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Surprising Migraine Triggers

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A migraine is a headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision. It is indeed a very painful condition that sets you back for days. Here are few things you might be engaging in that triggers a migraine.

Working through lunch
Skipping a meal is a risky move for migraine sufferers. Experts aren’t sure exactly why, but it could affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that governs your body clock; and fMRI research has shown that the hypothalamus lights up when a person is having a migraine attack. It’s also possible that a drop in blood sugar could set off an attack. Either way, try to eat regularly to keep migraines at bay.

Sleeping in
You expect that skimping on shut-eye might lead to a migraine attack—but so can logging in too much sleep. Staying in bed longer than you normally do disrupts your circadian rhythm, and migraine-sensitive brains don’t relish changes in routine. Therefore it is best to stick to a consistent schedule, and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

Happy hour
Research has found that nearly 38% of migraine-prone adults are sensitive to alcohol. Red wine seems to be particularly problematic. But researchers have yet to determine the precise reason for booze-induced attacks. An immediate throb could possibly be triggered by alcohol’s vasodilation effect. Another theory is that alcohol causes fluctuations in serotonin, a pain-regulating neurotransmitter, that trigger headaches.

Not drinking enough water
You know dehydration is no good for your body. But the results of a small study published in the European Journal of Neurology suggest the powerful prophylactic effects of water for migraine patients. Those who started drinking an extra six cups a day experienced less pain than a group that took placebo drugs. In two weeks, the well-hydrated folks endured 21 fewer hours of headaches.

Extra weight
Obesity raises your risk of episodic (or occasional) migraines by 81%. According to research Obesity is a chronic state of inflammation, and that can contribute to pain. There are also many similarities in the pathways involved in migraines and obesity.

The weather
The wind, fluctuations in barometric pressure, warmer days—these environmental conditions have all been associated with migraines. In 2009, Harvard researchers actually found that the risk of migraines increased by 7.5% with every 9-degree hike in air temperature above the usual temperature. There’s not much you can do to avoid a weather trigger. Some people will pre-treat based on the forecast. But you should only do this under a doctor’s guidance.