Migraine Triggers

What Triggers a Migraine Attack? Environment, Lifestyle, & Sometimes Food

Yes. You can be healthy and suffer migraine attacks.

Migraines are more than a bad headache. They’re a complex neurobiological disorder that often runs in families. Researchers haven’t found an exact cause, but associate migraines with genetics, brain chemistry, and inflammation. Nutrition choices, lifestyle, and environmental factors play an important role in managing migraine attacks. The Migraine Relief Plan is designed to help you find and manage those factors in your life.

Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC on stage

Migraine Nutrition

Food is fuel. Some food ingredients like nitrates, alcohol, and tyramine may trigger migraine attacks in some people. Our bodies process and respond to each food differently.

The Migraine Relief Plan was based on studies that have shown that food elimination diets can be successful in identifying food triggers. The Plan makes transitioning easier by providing a tracking guide and delicious, migraine-friendly meal plans. Food is just one facet, but improving your overall nutrition can be the starting point to fewer headaches.

Common Migraine Food Triggers

  1. Caffeine
  2. Aged or Canned Cheese & Meats
  3. MSG
  4. Chocolate
  5. Alcohol & Fermented Foods
Get the Migraine Tracking List

The Migraine Relief Plan is a lifestyle and nutrition approach to reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. It provides a framework for systematically making incremental lifestyle adjustments so you can identify your unique pattern. Since everyone is different the Plan is flexible and allows for dietary preferences including vegetarian and people with food allergies. Readers enjoy a wide variety of whole foods including vegetables and fruits, gluten-free whole grains, seeds, healthy fats, and high-quality meat, poultry, and fish. The Plan encourages readers to follow a 3-4 month elimination diet, then test foods while adding back as many as possible. Many readers are shocked to find that a favorite healthy food such as onions or almonds, is a clear trigger for them. They can then avoid that food in the future as desired.

How Common are Food Triggers?

20% of headache patients are food sensitive

By tracking the food we consume daily using a food and symptom tracking sheet, we can identify potential triggers that occur within 20 minutes to 2 hours of eating it.

Lifestyle Triggers

Environment and lifestyle choices are also known to trigger migraines.

Too much light, noise, or odors. Too much intense exercise or not enough movement. Skipping meals or glasses of water. We all  need balance with the world around us and how we take it in.

Common Lifestyle & Environmental Triggers

  1. Exercise
  2. Harsh lighting and smells
  3. Skipping meals
  4. Dehydration
  5. Weather changes
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The Migraine Woman

Do women get more migraines?

Migraines mainly impact women

85% of all chronic migraine sufferers are women. Chronic migraine is defined as 15 or more migraine days per month. One in four women have migraines and more than half of all migraines are undiagnosed.


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