Trigger factors in migraine patients

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Background: Migraine is a chronic neurological disease with several trigger factors, including dietary, hormonal and environmental factors. Purpose: To analyse precipitating factors in a sample of migraine patients. Method: Two hundred consecutive migraine patients were interviewed about possible trigger factors for migraine attacks. Results: Most patients showed at least one dietary trigger, fasting was the most frequent one, followed by alcohol and chocolate. Hormonal factors appeared in 53%, being the pre-menstrual period the most frequent trigger. Physical activities caused migraine in 13%, sexual activities in 2.5% and 64% reported emotional stress a trigger factor. 81% related some sleep problem as a trigger factor. Regarding environmental factors, smells were reported by 36.5%. Conclusion: Trigger factors are frequent in migraine patients, its avoidance may decrease headache frequency and also improve patients' quality of life.

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Fukui, P. T., Gonçalves, T. R. T., Strabelli, C. G., Lucchino, N. M. F., Matos, F. C., Dos Santos, J. P. M., … Prieto Peres, M. F. (2008). Trigger factors in migraine patients. Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria, 66(3 A), 494–499.

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