Health & Wellness

Common Causes and Triggers of Migraines

Unlike regular headaches, migraines cause full-body symptoms such as muscle aches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Doctors are still unsure of the exact cause of migraines, but most of them agree that certain factors seem to correlate with the frequency and intensity of these painful bouts.  


Your migraine treatment Jacksonville Fl specialist can help you determine if the stress-related pain symptoms are migraines or tension headaches combined with other stress symptoms. Stress and anxiety are often correlated with migraines, and stress-reducing therapies such as meditation and mental health counseling are commonly recommended treatments.    


Hormonal fluctuations that accompany menopause, menstruation, and puberty in rarer cases are believed to contribute to migraines. Hormone therapy and birth control can mitigate these symptoms in some people, but others report that their migraines worsen with these treatments.  


High sodium foods, especially highly processed foods and aged cheese are known migraine triggers. Artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, as well as stimulants like caffeine and nicotine have been shown to worsen migraine symptoms in people who are prone to them. Also, if you have low blood sugar from skipping meals too often or from medical conditions like hyperglycemia, you could be more prone to migraines.  

Sensory Overload

Migraines are known to be triggered by loud sounds, especially high-pitched sounds. Bright, flashing, or oscillating lights cause stress to the brain that can trigger a migraine. Blue light from TV, computer, phone, and tablet screens can lead to migraines over long periods. If you get a lot of screen time, turn down your screen brightness and turn on your blue light filter.    

Sleep Schedule

Another common trigger is too little or too much sleep. Adults should get eight hours of sleep each night while going to bed and waking up on a regular schedule. To help with this, avoid watching TV or using your phone an hour before bed. Meditate or drink herbal tea to gently ease your body into a restful state before trying to go to sleep. 


If one of your parents suffers from migraines, you have an increased chance of the same, and of passing them on to your own children if you have or plan to have any. Migraines are also three times more common in bio-sex females than in bio-sex males.  

If you experience fifteen or more headache days in one month with eight or more showing migraine symptoms, your migraines are considered to be chronic. In this case, your doctor may recommend medication and testing to ensure there isn’t a more severe underlying problem.