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World Brain Day 2019: 5 Possible Migraine Triggers and How to Fight Them

Migraine patients consider red wine the principal alcoholic trigger, but studies show that other types of alcohol are just as likely the culprit.

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Updated:July 22, 2019, 2:34 PM IST
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World Brain Day 2019: 5 Possible Migraine Triggers and How to Fight Them
Migraine is characterised by a severe headache often associated with disturbed vision, sensitivity to sounds, smells and light, and nausea. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ shapecharge / Istock)
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World Brain Day, which is observed on July 22, aims at promoting interest in neurology. While the day has highlighted topics like dementia and epilepsy in the past, the theme for World Brain Day 2019 theme is "Migraine: The Painful Truth".

According to the World Federation of Neurology website, "Migraine affects one in seven people and, together with other headache disorders, and is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Despite its pervasive impact, migraine continues to be vastly under-recognized, underdiagnosed and under-treated."

Notably, the sudden onset of migraine might turn a person recluse, but there is patterns in symptoms that may help sufferers find a preventive tool to manage migraine. Here are a few Migraine triggers and how to deal with them.

Stress: One of the biggest triggers of migraine, one study revealed that 50-70 per cent of people had a significant association between their daily stress level and migraine activity. One way to copy is by making a list of the things known to cause undue stress and tension, and then work towards reducing these triggers in life.

Hormones: Studies show women as being three more times likely to have migraine than men, specially around the time of their periods. Thus is called “menstrual migraine,” occurring only during a women’s period due to the change in estrogen and progesterone levels. There are medications which can control hormone levels and prevent migraine attacks, but a change in lifestyle and diet is also suggested.

Caffeine and alcohol: Many people find migraine symptoms to be heightened after consuming caffeine or alcohol. Migraine patients consider red wine the principal alcoholic trigger, but studies show that other types of alcohol are just as likely the culprit. Best way to cope is by limiting alcohol intake.

Weather change: Changes in barometric pressure, storms or excessive heat are common weather-related triggers that can lead to a migraine attack.

Diet: Foods that contain histamine and MSG, chocolate, cheese and other dairy products, artificial sweeteners (e.g. aspartame), caffeine, cured meats, and anything with a strong smell can trigger a migraine. A number of patients adopt a migraine diet that eliminates foods and ingredients known to trigger a migraine.

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