loop of more migraines. Do the best you can, when you can. Take it slow. Focus on one migraine trigger every 1–2 months to get into the habit and routine of controlling that particular trigger. Slowly adjusting your routine will ensure better success (and less stress).
Our Team: We are Here to Help
We are a small, dedicated app development team that wants you to better understand your migraines and triggers. Everyone on the team has lived with migraines at some point in their lives. We are your community, and we’re here to help. Reach out any time with questions. [email protected].
As always — please seek the advice of a doctor for medical questions. Our app team cannot give medical advice.
Track Your Triggers
Get the Migraine Insight Tracker – iOS App Store
Write to us [email protected]