2007-09-30 00:00:00

Foods that Trigger Migraines

If you suffer from migraine headaches or know someone who does, you are aware of how debilitating they can be.? The severity of these headaches varies immensely.? Some people experience minor symptoms that come and go with little effect on daily life, while others find themselves locked in a quiet, dark room for days.

Many theories have been proposed to explain migraine headache, but the actual cause is not completely understood.? It was once thought that changes in the circulatory system were to blame for headaches, but recent research points the finger at the central nervous system. Even though we don’t know the exact cause of migraines, we do know that migraines can be trigger by environmental agents such as stress and food.

For many people it is a difficult task to narrow down the food that is responsible triggering their migraine. Luckily,?researchers have been able to compile a list of foods that have a higher likelihood of triggering a migraine.

The following is a list of foods that trigger migraines:

  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits
  • Hot dogs
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Aspartame
  • Fatty foods
  • Ice cream
  • Caffeine withdrawal
  • Alcoholic drinks, especially red wine and beer

From the previous list, it seems like one would?have little trouble avoiding the most common triggers, there is one?trigger that is not as hard to avoid.

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is known as a common ingredient in Chinese, but it is also found in other common foods such at commercial soups, soy sauce, salad dressing, frozen dinners, soup mix, croutons, stuffing andsome chips.? It can be disguised on food labels as sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed protein, or autolyzed yeast.

The best way to determine what triggers might be affecting you is to do an elimination diet.? An elimination diet involves removing the majority of foods from your diet except for a few foods that are thought to be non-allergenic.? While on the diet, foods are added periodically and the effect is measured.

Unfortunately migraines are typically multi-factorial and involve many different variables.? A food might be the trigger that is the straw that breaks the camels back, but stress might be the true underlying cause.

It is important to address the foods that trigger migraines, but don’t lose sight of the other environment triggers such as stress and physical pain.

Migraines can also be caused by life threatening conditions such as cancer or stroke, so it is important to speak with a healthcare practitioner to determine the severity of your migraines.

For more information about migraines, you can visit the National Migraine Association.

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