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Identiying Triggers

Does anyone have any tips on identifying triggers? Part of my difficulty is the fact that my migraine is constantly present, which makes it hard to tell what brings it on. It does, however, vary in intensity, but I've never managed to figure out what (if anything) causes these fluctuations.

I've eliminated dietary factors (twice now). Not sure how I'd eliminate olfactory factors. Sound isn't a trigger. It is light sensitive, but it will fluctuate even lying in a dark room.

  1. Hi Pendragon!

    Triggers can be tricky because they can change over time as we age. Another issue is that it can take up to 48 hours after we are exposed to a trigger before we actually have a migraine attack. This makes it difficult to figure out what may and may not be a trigger.

    Some of the things you can do to identify them is keep a very detailed migraine diary. This will help determine any patterns and triggers you may have. Here is an excellent article on how to keep a diary; https://migraine.com/blog/keeping-migraine-diary-basics/.

    Other information on triggers can be found in this link; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-trigger-management/.

    Combating odors can be difficult. I've recently purchased a diffuser I could fill with essential and carrier oils to help defuse an offensive odor that will trigger a migraine attack for me. This is called aromatherapy - it won't stop a migraine but it can be a comfort during one or to use when trying to avoid that smell!! https://migraine.com/blog/aromatherapy-for-migraines/.

    I've recently found that my bedroom doesn't get dark enough to help with my light sensitivity - so I hung a light weight blanket over the window until I can get room darkening shades or what have you. I find this helps tremendously when I have an attack and able to sleep better during the early morning hours.
    Another option is to look into glasses that help with photophobia or light sensitivity. A member of my support group wears these and loves them!! We have information from both TheraSpecs and Axon that may help; https://migraine.com/sponsored/sponsored-proven-migraine-relief-with-new-theraspecs-glasses/ and https://migraine.com/sponsored/are-you-ignoring-one-of-the-top-migraine-triggers/.

    I hope this helps with trigger identification.

    Nancy

    1. Hey Nancy, thanks for your reply.

      Part of my problem with identifying triggers is that I don't get "migraine attacks". I just have a migraine at all times. I feel like trying to keep a detailed enough diary would mean sitting in a room all day writing down everything that occurs, and I wouldn't be able to get anything done trying to work out what's actually occurring around me.

      Also, do you know if the theraspecs work better than a regular pair of tinted, polarized sunglasses? The Axon Optics websites claims they do, but they are attempting to sell a product, and wouldn't be the first company to make claims they can't back up to sell a cure to sick world.

      1. Hello, I too have had headaches daily so it was hard for me to identify triggers. My headaches did not start until after I went through breast cancer and was put into peri-menopause, then almost instantly they started, very aggressively and daily. I have had MS and Raynaud's for over eleven years so I already live with somewhat "cautioned" eating habits. I did find, after years of trying many migraine/headache meds. The only course of action that worked for me personally was Botox for some relief.
        After many logs and monitoring, I now (about six yrs if constant chronic, painful headaches) realize I have more painful headaches during certain times of the month and with certain foods.

        Sorry for my long winding into, thus the reason for my post, still trying to figure out this food trigger thing. One of my "vices" is sugar. Although I try to use is in more natural forms, such as Maple sugar-in great ,moderation ( I believe to things like malodextrian is the devill, lol), i struggle with understanding triggers. The links provided above we're very helpful. Another area that is a challenge for me to understand and in a lot of foods (even those labeled as "natural") are certain preservatives and colors.

        Are there any preservatives and colors that are "okay"?

        Thank you all, greatly appreciated,
        Lily

        1. Hello, I too have had headaches daily so it was hard for me to identify triggers. My headaches did not start until after I went through breast cancer and was put into peri-menopause, then almost instantly they started, very aggressively and daily. I have had MS and Raynaud's for over eleven years so I already live with somewhat "cautioned" eating habits. I did find, after years of trying many migraine/headache meds. The only course of action that worked for me personally was Botox for some relief.
          After many logs and monitoring, I now (about six yrs if constant chronic, painful headaches) realize I have more painful headaches during certain times of the month and with certain foods.

          Sorry for my long winded intro, thus the reason for my post, still trying to figure out this food trigger thing. One of my "vices" is sugar. I try to use is in more natural forms, such as Maple sugar and do so in moderation ( I believe things like malodextrian is the devill, lol). I struggle with understanding triggers. The links provided above we're very helpful. Another area that is a challenge for me to understand and in a lot of foods (even those labeled as "natural") are certain preservatives and colors.

          Are there any preservatives and colors that are "okay"?

          Thank you all, greatly appreciated,
          Lily

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