Avoid These 3 Triggers of Migraine Headaches

If you suffer from migraine headaches you know how intense the pain can be and likely would do just about anything to avoid having them or to at lease reduce the frequency.  While much of the actual cause of migraine headaches is not that well understood by medicine one thing is for sure, there are several things that can trigger them.

In today’s article we’re going to look at 3 very common migraine triggers and how to avoid them as best we can.  These are things which are easy to identify and with some practice you can basically eliminate or reduce your exposure to them and have few migraine headaches.

1) Wheat

Wheat contains gluten which is a very inflammatory protein that causes an increase in inflammation in the body which certainly makes you more susceptible to migraines.  Other proteins in wheat attack the intestinal lining which can lead to increased food sensitivities which can also be a trigger for migraine headaches.  Bottom line is cut wheat out of your diet and you are going to decrease the likely-hood of having a migraine just from the reduced inflammation and affects on your mood.

2) Caffeine

Caffeine might seem like an odd addition to this list because caffeine is usually an ingredient in headache medicine however caffeine does several things to increase the chances of you having a migraine headache.  First of all caffeine ingestion causes the release of stress hormones into the bloodstream which results in the nice little rush you get from a cup of coffee. However if your drinking lots of coffee, soda, tea or any other drink with lots of caffeine your keeping your stress hormones elevated all of the time!

Caffeine has a half life of 6 hours, so lets say you drank 3 cups of coffee each with 100mg of caffeine at 8am, 10am and noon.  By bed time you still have plenty of caffeine in your bloodstream elevating stress hormones and preventing deep sleep. This is important because sleep is a potent stress reducer.  See how downing lots of coffee can be a big problem?

Lastly, if your already under stress from work, your family, or some other situation that is ongoing caffeine will not only increase your stress hormones but actually amplify the stress you already had before the caffeine.  Its like having too many pots boiling on the stove and you keep any of them from boiling over.  Bottom line, if migraines are a problem for you, cut back on the caffeine.

3) Poor Sleep

This one goes hand in hand with #2 but in addition to caffeine poor sleep can also be caused by a few other things.  The worst of these and probably the sneakiest is blue screens.  This means smart phones, computers, TV, and basically anything else that has a screen.  It releases blue light which slows the release of melatonin from the pineal gland.  Melatonin is the reason you get sleepy and sink into the regenerative levels of sleep so if its not being secreted guess what? You wont sleep well and you will increase your stress levels.  Its a perfect cocktail for another migraine.  So do yourself a favor and cut back on the screen time an hour before bed.


There you have it.  3 triggers for migraine headaches that are under your control.  Cut back on the caffeine, take the steps to sleep better and quit eating so much wheat and you should see less migraines over time.  Don’t expect overnight results but in the long run this should really help you reduce the frequency of your migraine headaches.  Thanks for reading!

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Austin EricksonAbout the Author

Dr. Austin Erickson is a chiropractor with offices in Glenwood City and the 4 Corners near New Richmond, Wisconsin. He is an expert at combining chiropractic treatment with nutritional advice to achieve excellent results. He has cured himself of psoriasis and autoimmune related arthritis using his protocols. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+


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