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Special Report: Migraine Triggers

Identifying migraine triggers is a crucial, yet challenging, part of migraine management.

As we know, although there are some migraine triggers that are more common than others, they can vary greatly from one person to another…and while certain triggers can be avoided altogether, others remain frustratingly uncontrollable!

We’ve asked the team at to share their personal experiences with some of the most common migraine triggers, including tips for trigger identification, avoidance, and management. Articles in this new series will begin posting this week and we will continue adding new posts over time.

As always, we welcome your feedback on these articles as well as recommendations for future articles and discussion topics!


  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Hi Joe,

    I’m so sorry you are having such a miserable time right now. Let me see what we can do to help you out. The first thing, and it’s very important, is to get an accurate diagnosis because there is a difference between headaches and migraines. What kind of doctor are you seeing? A migraine specialist may be the way to go since your quality of life is being affected. Click on this link for information about migraine specialists; Since you posted on the trigger page, here is some information on trigger identification and management; Talk with your parents about how much you hurt and that you really need some help now. How does that sound for starters?

  • Joe Field
    7 years ago


  • lisarobinson-herring
    8 years ago

    Stress and the biggest trigger is anything with MSG!!

  • Kandice Nelson-Blades
    8 years ago

    I have yet to determine exactly what my triggers are. I have had these migraines for years and years and I still can’t seem to narrow it down. I am VERY frustrated, these headaches make me ‘unhuman’!

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    7 years ago

    Hi susanmcelroy,

    It is amazing how much misinformation there is out there about migraine disease. We have some great tools here to help identify and manage triggers; the Migraine Meter – and an app for the iPhone and Android too.

  • susanmcelroy
    7 years ago

    To add to Cathy’s comment…do more than just journal. I’ve had doctors tell me for 10 years “if it was in your diet, you’d know it by now.” Well, they were wrong. I decided to keep a detailed journal of EVERYTHING I ate, including the ingredients of the ingredients in my food and drinks. It’s been a long process, but I’ve found so many triggers already I otherwise wouldn’t have found.

  • Valerie Jimenez
    8 years ago

    Praying for you kandice.

  • Cathy Niekamp
    8 years ago

    Start a journal everytime you have a migraine. It might help you pinpoint what the triggers are.

  • Pamela Moore
    8 years ago

    I have noticed cheese and peanuts can give me a migraine.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    8 years ago

    Pamela, these are extremely common triggers. It’s good you found them – now you can avoid them!

  • Nancy Q. Donehower
    8 years ago

    Thank you for finding me.

  • Tiffany Thomas
    9 years ago

    My personal triggers: STRESS! Number one. Bar none. I avoid it like the plague. Any little upset, family fights, even arguements, I run. “sorry I’m taking my ball and going home.” Other things; not eating right, not eating at all, not sleeping enough, Chocolate (sad but true,) non pressurized elevation changes, exercise in excess (especially anything that gets my heartrate up too high or things where I have to put my head below my heart or lift things over 20 lbs. Hormone changes, absolutely! These short summer thunderstorms are MURDER on my head, I can tell they’re coming before the clouds even appear. Too much sun, if I stay out long enough to get even a little bit pink a migraine is on the way. I a stroke survivor and have been dealing with biweekly, disabling migraines since 1998. I’m somewhat of an expert on the subject and they’re really nothing I would wish on my worst enemy. My heart goes out to all of you out there suffering with them right now, just know that this too will pass and not all days will be spent in dark rooms in silence with ice packs and narcotics to get you past the rough spots. The hard times will help you appreciate the good times more. Keep your heads up (literally – I’m instructed to do that in physical therapy.) Best wishes.

  • Susan Cleveland
    9 years ago

    As someone who is sensitive to MSG, this page saved me from many a migraine.

  • mar556
    9 years ago

    I have found a compound pharmacy that can get all the Midrin components. Isometheptene, Dichloralphenazone, Acetaminophen.
    Just got the Dichloralphenazone from a manufacturer this week.
    So it must be back on the market. 7/2011..

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