10 Surprising Migraine Triggers You Should Know About


Migraines are more than just a headache; they’re a neurological nightmare. They can bring even the toughest among us to our knees with throbbing pain, nausea, and light sensitivity. But migraines are as complex as they are debilitating. While stress, hormones, and certain foods are the usual suspects, there are some unexpected migraine triggers that you might not see coming.

Common Migraine Triggers

The Regular Culprits

  1. Stress: A surge in cortisol can make your head pound like a drum.
  2. Hormones: Fluctuations can make your brain a migraine playground.
  3. Foods and Drinks: Caffeine, chocolate, alcohol—each can be a landmine.

Digging Deeper

Stress elevates cortisol levels, wreaking havoc on your nervous system, making you a migraine candidate. Hormonal changes, often seen during menstruation or hormonal therapy, are well-known triggers. As for foods, items like red wine or aged cheese contain tyramine, a known migraine trigger.

Food for Thought

If you’ve ever wondered about the link between diet and migraines, you’re not alone. Research indicates a strong correlation, so it’s worth paying attention to what you consume. A dedicated migraine diet can sometimes make a significant difference.

Surprising Migraine Triggers

Unusual Suspects

  1. Barometric Pressure Changes: Atmospheric shifts can mess with your sinuses and spell migraine misery.
  2. Bright Sunlight: For some, a sunny day can lead to a cloudy mind.
  3. Chewing Gum: Prolonged jaw tension from gum-chewing can set off migraines.
  4. Perfume: Certain scents can send your nervous system into a tailspin.
  5. Hunger or Thirst: Skipped lunch? Your brain might make you pay.
  6. Routine Changes: Your brain likes predictability; it doesn’t appreciate surprises.
  7. Sleep Imbalance: Too much or too little sleep can both trigger migraines.
  8. Intense Exercise and Sex: Physical exertion can be a double-edged sword.
  9. Alcohol and Smoke: Beyond the hangover, these can trigger migraines.
  10. Weather Changes: Both heatwaves and cold fronts can ignite a migraine.

Science Backs It Up

While it may sound far-fetched that gum-chewing can induce a migraine, the science supports it. Jaw tension and stress can contribute to a migraine’s onset. Similarly, a study on weather changes has shown that shifts in temperature and humidity can indeed be triggers.

Why These Triggers Matter

Being aware of these lesser-known triggers can make a world of difference. For instance, if you find yourself getting migraines on very sunny days, you might opt for sunglasses with better UV protection. Understanding these triggers provides you an additional layer of defense in your battle against migraines.

How to Cope with Migraine Triggers

Your Strategy

  1. Identify Your Triggers: Keep a meticulous migraine diary.
  2. Avoidance Tactics: Forewarned is forearmed.
  3. Stress Management: Employ mindfulness, yoga, or even a comedy show.


Navigating the complex landscape of migraines can be a daunting task, but knowledge is your most potent weapon. Knowing what could trigger your migraines is half the battle. The other half is adopting coping strategies that work for you. Whether you’re in Dallas or anywhere else, identifying your personal triggers and learning how to manage them can make a significant difference in your life quality. So, stay vigilant, keep learning, and take the reins in your ongoing battle against migraines.

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