Chronic Migraine Triggers Elude Study

April 24, 2013

Now that spring flowers and other budding and allergy irritating flora are popping up in warmer cities like Atlanta and San Antonio, migraine sufferers are off to the annual quest of identifying migraine triggers.  Unfortunately this mission does not usually culminate in a resounding success.  More often than not, migraineurs are left with an even longer list of possible migraine triggers than the previous year, and no answer for what may be a clear and long-lasting migraine treatment.  So, perhaps the focus needs to be on finding long term treatment solutions such as a migraine surgery, rather than relying on trigger avoidance to regain a pain-free life.

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center determined that it is very unlikely that people can identify their own migraine triggers.  This is because external variables are difficult to identify and control, as they would be in a formal research study environment.  For example, if you suffer with migraines in San Antonio or New Orleans and suspect that seasonal allergies may be to blame, are you certain that other factors are not the true trigger?  After all, you may be experiencing more stress than you realize.  Perhaps you are also sleep deprived, dehydrated or have eaten some migraine triggering foods? 

While it is very important to maintain a migraine diary with information tracking the frequency and symptoms of your migraines, pinpointing your triggers with accuracy is not critical.  The most important factor is identifying the behaviors and treatment that control the pain.  If you suspect certain triggers may be causing your headaches, by all means share this information with your physician and try eliminating or managing these irritants. 

The additional benefit of tracking your migraines – from triggers to treatments – is that you will have plenty of paperwork to support your case if you want to be evaluated for a migraine surgery or other pain solution.

So, as the scientists from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center suggest, it may be a while until a study can accurately identify triggers.  Until the perfect study sheds some clarity on defining migraine triggers with certainty, suffers with chronic migraine in San Antonio, Miami and other early blooming cities can think about long term migraine treatments that don’t rely on trigger avoidance, such as migraine surgery. 


Previous post:

Next post: