(NewsUSA) - Migraines -- those chronic, severe headaches that cause intense, crippling pain that is often accompanied by nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound -- have triggers, or a variety of factors and events that make them more likely to occur.
Not every migraine sufferer has the same triggers, and the same migraine sufferer might not react to her triggers the same way every time. Sometimes, it's not a single trigger, but a series of triggers that cause the migraine. For example, a woman might not get a migraine from skipping a meal, but might get a migraine from skipping a meal on a day in which she's had inadequate sleep or too much caffeine.
Women are three times as likely to have migraines as men, and their triggers may be slightly different. According to the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. National Library of Medicine, many women with migraines experience the following triggers:
* Too much or too little sleep
* Skipped meals
* Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle
* Weather changes
* Alcohol (often red wine)
* Foods that contain nitrates, MSG, tyramine or aspartame
* Bright lights
* Strong odors
The good news? Identifying migraine triggers can help women avoid migraines. Women experiencing migraines should start keeping a migraine diary. Every time they have a headache, they can write down where they were and what they doing, what they ate 24 hours before the attack, and what day of their period they were on when the headache started. This can help them identify patterns. For example, if a woman gets migraines whenever she has a hot dog with Diet Coke, she might be sensitive to nitrates, aspartame and caffeine.
Of course, women can't always avoid migraine triggers like weather changes or too little sleep, so it's a good idea to keep a migraine treatment on hand. One all-natural migraine remedy, Lipigesic M, uses feverfew and ginger to reduce the inflammation that causes migraine headaches.