Food triggers are one of the most common migraine aggravators connected with migraine attack frequency. While scientists attribute over 100 migraine aggravators that include environmental factors, mood, and behavioral patterns, food products like chocolate, wine, and cheese account for the highest rate of migraine attacks.
Migraine aggravators vary for each person, and don’t always follow a predictable pattern. Sometimes, a combination of foods can trigger migraine attack, where a single ingredient can have no effect whatsoever. For example, you may tolerate tomato sauce or cheese separately, but put them together in a pizza, and you end up with a debilitating migraine attack that lasts for hours, or days.
Foods that play the role of migraine aggravators don’t actually cause migraine headaches. Scientists believe that certain foods, weather changes, or hormone levels raise the level of excitability in your nerve cells, thus triggering pain signals to the brain. The more migraine aggravators you are exposed to, the greater your chances of having the next migraine episode. Accordingly, by reducing your exposure to migraine aggravators, you effective lower your vulnerability to migraine disorder.
In order to determine your migraine aggravators, you should consider starting a migraine journal. Make a habit of logging in important info like diet, mood, medications, and weather each day. After a few months, you will have a useful tool for identifying triggers. Use that information to make a list of migraine aggravators, and think of ways to reduce or permanently remove them from your life.
Certain migraine aggravators are easily avoided- Chemicals like tannins, MSG, aspartame, caffeine, phenylethylamine and nitrites, all contributors to migraine, occur in foods like wine, soy sauce, coffee, chocolates, and cured meats. By following a restrictive diet for migraines, you remove a significant amount of migraine aggravators.
Your emotional state and behavior have a large impact on migraine frequency. Stress, anxiety and depression increase your chances of suffering debilitating migraine attacks. Also, fluctuations in sleeping and eating patterns are influential.
Unfortunately, some migraine aggravators are inescapable. Environmental factors like extreme heat, cold, humidity, and air pressure are often underlying migraine triggers for many individuals. Factors like bright lights, strong scents, or loud noises in the workplace make up a significant amount of environmental migraine aggravators. While you can request that your employer set up a scent-free zone, such tactics are not always 100% effective.
Still, by tallying up the number of migraine aggravators in your life, eliminating the ones that are under your control, and learning to cope with the rest, you can successfully prevent migraine attacks.