Migraines can appear out of nowhere. One night you go to bed, then the next morning you wake up … Ouch! Throbbing headache, blinding sensitivity to light. It’s a migraine. Migraines are a trigger disorder in that “something” (triggers) causing the cascade of migraine symptoms to begin. Learning how to manage your migraines is key to getting relief. The most effective way to manage your migraines is to first identify your specific triggers, and then manage them. Triggers are unique to each person (migraineur), but there are some common ones, too. Get to know your daily habits — be aware of the weather and what you are eating. All can “trigger” a migraine. Keeping a detailed journal of weather patterns, food eaten, activities and hours of sleep each night is a very effective way to identify your specific triggers so then you can begin to manage them.

For example, you may notice the day after eating Chinese food you typically have a migraine. This is due to the high amount of MSG typically found in this kind of food. This is just one example and doesn’t necessarily apply to
everyone. This is where a journal comes in handy. It allows you to look back and see patterns with your migraine attacks.

If you notice every time you eat a certain food, the next day you get a migraine, then that is a food you should
stay away from or at least limit. Another common trigger among migraineurs is pollen. A lot of people are affected by pollen, but for migraineurs the effects are not just an annoying runny nose but severe migraine symptoms.

Over-the-counter antihistamines are a good way to fight back. Benadryl is a good option; however, it does cause drowsiness in most people. This makes it a great option for a good night’s sleep, but not so much for going to work or functioning during the day.

Zyrtec is a second-generation antihistamine, so that means it is new and improved with less side effects, including little to no drowsiness.

Identifying your “triggers” is key to getting relief and living with migraines. Next time you walk outside and see a yellow powdery blanket over your car and yard, try taking a daily antihistamine and stop your migraine before it even starts.

Common Triggers of Migraines

• Weather changes (barometric pressure change)
• Foods (alcohol, cheese, chocolate, caffeine, MSG)
• Smells
• Bright lights
• Insomnia (less than six hours per night, greater than nine hours per night)
• Related to other health disorders (seizures)