Why I Love Talking About My Migraine Triggers

I absolutely love discussing my migraine triggers. It's not that I enjoy what they do to me, but there's a certain sense of empowerment in being able to identify the problem. The unfortunate reality is that my triggers are relentless and seem to be present in almost everything I enjoy. If I were to attempt a whole day without any triggers, it would be an incredibly difficult feat.

Of course, there are moments when I simply don't care and indulge in my triggers anyways, fully aware of the consequences I will face. Sometimes, it's worth it. However, most times it's not, so I make a conscious effort to be mindful and adjust accordingly. After all, who wants a migraine to ruin an otherwise perfect day? Definitely not me!

There are certain triggers that are beyond my control, such as the weather, altitude changes, or even hormonal fluctuations each month. However, there are others that I do have some power over. Here are a couple of examples:

Trigger No. 1: Chocolate

I can't help but wonder if one of my earliest words as a baby was chocolate or some variation of it. This heavenly, sweet treat feels like it's an integral part of my being. It's tempting me at every turn, be it at the gas station or after a meal with friends. I turn to chocolate as a source of comfort in both happiness and sadness. It's a constant presence in my life. Unfortunately, it's also one of my main migraine triggers. In recent years, I've tried to opt for better quality chocolate, such as organically sourced or varieties with higher cacao percentages. I've even started experimenting with recipes that incorporate chocolate along with healthy fats or vegetables.

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Trigger No. 2: Cheese

As much as chocolate feels like a part of my soul, I sometimes think I must have a bit of mouse in me. Crackers and pizza just aren't the same without cheese. It's a quintessential part of the American way of eating. It's unbelievably difficult to distance myself from cheese. However, I have noticed improvements in both my migraines and digestion when I limit my cheese consumption. Nowadays, if I order a burger, it's without cheese and with extra vegetables. I don't indulge in pizza as often as I did in college, but when I do, I opt for light cheese. Living in a world without cheese seems rather sad, but I have managed to find some dairy-free alternatives that are surprisingly delicious.

Trigger No. 3: Wine

No matter how much I try to justify a glass of red wine for its supposed heart health benefits, I often find myself regretting it when it triggers a migraine. It feels incredibly unfair. How can I be the Olivia Pope of my job without enjoying a glass of red wine in the evenings? How can I properly celebrate special occasions without indulging in alcohol from time to time? And what even is brunch with the girls without a mimosa? Seriously, it just isn't the same. I live in California, a state known for its beautiful wineries, yet they feel out of reach for me. It's like a cruel tease.