The Top 7 Triggers for Migraines (and How to Avoid Them)

If you've never had a migraine, consider yourself blessed. But then again, if you've never had a migraine, you probably wouldn't be here now, would you? Just like if I'd never had a migraine, I probably wouldn't be the one writing this. But here we all are! One big, unhappy, frustrated migraine-suffering family. And yes, there are a lot of us.

According to current statistics and studies, onward and upward of 38 million Americans suffer from migraines with two to three million of those 38 categorized as "chronic" sufferers. The good news? 18% of women versus just 6% of men experience them. Oh, wait.

"A migraine is a chronic neurological disease characterized by recurrent attacks of moderate to severe head pain, often described as throbbing or pulsating and which worsens with activity," Susan Hutchinson, head specialist and medical advisor to Cirrus Healthcare, explains. And while they can vary and are usually unique to the sufferer, she cites additional common symptoms as nausea and/or vomiting and sensitivities to things like light, noise, and smells. Convenient, right? Or, if you're like me, you may be part of the 36% of sufferers who experience auras and the 44% whose vision changes or becomes compromised. Usually, these symptoms serve as a precursor or "warning" of the oncoming head pain, which will likely settle in roughly T-minus 30 minutes later.

But let's get to the root of the issue here and the topic in question: What causes them? Ahead we dig deeper into the condition itself and what the seven most common migraine triggers are. Plus, how to alleviate them. Keep scrolling.