Icons representing the three wacky triggers as explained in the article.

Three of My Wackiest Migraine Triggers

Over the years, I’ve become my own migraine detective. I do my best to follow the clues my body leaves in order to understand what works best to keep my migraines at bay. This is why I’m always on the lookout for migraine triggers.

Migraine triggers everywhere

Migraine triggers are everyday things that can set off migraines, like lack of sleep or not eating regularly. Some of my main triggers happen to be my ever-shifting hormonal cycle and trying to help my young son with his math homework. Sometimes, though, I get lucky and notice new, easy-to-spot triggers. They stand out due to their strangeness and quick influence over my head. Here are three of my wackiest migraine triggers to date.

Sitting too close to the big screen

My husband enjoys being in the movies and just sitting as close to the screen as possible. My sensitive eyes can’t seem to handle the strain of watching a movie the size f a 4-story building. The quick flickering of lights combined with all the sharp cuts of the mega-blockbuster set the scene for a massive migraine to strike. In order to enjoy the movie and not trigger a migraine, I have to move our date night back to the middle of the theater. This makes our time out together much more fun as it keeps me from vomiting in our popcorn.

Extreme heat

In the summer months of Los Angeles when the temperature easily climbs to 100 degrees or more, walking outside to check the mail is enough to trigger a migraine attack. My body is no longer built to withstand extreme heat, so my plan to become the oldest female astronaut to visit Mars is now moot. This migraine trigger has me declining summer BBQs and outside get-togethers unless they’re scheduled in the cooler hours of the evenings. So far, the cold doesn’t bother me anyway, so I’m thinking Antartica may be a good spot for a family vacation next summer.

Any form of exercise

It’s been theorized that exercise can help reduce the frequency of migraines. When a person works out, endorphins are released, and this hormone is considered to be the body’s natural painkiller. When I work out, the only thing my body releases is pain in the form of a migraine. Before my migraines became chronic, I used to be fairly active, taking dance and yoga classes, but these days those workouts bring on a migraine as quickly as I can say "downward dog." Today, taking a nice robust walk is the only type of physical activity my head can handle.

I don’t know if I’ll ever find all the triggers for my migraines. I believe sometimes I get a migraine just because I get a migraine. Still, if I can lessen my migraine pain by paying attention to my triggers, I’ll borrow my son’s magnifying glass and play detective a little longer.

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