Skip to content

10 Things That Trigger Migraine Episodes

10-things-that-trigger-migraine-episodesUpper cervical chiropractic care offers migraine relief in Decatur GA:

Migraines are one of the most widespread debilitating conditions worldwide. At least 39 million Americans experience this life-changing neurological disease. It’s currently the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world. At least a billion people worldwide are affected by migraine headaches

Below is a list of the ten most common migraine triggers, including some tips to help reduce or eliminate your migraine attacks.

#1 Hormonal Changes

Women are three times more vulnerable to have migraines than men. Up to three-quarters of women with migraines discover that their attacks happen around the time of their menstrual cycles. Hormonal changes that occur, particularly with changing levels of progesterone and estrogen, can bring on a migraine. Pregnant women are also more susceptible to migraines.

Solution: There are some methods of birth control that can help stabilize hormone levels and help prevent future attacks. Make sure to get a consultation from a headache specialist and your gynecologist so they can prepare the right plan for your particular case. Consulting an upper cervical chiropractor is also recommended to help regulate the interaction between the nervous and endocrine systems of the body. Ensuring spinal alignment and reducing stress on these systems is an excellent compliment to other treatments for migraine headache relief.

#2 Dehydration

Dehydration, even mild levels, can further exacerbate migraine attacks. Keeping a regular track of your water intake and staying away from diuretics (coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, etc.) will assist in helping you stay hydrated.

Solution: Stay hydrated by drinking the recommended amount each day (varies based on age, sex, and other health factors). General guidelines indicate that women must drink about 11.5 cups of water and men 15.5 cups daily. We recommend our patients try to drink at least half of their body weight in fluid ounces of water per day. Example: If you weigh 100 lbs, drink 50 oz of water per day. These recommendations include fluids from food, soup, water, and other drinks.

#3 Stress And Anxiety

Stress is one of the leading and most challenging triggers for migraine attacks. Almost 70% of people with migraines have reported that stress influences their migraine activity. The act of worrying about when the next migraine attack may occur can trigger an episode. This process, if left unchecked, can become a vicious cycle.

Solution: To reduce your stress, we must first identify the primary sources of your daily stress. Create a list of these items, and take the necessary steps to reduce or eliminate them. We recommend regular relaxation therapy, exercise, meditation, and other stress-relieving methods. With each of these, one or two sessions may not be enough to notice a measurable difference. Just like brushing your teeth or bathing, these “stress-reducing hygienic habits” take time and consistency to be effective. We recommend adding 30 minutes to a morning and evening routine to help make time for these actions. If done correctly, these can help you regulate your sleep cycle, clear mental head space, and help you confront the challenges of the week ahead.

#4 Tyramine

Tyramine is a substance detected in specific foods that can trigger migraines. Take note of foods like smoked fish, aged cheeses, and cured meats as they all contain tyramine. Also carefully monitor intake of foods that are pickled, dried, aged, or fermented (sauerkraut, miso, soy, tempeh, etc.) can also have tyramine.

Solution: Cut down your intake of these foods that may contain tyramine.

#5 Certain Types Of Food

About 10% of those with migraines can identify particular food that can trigger their episode. Sweets, such as chocolate, can be one example. Take note that skipping meals can also lead to a migraine episode. If you know any of your food-related migraine triggers, make a list or keep a journal of foods you’ve eaten in the hours leading up to a migraine.

Solution: Avoid foods you suspect to aggravate your migraine headaches. You may want to try eliminating them altogether at first, but then slowly reintroduce individual foods to determine if they cause these headaches. Write down and purchase some alternatives to those particular foods to help with any cravings. Keep a regular meal schedule. Also, supplement your food intake with nutritious snacks in between meals.

#6 Not Enough Rest Or Sleep

Having an irregular sleep-wake pattern can be very problematic for everyone, especially the migraineur. We rely on enough sleep to recharge, replenish, and repair the chemicals and tissues of our bodies. When sleep becomes irregular or frequently interrupted, you may become more vulnerable to migraine attacks.

Solution: Schedule a consistent bedtime routine that allows for 7-8 hours in bed. Avoid naps in the afternoon, if possible, so that you can sleep more at night. Also, create a pleasant sleeping environment because it will help you sleep without interruptions. We recommend avoiding eating or staring at a computer or phone screen within 90 minutes of your determined bedtime. The use of sound machines or low frequency noises can also help drown out potential interruptions that may occur during the night. This can help improve your odds of avoiding migraine attacks.

#7 Caffeine

Be mindful of your caffeine intake. There is caffeine in over-the-counter painkillers, energy drinks, and chocolates. Those with migraines should be mindful of this fact. In addition, cutting off your caffeine intake suddenly can also bring on a bout of migraine. Therefore, if you usually take 2 to 4 cups of coffee, soda, or tea daily, it is better to reduce your cups than stop it altogether.

Solution: Gradually cut down your caffeine intake daily. Make a list of your regular caffeine intake. Plan so you can choose alternative drinks to take instead of coffee.

#8 Environmental Factors

Most of these environmental factors are beyond our control. Weather conditions such as barometric pressure, cold winds, humidity levels, altitude, and glare from the sun can all contribute to the start of migraines for many people.

Solution: At least have a pair of sunglasses or have an umbrella when you are outdoors. Wear a jacket if cold weather can give you migraines. Prepare countermeasures for some of those environmental factors that you have control over.

#9 Medication Overuse

If a person suffers from chronic migraines and uses medications all the time for relief, then it will cause more migraine attacks to appear. It is known as medication overuse headache.

Solution: Work with your doctor to minimize or change your migraine medications to break the vicious cycle of headaches. Consider other natural methods for migraine relief in Decatur GA.

#10 Strong Smells

Certain smells can either trigger a migraine attack or trigger one that’s already happening to become worse. Some of the most regularly reported smells that trigger migraines are strong scents from gasoline, perfumes, chemicals, and even some healthy but strong food smells.

Solution: Avoidance of such strong smells will help you keep an attack at bay. Know which ones trigger your migraines and wear a face mask whenever the need arises.

Getting Natural And Lasting Migraine Relief in Decatur GA

Numerous people with migraines might feel like they did everything possible to feel better. Still, they might feel stuck chasing symptoms. Is there such a thing as natural and lasting migraine relief? Sure there is!

A case study involving a 52-year old woman who suffered from chronic pain and migraines for 20+ years. Prescription medication provided moderate relief, but it was upper cervical chiropractic care that made her experience dramatic improvements in her migraines.

Upper cervical chiropractors have been making lives better for migraineurs by fixing the misalignment that occurs at the vertebrae of the upper cervical spine (the top of the neck). A misalignment can irritate the brainstem and hinder blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow. These conditions can contribute to the start of migraines.

Here at Atlanta Upper Cervical Chiropractic, migraine relief in Decatur GA is among our major goals. Dr. Baxter Smith can measure upper cervical misalignments and correct them through effective, gentle, and safe adjustments. These upper cervical adjustments result in less frequent and less severe migraine episodes. Call us at (470) 347-3737 or answer our form to request an appointment with Dr. Smith.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith, call our Decatur office at 470-347-3737. You can also click the button below.


If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.