If you\u2019ve ever had a migraine, you know it\u2019s different from a typical tension headache. A migraine is a type of headache that comes with its own set of symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light, sound or smells, extreme fatigue or dizziness. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, approximately 12% of people in the U.S. suffer from migraines, with nearly 90% of migraine sufferers having a family history of migraine. They are also more common in women than men. "A migraine can be debilitating and can impact daily activities, your family and social life,\u201d says neurologist Sait Ashina, MD, a headache specialist in the Comprehensive Headache Center within the Arnold-Warfield Pain Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). \u201cUnfortunately, migraine often goes undiagnosed and undertreated.\u201d The exact cause or reason for migraines is still unknown, but what physicians can help you pinpoint are different triggers for your migraine. \u201cTriggers are what can set off the symptoms of a migraine headache, which is different than the mechanisms of the head pain,\u201d Ashina says. \u201cTriggers are usually individualized\u2014what could bring on a migraine in one person could not be the case in another person.\u201d In order to determine\u2014and subsequently avoid\u2014migraine triggers, Ashina suggests keeping a headache diary. \u201cYour doctor is going to want to know what you did or ate or how you felt right before a migraine attack,\u201d he explains. \u201cBy tracking these occurrences and any details you remember ahead of time, your doctor will be able to find patterns that will guide an individualized treatment plan.\u201d The American Headache Society offers different resources for headache diaries. There are also a variety of mobile apps available. \u201cList out each migraine, when it happened, how long it lasted and what could have triggered it,\u201d Ashina says. Some of the most common migraine triggers and remedies include: Food and beverages (such as chocolate, cheese, citrus fruits, processed meats, artificial sweeteners, soda, beer, wine) Work with your doctor to alter your diet and moderate food triggers. Caffeine Caffeine can sometimes help relieve symptoms, but high consumption can also lead to rebound headaches. Work with your doctor to alter your caffeine consumption based on your headache diary. Fasting, dieting, dehydration Do not skip meals and drink plenty of water. Changes to weather (such as humidity, heat, or extreme high\/low temperatures and atmospheric pressure) Stay hydrated in extreme heat and avoid being outdoors on particularly cold or windy days. Sleep deprivation Create and stick to a regular sleeping pattern. Light exposure Try to avoid florescent light (common in many work areas), wear sunglasses in bright light, or try a blue light filter for digital screens. Odor exposure (such as perfume, cleaning products, paint products, cigarette smoke) Avoid these triggers when possible. Changes to hormones (especially for women) Your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or other anti-migraine medication to use before and during your menstrual cycle. \u201cYour headache diary will be your doctor\u2019s best resource for avoiding any of these triggers,\u201d Ashina says. \u201cBy controlling what you can, you may reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches.\u201d Learn more about the services offered at the Pain Center at BIDMC.