If you have been diagnosed with migraines, you should be able to learn your personal triggers for the condition over time. No one has been able to definitively identify a cause for migraines. However, there have been some triggers for the condition that have been pinpointed. Stress is one of the most common triggers for migraines. There are a number of foods, drinks and food additives that may provoke the onset of migraines, including alcohol (e.g., red wine); caffeine; nitrates (commonly found in cured meats such as pepperoni, hot dogs and lunch meats); monosodium glutamate (MSG); the artificial sweetener aspartame, and some aged cheeses, sauerkraut and soy sauce, which contains the migraine-inducing chemical tyramine. Other potential triggers may include fatigue/sleep problems, weather changes, skipping meals and menstruation or pregnancy.

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