6 Common Migraine Triggers

Everyone has different migraine triggers.

Figuring out what your triggers are can mean the difference between reducing the number of times you suffer from migraine and avoiding future migraine attacks. Full stop.

Migraine is an inherited tendency to have headaches with sensory disturbance. It’s an instability in the way the brain deals with incoming sensory information, and that instability can become influenced by physiological changes like sleep, exercise and hunger.

Professor Peter Goadsby, Professor of Neurology, King’s College London; Director, NIHR-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, King’s College Hospital London; Trustee of The Migraine Trust.1


Here is a checklist to help you figure out what your personal migraine triggers might be and some simple suggestions to help you avoid future attacks:

Check list for common migraine triggers

1  Have you been under significant emotional stress?
2  Have there been any changes in your sleep pattern?
3  Are there any foods you tend to have eaten before you suffer an attack?
Common foods that can trigger migraines include artificial sweeteners, MSG that’s commonly found in Chinese food, and foods high in sodium such as ham, and alcohol.
4  Are you feeling fatigued or consuming a lot of coffee / smoking cigarettes to battle fatigue?
5  Has there been a dramatic change in weather within 24 hours of the onset of your migraine?
6  Have you skipped any meals?

5 simple tricks for avoiding migraine attacks

1  Keep a food journal for a week and see if there is a pattern between your migraine attacks and your intake to see what foods and drinks you may need to avoid
2  Eat regularly –  Skipping meals can trigger migraines in some people
3  Cut out caffeine and artificial sweeteners
4  Get regular sleep
5  Learn some simple relaxation techniques to cope with stress (10 minutes every day can already make a huge difference).




1 More than “just a headache”. Way more than headache but what is it? on Migraine Trust