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Top 10 Migraine Triggers According to a New Study

Kerrie Smyres recently reviewed a new study identifying the top 10 migraine triggers and the frequency at which they occur. Read on for the top 10 triggers, in the order at which they were ranked.  Read the original post here.


Peroutka, S. J. (2014). What Turns on a Migraine? A Systematic Review of Migraine Precipitating Factors. Current pain and headache reports, 18(10), 1-6.


  • Drcindyinjax
    1 year ago

    My doctors think that my migraines may be a result of my severe sleep apnea. I’ve been on an autoPAP for two months, but so far there’s only been intermittant decrease in my headaches which are occurring four days out of seven on average. I think that stress may play a factor too, as in let-down headaches. I want to investigate thyroid disease since I had elevated thyroid antibodies on recent bloodwork (but normal T4 and TSH). Hormones were a trigger for monthly migraines until 2012 when I had a hysterectomy and they removed the ovaries as well. Then, suddenly, starting on Christmas Eve 2017, the migraines returned, but were chronic this time. They don’t respond to any medication or treatment we’ve tried either. (I’ve had CT scans and MRI’s to rule out more serious things.) Most of the other triggers you’ve are things that I think don’t cause my migraines, but it is somewhat hard to tell since I have them so often.

  • Deb
    2 years ago

    For me, top triggers are:

    1. Weather changes, even slightest change in barometric pressure.

    2. Lights – bright, flashing, flourescent, computer, phone, TV

    3. Stress, fatigue, over exertion

    4. Lack of sleep

    5. Red wine … instant

    6. Loud noise

    And each of these triggers are painful and increase migraine intensity and duration if they occur during a migraine.

  • shell
    2 years ago

    #1 Sress
    #2 Noise
    #3 Lights
    #4 Too little or too much sleep

  • GrupGirl
    2 years ago

    I feel like sugar is my big trigger. Does anyone else feel that way? Maybe not even sugar but insulin spikes caused by sugar? I feel like alcohol is a trigger, but not every time I drink. I’m not sure why I get a migraine after some bouts of drinking (nothing extreme, I’m a social drinker) and not others. I do know that if I eat an excessive amount of sugar, I’ll get a migraine. So I’ve wondered if alcohol has the same effect on my system as sugar does.

  • Allyson.Ellis moderator
    2 years ago

    GrupGirl, different alcoholic beverages have different amounts of sugar, which could explain why you sometimes experience migraine after drinking and sometimes you don’t, assuming sugar is your big trigger. ~Allyson (site moderator)

  • Kippieloo
    2 years ago

    For me, red wine is an almost instant trigger. I can tolerate a glass of white wine or a mixed drink, but I’m really careful about any alcohol consumption – I always make sure that I have nothing planned for the next day, just in case…

  • Cornishmlw
    4 years ago

    They said alcohol was a lower percentage than expected. I wonder if that is because like me, I figured out instantly that it was trigger before I went chronic, whether I was in a cycle or not and therefore almost never drank. I don’t even think to list it as a trigger.

  • bluebird
    4 years ago

    I agree strongly with the comment above that it seems more like I become aware of the experiences of sensitivity etc as a sign of prodrome rather than as trigger itself!

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