woman with migraine headache

Do you suffer from migraines? They can be debilitating and stop you from your daily duties or work.

Migraine headaches involve severe head pain, can be one-sided, and often accompanied by nausea or vomiting and sensitivity to light, sound or smells. The symptoms can last for several days with some sufferers becoming bedridden. The frequency of attacks can vary from weekly to monthly to seldom. Other symptoms can include tingling of fingers and toes and blurry vision or eye pain.

It is important to identify the trigger and take steps to reduce the migraine being triggered.


Triggers of Migraines:

  • Physical Tension

Physical tension such as demanding exercise may trigger migraines. This can be intertwined with nutritional deficiencies such as Magnesium and Vitamin B12 deficiencies. One of my clients finds that whenever he exercises too hard – goes for a 15km run then his migraines are triggered.

  • Not enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can trigger migraines. The physical and mental weariness and the adrenal response to keep going when you are tired can trigger a migraine.

  • Poor Diet and Food Selection

Not eating regularly and consuming too much sugar or fats can trigger migraines. Irregular blood sugar levels can cause an imbalance in your body to be a trigger.

Specific foods containing amines or salicylates can trigger migraines in sensitive people.  Foods such as cheese, chocolate, citrus foods, or caffeine.

In some instances, histamine containing foods like fermented foods, Kombucha, or apple cider vinegar can be a trigger. Aged meats, smoked meats, and leftover meals can trigger migraines. 

  • Dehydration

Dehydration or lack of drinking enough water can trigger migraines.

  • Hormonal Imbalance

Do your migraines coincide with your hormonal cycle? Women can find they are more susceptible to migraines during ovulation or before or during the period. Look at your hormonal cycle to see if there is a pattern between your migraines and your hormones.

  • Emotions

Emotions can actually trigger migraines. Strong emotional events at home or at work can trigger migraines in some people. Stress, constant tension, unexpected events all can trigger a migraine.

  • Environment

Loud noises such as loud cars revving, trucks, nearby bangs from industrial areas, whistles in sporting arenas, music concerts and fireworks can trigger some migraines.

Smells can induce migraines. Do you walk into a department store, only to walk out with a migraine starting? It could be the smells at the perfume counters.

Bright lights and flickering lights from an old fluorescent light can trigger migraines.

What can you do?

  • Record what you eat each day and migraine symptoms

 Make a list of what you eat every day, including all ingredients and even if it is leftovers. Take note the time you ate it and how you feel for the next few hours after eating. Migraines can come on the following day to the day of the offending food.

  • Record your Activities.

Record activities such as exercise and make a note of how you feel. Also include regular daily activities, like washing and hanging out the washing on a line above your head.

  • Plot your hormonal cycle.

Document your menstrual cycle. Use a diary to note when your last period was and record any migraines. Alternatively, use an App on your phone to keep track.  Look for a pattern in your cycle and migraine frequency.  

  • Incorporate Stress-Busting Techniques.

There’s a quote that says that in our life, 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. It’s all about the reaction to stress. If you can change your reaction to stress you can minimize your incidence of migraines. Find ways of managing your stress reaction. If you need help to create techniques, look to a health professional to help.

  • Get adequate sleep

Create a bedtime routine. Have a set time for bed and keep to this schedule. Avoid smartphones and computers 1 hour before bed to minimize blue-light exposure. Emotional arguments and workplace emails before bed can prevent you from sleeping well, so avoiding these before bed is advisable.

  • Check your Magnesium levels.

Magnesium helps to relax the muscles. Studies show that the majority of the population is magnesium deplete. Check your levels to ensure you have acceptable magnesium levels.

  • Keep some essential oils

Essential oils can help to reduce the symptoms of migraines. Use essential oils like rosemary, peppermint, lavender, and chamomile. Rub the diluted oils into the temples and the back of the neck to help the relaxation. Using them in diffusers can help as well. If smells trigger your migraines then avoid using essential oils.


Find your triggers by making a record of when you get them to identify your triggers. If you still struggle to reduce your migraines then look to a health professional to help.

Have a fabulous day.

Teressa Todd