Migraine headaches triggers are a long and varied list of events which bring on migraine attacks. For example, eating certain foods (migraine food triggers), emotional stress, sleep changes, travel, or skipping meals are some common migraine headache triggers.
An important distinction to understand is that these triggers are not the initial cause of your migraine condition, but rather activate an episode in a person who is already prone to getting migraines. If you have been diagnosed with migraine headaches, you are predisposed to having an episode that can be triggered by the long list of potential activators.
How these triggers activate a migraine is not exactly known. One theory is that the migrainous brain is in a constant state of baseline neuronal excitation. When a trigger comes along, it sets off the chemical changes in the brain that cause migraine.
One of the most important steps you can take toward reducing the frequency of your migraines is identifying your migraine triggers. Everyone has his or her own set of potential migraine headaches triggers. Your task is to identify your unique set of triggers. By learning what is triggering your migraine episodes, you can then take steps to avoid those particular triggers.
Keep a record, in a migraine triggers diary, of which foods, emotional situations, physical activities, environmental factors, weather conditions, sleep changes, and other triggers which cause you to have migraines. You will then be able to see your own patterns of triggers and stressful factors.
Not all triggers you identify as problematic for you will set off a migraine headache. Whether and how you react to a trigger may depend on your overall stress level at that time in addition to your simultaneous exposure to other triggers.
Migraines often tend to occur when a number of migraine headache triggers occur simultaneously or when you happen to be in a vulnerable state because of high stress or major lifestyle changes. Often, it takes a combination of emotional, food, and environmental stressors to bring about the biochemical changes that result in a migraine.