Watch the triggers to combat Migraine

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I have started having really bad migraines every month – I think it is linked to my menstruationcycle and the menopause. Is there anything I can do to help prevent the onset of a migraine?

One of the best ways of preventing migraines is recognising the things that trigger an attack.

Keeping a migraine diary is helpful. You may find you tend to have a migraine after eating certain foods or when you are stressed. By avoiding this trigger, you can prevent a migraine.

Many factors have been identified as triggers for a migraine. These triggers include emotional, physical, dietary, environmental and medicinal factors. They are outlined below. Emotional triggers include stress, anxiety, tension, depression or excitement. Physical triggers include tiredness, poor quality of sleep, shiftwork, neck or shoulder tension or low blood sugar. Specific foods such as chocolate, citrus fruit and cheese can also trigger attacks, as well as alcohol. Environmental triggers range from bright lights and flickering screens to loud noises and strong smells.

By eating small, frequent snacks to keep your blood sugar level up, maintaining a regular sleep pattern and avoiding stress, you can help prevent the onset of migraines.

I’ve found a lump under my armpit, is this common, or should I see a doctor?

It is likely to be a swollen lymph gland, especially if you also feel unwell and have other signs of an infection. The glands in the armpit can swell to more than a few centimetres in response to infection or disease in the area. Swollen glands tend to go down when you recover from short-term diseases or infections.

See your GP if the lump doesn’t go down within two weeks but also if the lumps appear on their own without any other condition. If the lump is small, knobbly and hangs off the skin like a wart, it’s likely to be a skin tag. It is thought that skin tags grow where skin rubs against skin or clothing, which is why they are often seen under the arm. Skin tags are common and harmless, and can be left alone.