Triggers of my Migraines & Solutions for Resolution!!

Hello fellow sufferers – My story will be in outline form as I, too, share your pain, symptoms, & situations and don’t wish to be redundant.

Hx 30+ years of chronic, debilitating migraines, identifying triggers by process of elimination, and one special medication = (3) years of a migraine-free life. Note: This is my personal experience and I make no blanket statements as to what may or may not trigger your migraines, nor do I endorse any particular method of treatment. I merely want to share those factors which contributed to my chronic migraines. The plan of action that worked/works for me is outlined below.

My triggers:

1. Artificial “everything” when ingested, i.e., sweeteners (all brands), flavor enhancers (MSG), food preservatives, food coloring/dyes

2. Chemical ingestion: i.e., MSG, food coloring/dyes, nitrates

3. Allergies: Gluten, yeast, wheat, oats, eggs, dairy products — also, sudden allergies to medications you are currently taking or have previously been taking — see an allergist for a complete work-up

4. Beer and/or Alcohol Consumption

5. Sleep pattern: Less than (4) hrs at night, more than (6-7) hrs (personally, I need 6), no naps during the day

6. Sleep Apnea: I believe everyone with a hx of migraines be tested by pulmonologist & have a sleep lab study

7. Air Contaminants: Cigarette/cigar smoke, harsh cleaning detergents, gasoline & diesel fumes, hair spray

8. Barometric pressure – sudden changes in

9. Anemia & High OR Low Blood Pressure: (NOTE: These triggers are not related to me, but to friends who suffer migraines caused by one or both of these two diagnoses)

10. Lack of Oxygen – one of my BIGGEST culprits (explained below)

11. Direct Sunlight – this is still a killer for me. Wear large brimmed hat, dark sunglasses (if you wear prescription glasses, invest in “Wear-Overs” or “Fit-Overs” – special sunglasses placed OVER eyeglasses), sun umbrella

My migraine solutions:

1) Total elimination of #s 1-4 above

2) Determine sleep regimen: 1) Go to bed & arise same time everyday, 2) Determine # of hrs required to get a good night’s sleep

3) Drink water ONLY. Substitute water for all liquids you normally drink (i.e., soda, energy drinks, milk, juice, coffee, beer, any type of alcohol). SIDE NOTE: For cereal, I use Soy Silk plain. I also drink (2) cups of hot, steeped organic green tea; one late AM has caffeine, second cup, before bed, organic Indian Holy Basil (Caffeine-Free)

4) Learn how to BREATHE! Sound simple? I have always been a very shallow breather taking many small breaths causing, to my surprise, oxygen deprivation. This was the culprit for my chronic fatigue, headaches/migraines, lethargy, abnormal heart rhythm, and racing heart, forgetfulness, brain fog, and depression. I made a conscious decision to practice the **7-7-7-7 exercise“. Recipe: Inhale very slowly and deeply for 7 seconds, hold breath for 7 seconds, exhale very slowly for 7 seconds, REPEAT 7 x per day. When comfortable, add more seconds to routine. Initially, I admit I coughed, choked, and had a little pain trying to expand my lung capacity realizing how oxygen-deprived I was. **(ALERT FOR THIS EXERCISE: Dizziness may follow this breathing technique)

5) Breakthrough Medication: I was diagnosed with adult onset ADD. My neurologist started me on Adderall XR. It worked so well I actually felt like a human being again. But, the miracle of this drug is that it COMPLETELY STOPPED MY MIGRAINES and has continued to do so for 3 years. I have met three people who are also currently migraine-free after being prescribed Adderall XR for ADD. According to my neurologist, this medication should have no effect on migraines, however, in my case and others, it does.

Again, my personal experience, but I’m praying you glean insight useful in your battle against migraine madness!

SIDE NOTE: As grateful as I am that I no longer suffer migraines, my plight of pain from cluster headaches and Trigeminal Neuralgia (TGN) remains ongoing.

May God Bless You All!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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