What triggers a Migraine?

Triggers are things that can bring on migraines.

They vary from person to person. Often it’s a combination of triggers that can set off an attack.  Triggers may be related to your body, diet, and environment.

 Below is a list of common triggers:

  • Hormonal changes

  • MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

  • Caffeine (Too much)

  • Stress

  • Loud noises

  • Physical Exertion

  • Strong odors

  • Birth Control

  • Menstruation

  • Head/Neck Injury

  • Red Wines, aged cheeses, preservatives in smoked meats, artificial sweeteners, and dairy products

  • Oversleeping

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Weather

  • Perfume/Colognes


There are many ways to treat migraines including over the counter pain relievers, prescription medications, injections, and lifestyle changes. Treatment can be divided into abortive and preventive.

Abortive therapy attempts to stop symptoms once they have already begun. The goal of abortive treatment is to relieve pain associated with migraine symptoms.  Some medications are available as over the counter pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen and others are available by prescription only. Triptans (i.e. Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax) are the most prescribed medications and provide the quickest relief.

If you have frequent migraines, preventive therapy may be an additional optionPreventive therapy attempts to reduce the frequency, severity and length of migraines. Common types of preventive medications include cardiovascular drugs, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and Botox injections around the muscles of the head and neck.


Heather Benjamin