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9 Possible Triggers of a Migraine

Learning to manage migraines can be quite tricky.

Different things can trigger migraines for different people. Keeping a diary might help you identify your own triggers.

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1. What you eat
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There are certain types of food, the common ones being, chocolate, cheese and caffeine, that can cause migraines, but other triggers can also include wheat, citrus fruits, seafood, artificial sweeteners and many others.

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2. Dehydration
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Staying hydrated is important – not drinking enough water or fluids can be a trigger.

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3. Exercise
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Excessive physical activity or strenuous workouts – particularly if you haven’t eaten enough beforehand.

Having a migraine doesn’t have to stop you from exercising though- some gentle exercise can actually help.

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4. Excitement or stress
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Many young people are surprised to hear that excitement or an adrenalin rush can trigger a migraine.

Also, feeling anxious, worried or being under a lot of pressure can also be triggers.

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5. Hormones
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There’s often a link between puberty and the onset of migraines.

Half of young women say that their periods affect their migraines. The contraceptive pill may also have an impact, and could even help some women control their migraines.

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6. Hunger
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If you’re not eating regular meals, for example you skip breakfast, or if you are dieting intensively, you may find this triggers a migraine.

Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

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7. Lights
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Bright lights, flickering/flashing lights or artificial lighting can trigger and worsen migraines.

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8. Sleep patterns
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Not getting enough sleep or even getting too much sleep can be a trigger.

Some young people experience ‘weekend migraines’ that come on after a lie-in.

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9. Weather changes
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Being in hot, airless room or in humid environments can trigger migraines.

Some people find the change in air pressure caused by storms can affect them.

how to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

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