Food and Migraines. That's a common topic and a common subject of questions I receive.
One subject of questions is which foods can trigger Migraines, and how do you figure out what foods, if any, are triggers for you. The best way to determine if you have food triggers and what they are is to do an elimination diet and keep a good Migraine diary. During an elimination diet, you begin by eliminating a list of potential trigger foods. Then, you add them back into your diet, one food per week. Keeping a Migraine diary during this process helps you determine if the foods you're adding back in are triggers. It's important to note that a food or beverage can trigger a Migraine up to 48 hours after you consume it. Some of us have food triggers; so9me don't. Trigger identification and management is a vital part of Migraine management. Here are some tools to help you determine if you have any food triggers:
Another subject of questions I receive is whether there are foods that can prevent Migraines. The answer to that kind of question is, "No, but..." There aren't specific foods that can help prevent Migraines, but good nutrition actually can help us. You can read more about this in the article Migraines and Food Choices.
For those of us who do have food triggers, it can be really irritating, BUT once we identify which foods are triggers, we can avoid some of our Migraines by avoiding those foods. That's good. That's far easier to cope with than those triggers that we can't avoid.
Good nutrition can seem like a lot of work, especially for those of us who have chronic Migraines with so many days when we don't feel like cooking. With some planning, good nutrition is as difficult to achieve as you may think. If you want some help with this, you can also ask our doctor to set you up for a consultation with a dietitian or nutritionist.
Overall, foods can be our friends or our enemies.The good part of that is that we can work to identify those that are our enemies and avoid them.
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Teri Robert, 2010
Last updated June 11, 2010