5 Tips to Avoid Headache and Migraine Triggers

While pain from migraines and headaches often seem to come out of nowhere, you may be unaware of the many triggers in your environment that are contributing to your condition.

At Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic, the experienced medical team often diagnoses and treats pain relating to recurrent headaches and debilitating migraines. In order to help you avoid the pain altogether, our staff offers valuable insight into common triggers you may not have considered that cause migraines and headaches.

Identifying your triggers and how to avoid them

The most common triggers of headaches and migraines are in your everyday environment. For many people with frequent headaches or migraines, they may be used to their daily routine and not even realize how their actions or environment are impacting their health.

Here are five of the most common triggers of migraines and headaches:

Trigger #1: Stress

The American Migraine Foundation estimates that 70% of migraines are triggered by daily stress. Not only is stress a contributing factor to chronic headaches and migraines, but it can also have a long-lasting impact on your overall health. When stress remains high and uncontrolled, you may experience more frequent, intense head pain and increase your risk for heart disease and mental health issues.

How to avoid:

It can be difficult to avoid stress entirely, but you can learn how to better manage the daily stressors of your life. Staying physically active is a great way to reduce stress. You can also use mindfulness practices, like meditation and breathing exercises to relax your mind and your body. Stay focused on making the lifestyle changes you need to stop stressing out over everything to lower your risk for headaches and migraines while boosting your overall health.

Trigger #2: Caffeine

Caffeine is a common trigger for recurrent headaches and painful migraines, especially if you tend to consume excessive amounts of caffeine throughout the day. 

How to avoid:

Like anything else, it’s important that you use caffeine in moderation. Even if you can’t avoid it altogether, especially when you’re initially cutting back, try to limit yourself to one or two caffeinated beverages a day and drink plain water the rest of the time. Not only will you reduce caffeine-related side effects, but you can also reduce your risk for migraines and headaches by staying properly hydrated.

Trigger #3: Overuse of medications

It can seem safe to take over-the-counter medications and supplements for daily aches and pains but taking too much medicine or using them for long periods of time can play a role in headaches and migraines.

How to avoid:

Before you take any new medication, you should first discuss it with your doctor. If you have medication-induced headaches from medicines you already use, the team at Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic can assist you in clearing the medication from your system. They can also recommend alternative treatments for the chronic conditions you are treating with medicine.

Trigger #4: Strong smells

If you or someone you’re around wears excessive amounts of perfumes or you use strong-smelling cleansers around your house, you may be setting the stage for an aggravating headache.

How to avoid:

Personally, you can avoid wearing any strong perfumes to reduce your risk of a headache. Don’t use strong-smelling chemicals around your home, especially if there isn’t enough ventilation. However, it can be difficult to discuss other people’s personal habits. Speak openly and honestly with friends and coworkers about how perfumes and other smells are a trigger for your migraines or headaches.

Trigger #5: Poor diet

Eating too many processed, unhealthy foods can lead to a variety of health issues and increase your risk for chronic migraines and headaches.

How to avoid:

Do your research. Find out more about the foods and ingredients that are known migraine triggers and focus on taking them out of your diet. Start by reducing your intake of cheese and other dairy products, artificial sweeteners, and chocolate. You should also avoid foods and beverages that have a particularly strong smell.

While avoiding your triggers can significantly lessen the frequency and severity of your migraines and headaches, you may still need medical attention. You can visit Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic today or schedule an appointment online or by phone to discuss options for easing head pain associated with migraines and headaches.

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