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What are seven steps to avoid migraine triggers?

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Here's an easy guide to avoiding migraine triggers:

1. Watch what you eat and drink. If you get a headache, write down the foods and drinks you had before it started. If you see a pattern over time, stay away from that item.

2. Eat regularly. Don't skip meals.

3. Curb the caffeine. Too much, in any food or drink, can trigger a migraine. That said, cutting back suddenly may also cause them, so try to slowly ease off caffeine.

4. Be careful with exercise. Everyone needs regular physical activity. It’s a key part of being healthy. However, exercise can trigger headaches for some people. If you’re one of them, you can still work out. Ask your doctor what would help.

5. Get regular shut-eye. If your sleep habits get thrown off, or if you’re very tired, that can make a migraine more likely.

6. Downsize your stress. There are many ways to do it. You could exercise, meditate, pray, spend time with people you love, and do things you enjoy. If you can change some of the things that make you tense, set up a plan for that. Counseling and stress management classes are great to try, too. You can also look into biofeedback, in which you learn how to influence certain things (like your heart rate and breathing) to calm down stress.

7. Keep up your energy. Eat on a regular schedule, and don’t let yourself get dehydrated.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Migraines," "Migraine Headache Diary," "Migraines: Specific Foods," "Migraines: Exercise," "Migraines: Stress." 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “NINDS Migraine Information Page.”

Office of Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Migraine Fact Sheet.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 12, 2017

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Migraines," "Migraine Headache Diary," "Migraines: Specific Foods," "Migraines: Exercise," "Migraines: Stress." 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “NINDS Migraine Information Page.”

Office of Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Migraine Fact Sheet.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 12, 2017

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