What Can Cause a Migraine?

Q:
What can cause a migraine?

A:
Migraine headaches are a bit of a mystery. Researchers have identified possible causes, but they don’t have a definitive explanation.

The most common migraine causes include:

Food
Salty foods or aged foods, such as cheese and salami, may cause migraine headaches. Highly processed foods can also trigger a migraine.

Drink
Alcohol and caffeine may cause these headaches.

Hormonal changes
Hormone shifts are a common migraine cause for women. Many women report developing migraine headaches right before or even during their period. Others report hormone-induced migraines during pregnancy or menopause.

Physical stress
Extreme exercise, physical exertion, and even sexual activity can trigger migraine headaches.

Preservatives and sweeteners
Some artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, can cause a migraine.

Skipping meals
People with a history of migraines shouldn’t skip meals or fast.

Sensory stimulation
Unusually bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells, may set off a migraine headache; flashlights, bright sun, perfume, paint, and cigarette smoke, are all common causes.

Sleep cycle changes
If you’re not getting regular, routine sleep, you may experience more migraines. Too much sleep is just as likely to cause a headache as too little.

Stress
Constant mental stress can cause migraines. Home life and work life are two of the most common sources of stress and can damage your mind and body if you can’t control it effectively.

Weather changes
Changes in weather and shifts in barometric pressure can cause a migraine.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience a migraine that worry you.

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