Migraine headaches are very common in our society. Studies estimate about 13% of adults (approximately 37 million people) in the U.S. suffer from migraines.2 Approximately 2-3 million migraine sufferers, out of the 37 million, experience chronic symptoms. A migraine is described as intense throbbing or pulsing sensation in one area of the head, usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. For some, staying away from food that triggers a migraine attack has become a part of their lifestyle. Some of the common triggers are:
- Caffeine found in either soda or coffee may be a trigger if you take more than the recommended 8-12 ounces per day due to caffeine’s attachment to certain receptors linked to migraines. Small amounts may be beneficial, as it also acts as a pain reliever if consumed during an attack.
- Alcohol, especially red wine, is believed to have tannins that some experts believe is what causes it to be a trigger.
- Aged cheeses contain a compound called tyramines that interact with neurotransmitters in the body which may lead to migraines.
- Cured or processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, and even turkey sandwich meat, contain a preservative called sodium nitrate that causes a change in brain chemistry that may contribute to headaches.
- MSG, typically found in Chinese food and packaged products, may also be triggered.
- Citrus fruits have been shown to trigger migraines.
- Aspartame, an artificial sweeter found in packaged foods and beverages including soda, breakfast cereals, puddings and gelatins is another trigger.
- Legumes such as peas, beans and lentils are less common but still suspected to trigger migraines.
- Nuts have not been well-studied but have been clinically common triggers.
- Chocolate is being studied as being a trigger, or if it is a symptom of an oncoming migraine.1
While removing all of these foods from our diet may seem like the best option, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to enjoy the above foods without having to worry about getting a migraine? If you want to be able to enjoy the delicious foods above and not worry, then you should consider seeking care from Dr. Scott Hansen, one of 250 doctors across the world who specialize in a technique called upper cervical care. An individual evaluation would assess whether an upper cervical treatment would benefit you.
- Masters M. 10 foods that may trigger a migraine. Fox News Health. 8 Sept 2015. Web. Accessed on 10 Sept 2015. <http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/09/08/10-foods-that-may-trigger-migraine/>.
- Migraine statistics. Migraine.com. Web. Accessed on 10 Sept 2015. <http://migraine.com/migraine-statistics/>.