Top 10 Migraine Triggers

By a Care2 favorite by Megan, selected from Experience Life
6/20/2013 9:02:08 AM

Headaches might just be the most oppressive common malady there is. About 40 percent of us routinely suffer ordinary tension-type headaches, which range from the sensation of a tightening band to outright pounding around the head. Ninety-three percent have these headaches at least once or twice a year.

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It gets worse for the additional 50 million Americans who endure migraines, which pulse and throb relentlessly on one side of the brain. Accompanied by nausea, dizziness, numbness, neck pain and a host of other physical symptoms - even hallucinations - migraines can be mild or can grind life to a halt for hours or days at a time. The most severe migraines keep people home, in darkened bedrooms, and unable to drive, withstand the light of day, work or care for their kids. About 6 million people suffer migraines every day of their lives.

A perfect cure for headaches may not be within our grasp anytime soon. But by embracing the wide range of treatments available now - from avoiding triggers and taking supplements to trying medical interventions when warranted - all but the most intractable headaches can be controlled.

Dietary Triggers: Top 10 List

David Buchholz, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, points to the top 10 migraine triggers found in food:

Caffeine. Found in coffee, tea, colas and certain other sodas. Going off caffeine suddenly can also trigger headaches.

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Chocolate. Anything with cocoa. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which may cause blood vessels to expand and contract.

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