The mechanism behind migraine development is not completely known; it is thought that both genetic and environmental factors can contribute to triggering attacks. Migraines may be triggered by:
- Hormonal changes such as at menopause or in pregnancy
- Emotional triggers such as stress, anxiety and depression
- Physical triggers such as changes in sleep pattern, tiredness and poor posture
- Dietary triggers such as drinking too much alcohol or caffeine based drinks, irregular meal times and eating chocolate, cheese and foods containing tyramine and aspartame
- Environmental triggers such as exposure to certain lights (such as computer / TV screens), smells and changes in climate
- Certain medications can also cause migraines as a side effect, these include Nitrates, HRT and overusing certain painkillers.
It is important to understand that not all people will be affected by the same triggers.