Avoid weekend migraine “triggers”

By Chris Hammerlund | Ask the Nurse


Dear Chris, I seem to get migraine headaches on the weekends, but I can’t tell why that would happen to me so regularly? What do you say? - Lisa in Libertyville

Dear Lisa, Depending on which research you believe (I always believe the research that supports what I always thought and ignore the rest), some people do experience weekend migraines. Experts theorize this might be due in part to changes in sleep and diet patterns, stress levels, and caffeine.

On the other hand, other research suggests that’s a crock of hooey. That research claims that, for most sufferers, migraines don’t care what day of the week they plan to hit your head.
But here’s what might be happening with your weekend crushers.
It’s my theory that the older you get, the more susceptible you are to being affected by day-to-day changes in your habits. It might that you are doing too many things differently on the weekend. Health can be a function of having good habits as much as the specifics of what the habits are.

But there are a few goods traits that can help a migraine sufferer, say Mayo Clinic scientists, and you can reduce them with six habits.

Avoid triggers

If certain foods seem to have triggered your migraines in the past, avoid those foods. If certain scents are a problem, avoid them. In general, establish a daily routine with regular sleep patterns and regular meals.

Reduce the effects of estrogen

If you're a woman who has migraines and estrogen seems to trigger or make your headaches worse, you may want to avoid or reduce those medications. These medications include birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. Talk with your doctor about dosages.

Find ways to manage stress, though that’s easier said than done. Avoid using cigarettes or alcohol to unwind. Opt for yoga, meditation, reading, deep breathing, listening to relaxing music, or having a quiet conversation with friends.

Sleep on schedule

Try to go to bed and get up at around the same time each day. Fluctuations in the time and duration of sleep can trigger migraines for some people.

Eat regularly

Skipping meals and getting too hungry can make blood sugar plummet, which can be a migraine trigger.

Exercise all week long

Working out only on weekends could aggravate migraines, especially if you overdo it to make up for couch potato weekdays.