Migraines are painful headaches often accompanied by throbbing on one side of the head, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivities, and sound sensitivities. These headaches can be triggered by certain activities, foods, drinks, substances, or a lack there of.

Movement in the body is a common trigger source for migraines. Activities, or exercise that may trigger a migraine include:

  • Weightlifting
  • Rowing
  • Running
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Football

Choosing what to put in your body should not be taken lightly. Knowing your body and identifying the right foods, drinks, or substances versus the wrong ones can have a major impact on your migraines. Consider changing your diet if these common trigger foods, drinks, and substances are negatively affecting your migraines:

  • Too much caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco and nicotine
  • Foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG)
    • MSG is an additive to foods that enhances the flavor for many processed foods
  • Foods and drinks with tyramine – a natural compound formed in foods rich in protein
    • Red wine
    • Aged cheese
    • Smoked fish
    • Peanuts and other nuts and seeds
    • Bananas
    • Dairy foods, especially certain cheeses
  • Nitrates – foods that contain nitrates are a common headache trigger
    • Bacon
    • Hot dogs
    • Salami
    • Chocolate
  • Onions – the strong scent of an onion has the capability to induce a migraine
  • Processed, fermented, pickled, chemically enhanced, or marinated foods

Not eating can also impact the severity of migraines. Remember this the next time you think about skipping a meal. A meal planner to track food induced migraines will help you monitor how your diet affects your headaches.

Migraines may also occur because senses and hormones are affected. Sensitivity and migraines are directly correlated, leading to the potential impact of these triggers:

  • Hormonal changes in women that may be caused by:
    • A woman’s menstrual cycle
    • Menopause
    • Use of birth control pills
  • Changes in sleep patterns that create a lack of proper sleep
  • Loud noises or bright lights
  • Odors or perfumes
  • Stress and anxiety


Are you or a loved one experiencing migraines?

If you or a loved one are experiencing migraines, Pharmasite Research in Pikesville, MD is currently enrolling participants with migraines.