NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - If you’ve ever had a migraine, you know how debilitating they can be.

Four Tennessee cities, including Nashville, are ranked in the top ten migraine hotspots, and doctors see more patients with migraines.

“With kids at home and working from home and, as well as in some cases, patients who have had COVID,” said Joy Derwenskus, associate professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

It doesn’t help that Tennessee has environmental triggers that cause migraines.

“The weather, where we have really hot and humid weather and then these kinds of rapid changes in temperatures — patients often will say, I can tell when we’re going to get a storm because prior to it even starting to rain I get a migraine,” Derwenskus said.

The foods you eat can also be a contributing factor.

“Alcohol can be a trigger, nitrites — so lunch meat,” Derwenskus said. “For some people, MSG can be a trigger. Certain dairy products— cheese, yogurts.”

Anxiety, depression, and not getting enough sleep can also cause migraines.

The doctor says there are some simple ways to help put a stop to them.

“Hydrating well, not missing meals — so eating on a regular basis. Exercise.”

But if you still find yourself reaching for ibuprofen often, seek help.

“The concern is that if you continue to have more and more frequent headaches that actually will put one at increased risk for developing what we call chronic migraine,” Derwenskus said. “Because of people taking frequent over-the-counter or prescription medication for their migraines that can actually contribute to worsening over time.”

Along with Nashville, migraine hotspots in our state include Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Kingsport.

For the full list of migraine hot spots, click our News Links tab below.

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