Cluster Headache Triggers – Learn What To Avoid So Your Cluster Headaches Might Stay Away
Every cluster headache sufferer will tell you that there are things that trigger a cluster headache attack in his or her active period. Those cluster headache triggers aren’t the same for everyone, but we can give you the more common triggers so you could learn to identify the things that start an attack with you.
In some cases medication can prevent a cluster headache from starting, but not always, so if you choose to cut out the things you are sensitive for, you don’t have to rely on medication only. One of the first things you should do if you are prone to cluster headaches, is stop smoking (if you’re a smoker). Also the use of alcohol and any foods that are associated with cluster headaches should be avoided. During a cluster period, the cluster headache sufferer is more sensitive to the action of alcohol and nicotine and minimal amounts of one of them can trigger the headaches. During a headache-free period the patien can consume alcohol without provoking a headache. Smoking can also increase the severity of cluster headaches during a cluster period.
The most common trigger for cluster headaches is the season. A lot of cluster headache sufferers report that they will have more attacks in the spring or autumn. Because they are seasonal in nature, cluster headaches are often associated with allergies or business stress, although this isn’t the case. Most likely is the seasonal nature of cluster headaches the result from stimulation or activation of the hypothalamus.
Other possible triggers include the use of medications such as nitroglycerin, this is a drug used to treat heart disease.
The beginning of a cluster period often follows occasions when normal sleep patterns are disrupted, such as during a vacation or when starting a new job or work shift. Some people with cluster headache also have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which the walls of a person’s throat collapse momentarily, obstructing the sleeper’s breathing repeatedly during the night.
Nitroglycerin (glyceryl trinitrate) can sometimes induce cluster headaches in sufferers in a manner similar to spontaneous attacks. Ingestion of alcohol or chocolate is recognized as a common trigger of cluster headaches when a person is in cycle or susceptible. Exposure to hydrocarbons (petroleum solvents, perfume) is also recognized as a trigger for cluster headaches. Some patients have a decreased tolerance to heat, and becoming overheated may act as a trigger which may explain the occurrence after aerobic exercise. Napping causes a headache for some sufferers, while for others lack of sleep triggers them.
As you can see there are a lot of cluster headache triggers and not all may apply to you. Try to keep a daily journal to see what you did right before your cluster headache attacks and when you figure out what triggers them for you, avoid it as much as you can.
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