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Managing Migraine - Migraine Trigger Foods

   
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Trigger identification and management is an essential part of Migraine disease management. Migraine triggers are physical things that bring on a Migraine attack when a Migraineur is exposed to them.

There are a wide range of Migraine triggers -- some avoidable, others not. Once triggers are identified, it's sometimes possible to reduce the frequency of Migraine attacks by avoiding those triggers.

One type of trigger that can be identified and avoided is food triggers. Not everyone has food triggers, but it's well worth checking into. Some Migraineurs will identify food triggers fairly easily by noticing that every time they eat something, they have a Migraine. Other Migraineurs employ an elimination diet to investigate food triggers. To do an elimination diet, you eliminate all the potential trigger foods from your diet, then add them back in one at a time, with a week between adding each food. It's important to note that a Migraine can occur up to 48 hours after eating a trigger food. Keeping an accurate Migraine diary is essential to identifying trigger foods.

Potential trigger foods

Foods that can be Migraine triggers include:

  • Vegetables
    • beans
    • pickles
    • chili peppers
    • olives
  • Fruits
    • dried fruits
    • avocados
    • red plums
    • bananas
  • Breads
    • any fresh yeast product straight from the oven
      • yeast breads
      • pizza
      • soft pretzels
  • Meats and seafood
    • any preserved or processed meat
      • bacon
      • hot dogs
      • sausage
  • Dairy products
    • aged cheeses
    • sour cream
    • whole milk
  • Beverages
    • alcoholic beverages, especially red wine
    • chocolate beverages
    • caffeinated beverages
  • Miscellaneous
    • anything with MSG
    • artificial sweeteners
    • vinegar

It can be frustrating to manage food triggers. It can seem especially difficult to eat in a restaurant or go to parties. When managing food triggers means fewer Migraine, it's well worth it. Most Migraineurs with food triggers find that only a few foods are a problem. If you're going to a party with food, offer to make a dish or two that you know you can safely eat.

To make things easier for you, I've prepared a workbook of sorts with a complete check list of potential trigger foods. You can use this to check off safe foods and foods you find to be a trigger for you. Click HERE to download the workbook.

_____________
Resources:

Silberstein, Stephen D.; Lipton, Richard B.; Goadsby, Peter J.; Smith, Robert T. "Headache in Primary Care." Isis Medical Media. 1999.

Marks, David R., MD. "The Headache Prevention Cookbook." Boston. Houghton Mifflin Company. 2000.

Young, William B.; Silberstein, Stephen D. "Migraine and Other Headaches." AAN Press. 2004.

 

First Published December 6, 2006.

Medical review by John Claude Krusz, PhD, MD

 

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Teri Robert, 2006 - Present. Last updated January 24, 2011.

 

 

 
 
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 The American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA)...

a patient-focused, patient-driven organization for patients with Migraine and
other headache disorders and their family, friends, and care partners.
Anyone interested in the concerns or patients with these disorders is welcome to join.

The AHMA exists to EASE the burden of Migraine and other headache disorders through Education, Awareness, Support, and Engagement.

www.ahma.ws


 

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NOTE: The information on this site is for education and support only. It is not medical advice and should not be construed as such. Always consult your physician if you have new or different symptoms. Never change your treatment regimen or add herbals, supplements, etc., without consulting your doctor.

All content on this site is physician reviewed by Dr. John Claude Krusz.

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