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    Migraine Triggers: Your Personal Checklist

    Everyday things can trigger a migraine headache -- foods, drinks, exercise, medications, stress, too much or too little sleep, bright lights, hunger, smells, and hormones, to name a few.

    To figure out what brings yours on, print the list below. Then check any possible 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.

    Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

    Understanding Migraines -- Diagnosis and Treatment

    There is no specific test to diagnose a migraine headache. If you seek help from your health care provider for recurring headaches, you may be asked to keep a headache diary in which you record information about symptoms leading up to a headache, symptoms of the actual headache, and possible triggers that may have provoked the episode. Your health care provider will want to take a careful history to determine any patterns to your headaches and to learn whether such headaches run in your family....

    Read the Understanding Migraines -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

    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 (getting too much or withdrawal)

    _____ Chocolate

    _____ Citrus fruits

    _____ Cured meats

    _____ Dehydration

    _____ Depression

    _____ Dried fish

    _____ Dried fruits

    _____ Exercise (too much)

    _____ 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 (too much)

    _____ Nuts

    _____ Odors

    _____ Onions

    _____ Salty foods

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

    _____ Skipped meals

    _____ Stress

    _____ Watching TV or movies

    _____ Weather (changing conditions)

    _____ Others

    WebMD Medical Reference

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

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