Top 7 Migraine Triggers

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Dizziness, nausea, one-sided eye and neck pain are some of the symptoms associated with migraines. Seniors might also experience numbness, tingling or visual disturbances. The headaches range from mild, dull aches to severely debilitating varieties that can seriously impact a senior’s quality of life. While the problem occurs less often once adults reach age 65, the condition is no less miserable. El Dorado County Home Care Assistance explains what commonly triggers migraines. 

1. Foods

Consuming caffeinated beverages cause migraines in some people. Under normal circumstances, our bodies contain an enzyme known as monoamine oxidase, which is responsible for breaking down substances in foods known as tyramines. Some people have insufficient levels of the enzyme. Tyramine-containing foods may then produce migraines. These foods include: 

  • Aged cheese
  • Beer
  • Chocolate
  • Processed meats 
  • Sauerkraut
  • Soy products
  • Red wine

2. Sulfites

Foods containing or preserved with sulfite compounds can lead to migraines. The list of problem foods includes:

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dates and figs
  • Papayas
  • Raspberries
  • Red plums
  • Garlic and onions

3. Aspartame

This popular artificial sweetener contains compounds that can adversely affect nerve tissue in the brain and spur migraines. 

4. Abnormal Sleep Patterns

Too little or too much sleep has been known to trigger migraine headaches.  

5. Dehydration or Hunger

Skipping meals might lead to low blood sugar levels, which contributes to migraines. Becoming dehydrated due to the heat of physical exertion is also a contributing factor. 

6. Stress

Emotional, physical or psychological stress can trigger migraines according to Danish researchers. Anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of the headache sufferers report developing one of the crippling headaches during or after enduring stress. 

7. Medical Conditions

Caregivers must also be aware that some of the symptoms associated with migraine headaches might be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. Untreated ear or sinus infections, transient ischemic attacks produce similar symptoms. It’s also not uncommon for seniors who receive post-stroke care in El Dorado County to experience migraines.

When seniors live with chronic migraines and other disorders, they often benefit from reliable in-home care. El Dorado County Home Care Assistance provides flexible live-in, hourly and respite home care El Dorado County families can rely on to help their loved ones age in place with dignity while managing illness or injury. Call (916) 358-3801 today to set up a complimentary in-home consultation.


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