Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Migraines & Headaches Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Migraine Triggers May Not Always Trigger Migraines

An Unnecessary Burden

The researchers conclude that exercise may be a real trigger of migraine with aura, at least among a small percentage of people, but they don’t know exactly why. What clinicians do know is that too many people may be scared to exercise, which can have unhealthy consequences.

“I can’t tell you how many of my patients say they won’t exercise because they think they’ll get headaches,” says neurologist Jason Rosenberg, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Headache Center in Baltimore. He reviewed the study for WebMD.

Rosenberg says that many people with migraines obsessively avoid certain foods, wear sunglasses indoors and outside, and engage in other burdensome, socially isolating behaviors.

“And once they decide what their triggers are," he says, "it is very difficult to change their minds.”

The study authors, who did not respond to requests for comment, advise people to keep track of their headaches and whether avoiding certain triggers really makes a difference. If three months pass with no change in frequency, they write, it’s likely safe to say that what they are avoiding is not a trigger after all.

While this study looked at only two potential triggers, it helps to “poke holes in urban legends in medicine,” says Rosenberg.

“Avoiding exercise, sunlight exposure, and foods that are supposed to trigger migraines: None of these things have actually been tested,” he says. “Studies like this will help me nudge patients in the right direction.”

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Business woman with hand on face and eyes closed
What aura looks like, triggers, and more.
woman with migraine
Get the truth about migraines.
 
headache in the bedroom
Keep headaches from ruining your sex life.
woman with hands on head
Test your knowledge of triggers, types, and more.
 
woman with migraine
Quiz
drinking coffee
Article
 
Migraines Headaches Basics
Article
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
 
Tired young man
Slideshow
spraying perfume
Article
 
man with a headache
Article
headache in the bedroom
Article