Your Food, Your Migraines
Understanding the link between what you put in your mouth and what you feel in your head.
If you've ever experienced a migraine headache, you have one more life goal
than those who haven't. That goal? To never have a migraine again. However, to
meet that goal, you have to be well aware of the triggers that set you on the
painful path to a migraine.
Since some of the most common triggers are those things you put in your mouth,
you may want to keep reading to find out what foods and drinks you should
avoid to keep migraines from getting inside your head.
In your day-to-day routine, you probably come across a lot of potential
migraine triggers. From peanut butter and sour cream to raspberries and pizza,
nearly every food can be a trigger. Some, however, are more common than
others. In most cases, a food-induced migraine begins to rear its ugly head
within 20 or 30 minutes of consuming the food or drink.
To avoid migraines, consider avoiding the following foods and drinks that are
known to cause migraine headaches:
- coffee, tea, cola, chocolate, and other foods and drinks that contain
- extremely cold foods, such as ice cream, particularly when you're hot
due to weather or exercise
- alcoholic beverages, such as red wine, champagne, whiskey, and beer
- cheeses that have been aged to perfection and other foods containing
tyramine (substance formed when foods age)
- foods that contain nitrates and various other additives, preservatives,
or artificial sweeteners
In addition to specific food and drink, other diet-related issues can result
in the mind-boggling pain of a migraine headache. Your body requires a healthy
balance of vitamins and minerals to function properly, and your head comfort
requires the same. Any time this balance is thrown off, you put yourself at
risk for a headache.
One of the easiest headache-inducing dietary mistakes you can make is missing
a meal. Life is busy, you're always on the go, and sitting down to eat isn't
always possible. But when you opt out of mealtime, you're upping your risk of
a migraine substantially. Another simple way to mess up your diet and your
head is through dehydration. Unless you are regularly drinking from a tall
glass of water, you're probably a little bit dehydrated. Decide to drink even
less one day and your head could pay the price. A final cause of food-related
migraines is fasting. Less common than the others, fasting causes an immediate
lack of everything your body needs to keep going strong.
A Hot Headache Problem
While some people suffer migraines after chomping into a spoonful of chocolate
chip cookie dough ice cream, others have the opposite problem. They suffer
migraine headaches when the temperature outside starts to climb. And there is
actually research that backs their claims of high-temperature headaches.
According to one study, the risk of suffering a headache climbs seven and
one-half percent for every increase of nine degrees Fahrenheit. What's this
mean for you? Either live somewhere with a cool climate, stay inside during
the hot days, or be prepared to suffer heat-induced headaches.
Causes You Didn't Consider
The list of migraine triggers can go on forever. But if you're suffering from
migraines and still aren't sure why, you may want to consider these triggers.
Exercise. It may seem odd, but pushing yourself too hard in the
gym can lead
to stress-related headaches.
- Your Hair. It may look great, but if you keep your hair pulled back
tight or in braids all the time or wear an improperly fitting hat, the
stress could result in a headache.
- Your Perfume. More than likely, you know someone who claims to get
headaches around strong scents. If you suffer migraines and are around
strong scents regularly, it may be time to give up your favorite scents.
- Your Habit. Smoking has long been known to bring on headaches of all
shapes and sizes. Put out your risk for cigarette-induced migraines by
kicking the habit.
- Your In-Laws. Actually, anyone or anything that raises your stress level
puts you at increased risk for a migraine.
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