Researchers haven’t identified a definitive cause for migraines. However, they have found some contributing factors that can trigger the condition.
Factors that may trigger a migraine include:
- bright lights
- changes in brain chemicals, such as a decrease in levels of the brain chemical serotonin
- changes in barometric pressure
- changes in sleep patterns
- excess stress
- severe heat, or other extremes in weather
- hormone changes in women, such as estrogen and progesterone fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, or loud sounds
- intense physical activity
- skipping meals
- unusual smells
- use of certain medications, such as oral contraceptives or nitroglycerin
If you experience a migraine, your doctor may ask you to keep a headache journal. Writing down what you were doing, what foods you ate, and what medications you were taking before your migraine began can help identify your triggers.
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