Common health problems can crop up from the smallest things. You may not even know what triggers your headaches, heartburn or diarrhea, but we do. Here's a rundown of some common triggers.

  • Let's start with your headaches. Two common triggers are hotdogs and cheese. Cheese contains an amino acid called tryamine and hotdogs have nitrates. Both of those can cause changes in your cranial blood flow, and the result is a throbbing pain as the vessels in your brain narrow and then expand. Other foods that contain headache-causing amino acids include nuts, smoked meats, sauerkraut and pickles. For a hotdog with fewer nitrates, go organic.
  • If you get frequent heartburn, check how many mints you're popping. Mints are a muscle relaxer and popping too many may lead to acid reflux. That's because the sphincter muscle between your stomach and esophagus could open wider. So avoid popping mints, especially after a big meal, if you're prone to heartburn.
  • If your common ailment is diarrhea, check your slushie and sugarless gum intake. Slushies can be full of fructose and sugarless gum has artificial sweeteners that can't be easily absorbed. Consuming too much of either of those things can draw more water into your intestines producing diarrhea. The fix? Have fewer artificially sweetened foods.
  • Lastly, if you're prone to canker sores, it could be your toothpaste. Sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is a common cleaning agent in many toothpastes, but it can alter the bacterial coating in your mouth, which could irritate the tissue and lead to canker sores. The fix is to switch to an SLS-free toothpaste. The brand Tom's of Maine Clean & Gentle or the Jason brand have no SLS. Also taking 1,000 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily reduces the frequency, pain and duration of canker sores. That's according to the American Board of Family Medicine. You can find B12 naturally in meat, dairy, and shellfish.