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    Migraine Triggers: Your Personal Checklist

    Things that can trigger a migraine headache include foods, drinks, activities and exercise, medications, stress, too much or too little sleep, bright lights, hunger, odors, and hormones, among other factors.

    To figure out what causes your migraines, print the list below. Then check for triggers at the first signs of a headache. Review the list every few weeks or months to see if you can spot a pattern. Chances are, the items that get the most checks are your triggers.

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    After you've narrowed down what affects you, talk about the list at your next doctor's visit.

    Migraine Trigger Checklist

    _____ Aged cheeses

    _____ Alcohol (red wine, beer, whiskey, champagne)

    _____ Artificial sweeteners

    _____ Caffeine (excess intake or withdrawal)

    _____ Chocolate

    _____ Citrus fruits

    _____ Cured meats

    _____ Dehydration

    _____ Depression

    _____ Diet (skipping meals or fasting)

    _____ Dried fish

    _____ Dried fruits

    _____ Exercise (excessive)

    _____ Eyestrain or other visual triggers

    _____ Fatigue (extreme)

    _____ Food additives (nitrites, nitrates, MSG)

    _____ Lights (bright or flickering; sunlight, particularly glare)

    _____ Lunch meats (cured with nitrites or MSG)

    _____ Menstrual periods

    _____ Medications

    _____ Noise (excessive)

    _____ Nuts

    _____ Odors

    _____ Onions

    _____ Salty foods

    _____ Sleep (too much, too little, other changes)

    _____ Skipped meals

    _____ Stress

    _____ Television or movie viewing

    _____ Weather (changing conditions)

    _____ Others

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on September 19, 2014

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