Surprising Things That Trigger Migraines from 11 Surprising Things That Trigger Migraines

11 Surprising Things That Trigger Migraines


Surprising Things That Trigger Migraines


Migraines and headaches, such as tension and sinus headaches, are extremely painful and can interfere with a person’s daily tasks and ability to function.

Migraine triggers vary from one person to the next – for one person certain smells, such as strong perfumes may cause their migraine to occur, while for another, certain foods or changes in the weather may trigger migraines.

*Related: Signs You’re Having a Migraine

Fortunately, there are a few natural remedies that have shown to help relieve migraine pain, some of which include inhaling lavender oil, drinking chamomile tea, and self-massages. There are also certain foods that help fight migraines – foods high in magnesium, fatty fish and flaxseeds, just to name a few.

Continue reading for surprising things that trigger migraines.

1. Foods


Have you ever noticed that certain foods you eat have the ability to enhance the severity of your migraine pain? Stay away from artificial sweeteners, pickles, pizza and alcohol. *Also See: 13 Foods That Help Fight Migraines

2. Certain smells

Cleaning products, strong perfumes, room fresheners and other odd or strong smells can cause migraines, especially if you are confined to them in a small space.

3. Lack of sleep


Studies have shown that lack of sleep can trigger migraines or cause occasional migraines to become more frequent. This type of headache is commonly known as a “tension headache.” Sleep restores and supports brain function; therefore, without it, you are likely to suffer from headaches or migraines. *See: 20 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed

4. Menstruation


Hormonal migraines are common for women right before menstruation. They occur because estrogen and progesterone levels drop. According to WebMD, “birth control pills as well as hormone replacement therapy during menopause can trigger migraines in some women."

5. Flickering lights

Bright lights, flickering lights, florescent lighting and strobe lighting all have the tendency to trigger migraines. If you are already experiencing a migraine, they will only make it worse. Tip: Wear sunglasses or a wide brimmed hat to keep your eyes from being affected by the harsh lights.

6. Aspartame


Drinking or eating foods that contain aspartame may trigger migraines. According to a study, aspartame increased migraine frequency in more than 50 percent of the migraine patients that partook in the study. Some products that contain aspartame include diet sodas, sweeteners, chewing gum and flavored water.

7. Stress


Have you ever noticed when you are feeling stressed or anxious a migraine occurs? Studies have shown that when the stress and anxious feelings fade away and you begin to feel relaxed, migraines are also likely to occur.

8. Sulfites


Drinking red wine may be the cause of your migraines. Why? It contains tyramine and sulfites, both of which have shown to result in painful migraines.

9. Alcohol


Alcohol – beer, liquor and wine, contain a chemical called ethanol. According to the National Headache Foundation, ethanol may be the cause of headaches – it’s a direct vasodilator, a natural diuretic, and excessive consumption may lead to dehydration and other chemical imbalances in your body. 

10. Dehydration


Our brains are 80 percent water. When you become dehydrated, your brain tissue loses water, causing your brain to shrink and pull away from the scull, according to Thorzt. This in turn, triggers the pain receptors that surround your brain and gives you a headache.

11. Weather changes

Barometric pressure and changes in the weather are common migraine triggers. Bright sunlight, extreme heat or cold, high humidity, dry air, and sun glare are all weather triggers, according to Mayo Clinic. Unfortunately, you can’t change the weather and this type of migraine can’t be avoided. Try keeping track of when your migraines occur. If you notice they happen due to extreme heat, stay indoors.