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
  • Dehydration
  • 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.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Dec 22, 2017 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Jun 15, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm