Discovering a new trigger

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Discovering a new trigger

Post  Mini on Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:09 pm

I know that some people do not believe in migraine triggers, but I suffer from several of them, and recently I have discovered yet another new trigger: when I read something in a hurry and I have no time to focus properly, especially anything written in bold print/font on a bright background, this can instantly start a migraine for me.

The same is true if I am reading something and then suddenly look at some object further apart (like a TV) this can cause a migraine, too.

I am only mentioning this, since these two triggers are quite new for me and obviously I will be trying to avoid these situations from now on.

Migraine is always full of surprises.
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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  kathy on Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:57 am

I think the reason some people don't believe in triggers is becaause they can't directly relate them. I used to feel that way until I learned that maybe I can eat a hot dog today and be fine and when I ate sausage the next day I didn't get a migraine. Or I didn't sleep well and got a migraine after eating a hot dog today.

I was told by some very good doctors that sometimes the chemical reaction has to build up in the brain til finally it over flows and bam migraine from hell. So just because I didn't get a migraine right after a hot dog it doesn't mean that it's not going to combine with other triggers and still cause one in the next 24 hours. It's a build up thing. So I avoid all the nitrates and msgand it really helps. If I can't avoid all triggers I make sure I know how far I pushed it and try to minimize the exposure.

Once I learned this my life became so much more managable and pleasant.It seems so simple but I never put it together on my own.
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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Connie601 on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:32 pm

Thank you Kathy. That was the first time I have seen a good explanation of triggers. I, too, find that I can eat a hot dog one day and be fine and another day be awful.

I have a friend(?) who does not get migraines and keeps telling me to try to find out what actually triggers my migraines. Like I haven't been over and over all of them. I am a 66 year old woman and I still get migraines every day. She thinks I can just find the cause, eliminate it and that will be the end of the migraines. So at least now I can say that other people have changing triggers (or it would seem so) and not just me.

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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Mini on Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:45 am

I also think that some people do not "believe" in triggers becasue they are seriously in denial. They do not want to stop using what obvioulsy harms them.

I have a friend with a daily M, who refuses to believe that her daily drink of Champagne at lunch and gin at tonic ta night must be contributing to her bad head (I cannot drink any alcohol, I have not touched any in years).

She also eats whatever she likes, she plays intense bouts of tennis, daily (we know that intense bouts of exercise, especially in the sun could certainly trigger a bad M for some people).

Yet she spends a fortune on private Doctors, here in UK and abroad, she does not belive that she has M, "it is just a headache" she says, but complains that nothing, nothing works for her. She also uses in large quantities powerful painkillers, daily.

I know some kinds of head pain are intractable, but I wish that she would at least try to help herself by trying to change some things in her life, just to see what happens. When she does, she does it for a day or two, complains it does nothing for her, and gives up.

I know for ceratin, that in my case I am saving myself from lots of unnecessary M, when I do not have certain foods/drinks, or do certain things, by avoiding them.
It took me many years to learn what triggers I have - it was mostly trial and error and reading about other people's triggers.

It is very true, just like Kathy said that the effect of several triggers is often combined, so it takes some time to work it all out.

It takes hard work and determination, to work out what works and what does not, for each of us. But it is worth it. Even if I have one M a month less, all sacrifices are worth it.
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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  kathy on Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:03 am

Champagne!!!I hear that is the king of triggers. I've never drank it and at my wedding I had 7-up. Looked just like Champagne. That's one of those triggers I fear and will never try.
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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Cindy*W on Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:56 am

Alcohol is a big trigger for me.

Two years ago on New Years I had a few sips of Martini and Rossi and within hours had a major M.

Went to the doctor the next day to get a shot and I explained to him what had brought it on.

Swore I would never do it again and haven't touched alcohol since.

Guess I just have to learn everything the hard way.

Cindy
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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Mini on Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:47 am

Alcohol? What is that?
But seriously I have not touched alcohol in years since in the end even Champagne gave me M. I don't miss alcohol in the least, but I resents the fact that when you say you don't drink, it seems to upset other people and spoil their fun.
I have no idea why this is, but this happens with any age groups, and all social classes (I have wide variety of friends etc). Thsi really makes me sad.
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Trigger Denial

Post  kjwitt on Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:00 pm

I think I have not figured out my triggers because I am too scared. In the back of my head I think I know what they are, but I guess at 24 I am afraid of what I am going to have to give up. As a woman with a weekly migraine that lasts at least a day or two, the time to find my triggers is now Sad
Where should I start? Does anyone have any tips? Do I need to write down food, weather, stress, etc...?

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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Mini on Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:45 am

Hi, and welcome to our forum.
I can well understand that you are worried and reluctant, to give up on things which might trigger your migraines. Of course this might sound scary.
But it is useful to know about triggers, because sometimes small changes in your lifestyle can prevent big, bad head pain, and this is worth it, especialy when your migraine is getting worse, or more frequent.

Many of us as are sensitive to specific triggers, some of us are sensitive to lot of them expecially as we get older we discover how some more things affetc us, that we enevr suspected.

But you might also discover that you don't need to cut down on too many things, so it is useful to know what your own triggers are by avoiding them. Or to observe more closely, by writing a migraine diary and what you have been eating and doing before your migraine came.

Of course some triggers, such as weather cannot be avoided, but many others can be.
Such as sleeping too much, or too little for example is often a bad trigger.

Many people get weekend migraines from sleeping too long becasue they don't need to get up, so getting up a little earlier might stop these migraines.
Or going to bet too late, can have the same effect.

You don't have to make lists of triggers, but it can be useful to do that, so we can remind ourselves what not to do.

If you get to the main page here (Migrainepage) have a look at the thread: "Controlling your migraines by diet", by Jul. There is much informnation there on the subject.

I hope this helps.
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Where exactly is that diet guide

Post  kathy on Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:35 pm

Mini where exaxtly is that diet guide?

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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Mini on Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:10 pm

Kathy,
YOu will find the thread that I mentioned near the bottom of the first page of our MIGRAINES forum here - it was started by Jul.

Just look at all the threads on that page, until you come to the one you want, as otherwise it is easy to miss it.

I have also noticed that Jul is also raising the diet issue again, right at the top of the same page, so you can look at that as well.
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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  japetter on Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:21 am

in my opinion,I believe do something will trigger migraine pain.

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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Mini on Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:30 pm

Sorry Japatter, I am not sure what you mean? Your sentence does not make sense. Sorry.
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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Wendy on Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:46 am

Mini wrote:Alcohol? What is that?
But seriously I have not touched alcohol in years since in the end even Champagne gave me M. I don't miss alcohol in the least, but I resents the fact that when you say you don't drink, it seems to upset other people and spoil their fun.
I have no idea why this is, but this happens with any age groups, and all social classes (I have wide variety of friends etc). Thsi really makes me sad.

This. Worse still is when they then insist on pouring you a glass as if it's no big deal. No, actually, as much as I'd *love* a glass of wine, you offering it to me just makes the taunting even worse. Just offer me a soft drink instead. Not that hard.
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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  TechSpec on Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:10 pm

I think it is plainly clear that migraine triggers exist, and I am perplexed by the number of people who doubt it. A study on chronic migraines in children showed that 93% of patients could stop their frequent severe migraines on an elimination diet (see first reference). In the study, the patients ate only 4 foods (ex: rice, lamb, apples, and brassica) for a week. If that helped reduce their migraines, they added foods back once a week until their diet was nutritious and socially acceptable. Then, they gave the trigger foods back to the children and they had migraines. This was a double blind, placebo controlled study with 88 patients! Does this not prove that triggers exist? Similar results have been demonstrated in adult patient populations (see second reference). There is growing evidence that migraines are an allergic disease.

I learned a while ago that my diet was by far the best way to manage my migraines. I tried an elimination diet. I cut out 7 common allergens from my diet (Milk, Egg, Wheat, Tomato, Beef, Corn, Soy) and got much better. I now eat mainly rice, vegetables, and fish and have almost no migraines.


Best,
Steven

References:

Egger, J., et al. "Is migraine food allergy?: a double-blind controlled trial of oligoantigenic diet treatment." The Lancet (1983): 865-869.

Mansfield, Lyndon E., et al. "Food allergy and adult migraine: double-blind and mediator confirmation of an allergic etiology." Annals of allergy (1985): 126.

Monro, Jean, Claudio Carini, and Jonathan Brostoff. "Migraine is a food-allergic disease." The Lancet (1984): 719-721.

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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  susan99 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:35 pm

i believe in triggers, just have had a hard time narrowing any down.  i know some things if built up, can do it for me.  i totally avoid red wine.

mini- i too have been having a similar problem with the vision thing you are describing.  it particularly hits me in grocery stores, as i try to scan shelves for labels.  so many colors, bright lights, and trying to scan/read them quickly.  i have to actually make myself stop and focus.

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discovering a new trigger

Post  dizzyflower on Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:34 am

I too cannot drink alcohol. I tend to explain that keeping my brain migraine free is way too expensive to just drink something that is the equivalent of hitting yourself over the head with something. If they don't get it I explain that triggers are a bit like a credit card account and that a glass of wine is for me like the migraine equivalent of putting a new car on your visa account they tend to back off and start asking about the other triggers a bit more interested.

I find the food triggers are really strange for me because they really do seem like a credit account that has to be paid. If I haven't had any caffeine in a day I can have stilton cheese, or risk a carrot cake (trigger is a little orange oil in the cake), but it combines with how many florescent lights I've been near to so it results in odd conversations with my hubby when we are out that go like this. "would you like a piece of carrot cake?" answer "I'm not sure. How many lights have we seen today?"

I try to write down my ones because there are so many suggested ones that affect other people but not everyone.

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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Mini on Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:22 pm

I tend to explain that keeping my brain migraine free is way too expensive to just drink something that is the equivalent of hitting yourself over the head with something

Very funny DF, it made me laugh, and we all need that.
Yes, triggers are complicated business. Counting our possible triggers on any day would be very useful indeed. only quite frankly I just cannot always rely on my memory. I just don't trust it. Another s/e of living with M.
Interesting comments everybody, thank you. It is good to hear that others experience many strange triggers. As far as carrot cake is concerned, I also watch it when out. When I make it myself I omit orange peel. BUt when you are out and about you don't know what goes into any food.

This brings me to another serious trigger: all citrus fruit in any form. Such a bad luck as I use to love oranges and tangerines, especially at Christmas. No more. Citrus peel of any kind, a slice of lemon in a cold drink can immediately send me into a "head spin" and guaranteed M.
I love tomatoes, but I suppose I will have to watch that as well. How very boring...Still, we have to find some compensations. Any suggestions will be most welcome.
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Re: Discovering a new trigger

Post  Sara79 on Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:39 am

I like using the 'spoon' description. http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ Not me, but an excellent way to describe how we live and decide what we're up to doing with chronic pain.

I'm trying to get used to the fact that I've suddenly had half my spoons taken away, with the resurgence of my migraines, and it's been frustrating to me and DH that I don't shake off the migraines like I used to.

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