6 Common Migraine Triggers That You Probably Never Realized Were Causing Your Pain
For migraine sufferers everywhere, there's good news on the horizon: The FDA just approved a new medication to combat migraines. Given how many common migraine triggers there are in the world, the notion of being able to take a medication to get rid of severe head pain is no doubt welcome to the people who endure it. After all, migraines can strike at what seem like totally random times, and if you know the struggle, then you might not always be as prepared for them as you'd like to be.
Even though the FDA has approved this new form of medication for the public, though, that doesn't mean it's available for just anyone: According to CNN, the medication, which will come in the form of an injection, will require a prescription, and it may cost as much as $575 a month, which isn't exactly cheap. With that said, it might be well worth the cost for those who suffer from severe migraines, which can often be totally debilitating, to the point of making someone bedridden for days.
While this new medication is undoubtedly good news, there is still plenty to learn about why migraines strike in the first place. Migraines are especially fascinating because they're triggered by so many different factors, many of which you might not even know about. If you're living with chronic migraines, or even if you just get really bad head pain from time to time, here are seven common triggers that you should definitely know about so you know what to avoid moving forward.
1. Your Period
As if your period wasn't annoying enough, it can actually trigger migraines, according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, any sort of big hormonal shift in your body can trigger a migraine, whether it's your period, or a switch from one type of birth control to another.
If you think your new form of birth control is giving you more frequent head pain, it might be worth talking to your gynecologist to see if you can switch to another one that affects your hormones differently.
2. That Fancy Cheese Board At Dinner
This might be the saddest news of all time: Aged cheese can potentially trigger migraines. The Mayo Clinic notes that aged or processed foods are more likely to trigger migraines, as are food additives like artificial sweeteners. In other words, it might be time to switch from the charcuterie plate to the caprese salad, at least on most occasions.
3. A Summer Thunderstorm
Strangely enough, The Migraine Trust, a UK-based charity that funds research on this health condition, explains that a big barometric shift in the weather can trigger migraines, such as a sudden drop or rise in temperature, or one of those awesome thunderstorms that strike in the most humid part of the summer. If this seems to be happening for you in your area, it might be worthwhile to shut the windows and try out air conditioning for a while.
4. Literally Just Being A Female
As it turns out, literally just being a woman might be enough to make you predisposed to chronic migraines. According to the Mayo Clinic, although guys are more likely to have them in childhood, women who are past the point of puberty are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than men. Regardless of whether that's a biological reason (i.e. something chemical in the brain or body) or an environmental reason (like stress), it still seems straight-up unfair.
5. Slouching All Day Long
You know how your mom has always nagged at you to stand up a little straighter? Well, you might want to listen to her, since slouching and having poor posture can contribute to migraine attacks, according to the American Posture Institute. This is because of the strain that poor posture puts on your neck and back muscles, thus making you more tense. Try switching up the place that you sit, or tagging up with a friend at work to remind each other to sit up a little straighter throughout the day.
6. Sleeping Too Much — Or Too Little
This one seems like a no-win situation: According to The Migraine Trust, too much sleep and too little sleep can contribute to migraine attacks, depending on the individual person. The only real takeaway here is to try to have a consistent sleep schedule, rather than an erratic one, such as sleeping very little during the week and trying to catch up during the weekend.