Thursday, January 15, 2009

Migraine triggers and the Block Theory

'The Block Theory' is a simple way of looking at how your body reacts to Migraine triggers.

Migraine triggers are things that might have the tendency to make the brain more sensitive, and start the cascade that is the beginning of a Migraine attack. Migraine triggers range from things you can control such as the foods you eat, to things beyond your control such as the weather, lighting or hormone fluctuations.

In The Block Theory, each trigger is worth a specific number of building blocks... you know, the pretty colored cubes you built towers with as a child. If fluorescent lighting is a particularly bad trigger for you as it is for me, it might be worth as many as 5 blocks. Something milder for me such as a change in weather might only be worth one block.

Every time you come into contact with a trigger, The Block Theory says to take the blocks and pile them one on top of the other, forming a tower.

Childhood experience has probably taught you that you can only pile a certain number of blocks on top of each other before your tower comes crashing down. In The Block Theory, that crash is the beginning of your next Migraine attack.

Each person is different. Mr. Handsome might be able to handle an enormous pile of 20 blocks before the tower falls and he suffers a Migraine. Ms. Chronic may have suffered so many back-to-back attacks that a tiny tower of only 4 or 5 is enough to send her into a Migraine tailspin.

Making it even more difficult to predict your next Migraine, building blocks are accumulated over a period of as many as 3 or 4 days for any single tower.

Do you remember everything you ate, drank or did 4 days ago? I usually can't remember them all, even when I try.

The Block Theory is why it can be so difficult to identify your own personal Migraine triggers. There are an infinite combination of triggers that can add up, in the right circumstances, to a Migraine attack.

Finding your Migraine triggers is difficult, but not impossible. It takes patience. Most people never know all of their triggers. As time passes, the number of blocks for each trigger may change, further confusing the situation. Many Migraineurs usually know at least one or two of their Migraine triggers however, so avoiding those is a good place to start.

What are your triggers? Do you have any strange triggers that cause you special problems? Your experience might help someone else discover a trigger they had never thought of before! Read about one of my strange triggers HERE.

More Migraine trigger information:

Tips for living successfully with Migraine Disease:

What is Acephalgic Migraine?

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