Migraines are extremely painful, and they can be debilitating. When they come on suddenly, you might find that you have to postpone important plans or even miss out on work. Fortunately, though, you may have the power to reduce the frequency of your migraines & headaches. One thing you can do to fight back against the pain is try to figure out what is triggering it and then take steps to cope with those triggers. Let’s discuss some migraine instigators and how you may be able to deal with them.
Have you noticed that your migraines often coincide with times of heightened emotion? Some individuals experience migraines when they are depressed, anxious, shocked, or even excited. Your primary care provider (PCP) or mental health expert might be able to help you identify the feelings that trigger migraines and then suggest strategies to help you manage those emotions.
Many women are prone to experience migraines during their menstrual period; others might have headaches and migraines due to the decreased estrogen levels caused by some contraceptive methods. Hormone replacement therapy is also a possible cause of migraines. If you think your hormones and your migraines are linked, talk to your PCP about your concerns. They may be able to prescribe a medication (or change your medication) to reduce the frequency or severity of your migraines.
Environmental Factors or Food
Often, migraines are triggered by things around your body — or what you put into it. Chocolate, cheese, caffeine, alcohol, MSG, and aspartame have been associated with the onset of migraines in many people. Environmental factors, such as certain lighting conditions, strong smells, and loud noises, may also be triggers. If you suspect that either food or environmental factors are a trigger for your migraines, your best course of action is to try to avoid such things to the extent possible.
Poor posture, overexertion, and lack of sleep all have the potential to trigger migraines. Another common trigger that many people are unaware of is TMJ/TMD disorder, which is commonly known simply as TMJ or TMD. These terms can be used to describe a range of problems with the jaw that that cause it and the surrounding muscles to become overstressed. Such issues can lead to numerous symptoms, including migraines and headaches. A dentist who has been trained to recognize and treat TMD is the best person to help your jaw regain proper function.
Are you plagued by migraines? Identifying your specific trigger(s) may be the first step to putting an end to your agony and living a fuller, happier life.
About the Author
Dr. Keith Hollinger is a dentist in Glastonbury, CT, who has undergone extensive training in how to recognize mechanical problems of the jaw, teeth, and neck. Throughout his decades-long career, he has helped countless patients to find relief from headaches and migraines via custom-designed TMD treatments. If you would like to learn how Dr. Hollinger may be able to help you, contact our office today at 860-430-5687.