struggling with the MAV diet

Managing your diet, exercising, lifestyle and travel to avoid triggering migraine.

struggling with the MAV diet

Postby brianbonesdennis on 08 May 2012, 04:24

hi i am struggling on the MAV diet at the mo - I felt like i was poss feeling bit better, then have a couple of 'dizzy' attacks today. Get some sort of dizzy occurence every day.

Have been on the diet for 6 weeks now, and decided to take no meds to see if there were any triggers in the diet, but honestly cant say i notice any.

Due to see the consultant in 3 weeks time, before then am tempted to put back in a couple of triggers to see if it makes any difference. Have I given the diet long enough to see if it works on its own?

I have had a week off work this week and on the whole feel slightly better, so reckon its the lack of PC, artificial lights and stress of work that has helped, not the diet, its too much of a conincidence.

Are PCs and artificial office lights big triggers, and if so, how on earth do you cope with them, or do MEDS help you to cope with them? (dont want to give the job up and i currently work 4 days a week with 1 of these days working at home)

The diet on its own has not shown to improve anything.

thanks for your advice
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby Nickolas on 08 May 2012, 05:45

I have been on the MAV diet for months now. For most of that time, my symptoms were so bad that, when I tried to "test" a food by introducing it into my diet temporarily, I couldn't tell if it was having an effect or not. This was really driving me insane. However, lately, my symptoms have subsided considerably, and I'm now testing foods with some success. For example, I've tried eating beans/legumes/lentils, and noticed that I have no problem. I did, however, try some soup with MSG in it (actually, autolyzed yeast extract in the soup base), and my head started to throb within two hours. The bottom line, in my opinion, is that it is really hard to do an elimination diet and test foods unless your symptoms are running at a fairly low level giving you a clean slate with which to clearly see any negative effect.

As for the problems of PC and lights, the issue of computer monitors is discussed quite a bit in this forum, and is certainly a problem for many people. Some people have had success with special glasses that seem to filter out certain wavelengths of light that purportedly trigger migraines (see, for example, http://www.axonoptics.com). I bought their glasses, but my symptoms have improved anyway, so it's hard to tell whether the glasses helped or not.

Good luck.
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby Deethedizzy on 08 May 2012, 22:57

I really do think you have to give the diet several months - i know thats incredibly hard when you are just suffering every day but it can take a LONG time for the TOXINS to leave your system. Also make sure that you have stuck to the diet properly, for example i didn't initially realise that 'natural flavouring' was in fact MSG and that even things like butter/spreads and breads could contain no-no's.
I have strayed on the diet last few days and boy do i feel it today! I think you will get improvements but it does take a long time.
Hang in there and good luck.
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby Kristina on 09 May 2012, 03:53

I'm confused why it takes months. If a trigger can cause a reaction up to 4 days, then in theory you should start feeling better on that 5th day, if you are not eating triggers. So why months?

k
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby Nickolas on 10 May 2012, 09:14

Kristina, I agree with you. I see no reason why it should take four months. A trigger works fairly promptly, and after a few days, would have no effect on one's migraine symptoms. I think the important thing is to get to a stable situation from which to cleanly test possible trigger foods.
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby david shapiro on 11 May 2012, 01:24

I talked last week with a senior dietitian at NYU Medical Center after her seminar presentation. I understood her to say she has worked with seizure-type disorders and MAV. She advised that if we add a new food into our regimen to test it as a trigger, we should know within a few hours, not days. She also responded that the whole business about individualized triggers, in the face of tyramine and caffeine being the general culprits, is real, BUT (in response to my follow-up) that there's no real research on MAV's food sensitivities, and no money to support future research.

Of course, my head swimming a couple of hours after eating a potential trigger food could have to do with what I drank with the food. <g>
Dissoc& lengthy disorientn~1992 on. Mid-2009, bad vertig & naus, DX PPV, then Meniere's. Off caff, << dizzies. Spring 2010 correctd DX to MAV. diet+75 mG nortrip for MAV. + Carbatrol for temporl epilepsy--the 1/2014 DX for dissoc/disorient.
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Postby brianbonesdennis on 11 May 2012, 04:01

I am still confused to be honest - I have been really quite strict on the diet for nearly 7 weeks (and regular sleep, meals, no great stress, exercise etc) and seen NO improvement; i e no caffeine, chocolate, cheese, citrus etc etc and nothing has changed.

Does this mean i have to keep with it for another 7 weeks/months/years to really see if caffeine/cheese etc are triggers for me? Surely i would have seen some, if mild improvement by now if they were triggers?

another Q - how many MAV sufferers actually have no dietary triggers?
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby Markmindo on 11 May 2012, 06:06

I have only been doing the diet for about a week now. So frustrating. Just went to a deli shop with my parents for lunch and couldn't find anything on the menu I could eat. The deli clerk was just rolling her eyes at me like I was the biggest drag in her life as I was asking so many questions about what kind of cheese do they use, do they have nitrates in their deli meat, does this soup have msg , is their bread made fresh every day, yada yada. I ended up ordering a non-caffinated beverage and watching my parents eat lunch.
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby Anne on 11 May 2012, 07:53

I haven't identified dietary triggers except wine. I never did try to follow any MAV diet per se, but tend to avoid nitrates, MSG, and chocolate anyway for health reasons. I don't avoid cheese, but don't eat much.

I believe the thought behind the migraine diet is to eliminate potential triggers from your system, and then allow your brain to stabilize and stop the migraine cycle, which can take time. Some food categories can take a couple weeks for your body to completely eliminate them. Then your 'migraine brain' would need a couple more weeks to calm down. At least that is my take on why it could take more than a month to see results from eliminating dietary triggers.
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby Deethedizzy on 11 May 2012, 23:16

I don't know why it took months for me but it did and if i eat the wrong things for say a week i feel worse after a few days.
Headaches are not a problem for me and so i can't judge instant reactions to foods by getting a headache, i have dizziness and off balance 24/7 which is definately made worse by not following the diet but like i said it takes me a long time to see improvements so i just try to stick with the diet as a way of life now.
Maybe it's different for everyone?
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby david shapiro on 12 May 2012, 06:36

Some suggestions about deli shops. . .

A plain roll with cream cheese/neuchatel

If they cook, an egg white--not whole egg--omelette with, oh, fresh mozarrella, green onion/scallion, garlic, green/red pepper, potato . . .

Tuna salad w/o onion.

"Health salad" (greens w cottage cheese)

Sometimes I get a nice salad and pick out the onion.

Soda bread, truth be told, and I pick out the raisins/currants.
Dissoc& lengthy disorientn~1992 on. Mid-2009, bad vertig & naus, DX PPV, then Meniere's. Off caff, << dizzies. Spring 2010 correctd DX to MAV. diet+75 mG nortrip for MAV. + Carbatrol for temporl epilepsy--the 1/2014 DX for dissoc/disorient.
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Re: struggling with the MAV diet

Postby Markmindo on 12 May 2012, 14:56

Thank you so much for posting you tips on deli's, David. I made the huge mistake of thinking all root better was caffine free today and drank about a quarter of a small root beer. Within an few minutes I immed felt dizzy and within 10 minutes had a horrible headache. I can't believe that small amount of caffine could make me feel so sick so fast. No wonder I've been so dizzy the past two years. Caffeine is a definite no for me.
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