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Migraine Foods, trying to figure it out


#1

Hello Everyone,

I’m sure you have already talked about migraine triggered foods here, but I want to get an idea how many people this has worked for…
I’m pretty much on a migraine diet and I’m trying to quit coffee which has been very difficult for me, very difficult… :frowning:
I’m still eating some wheat and soy products because I need the protein on my already strict vegan diet.

How many of you still drink coffee? How many feel that the migraine diet is working? is it making you less dizzy? have less headaches???
Scott, told me about the book “Heal your Headache” and I haven’t read the whole book yet but I got the concept behind it…
How many of you have tried Dr. Buchholz method and found that it has worked?

When I asked Hain if it was ok to drink coffee he said it was fine. I’m confused about this. It seems like all the doctor have different ideas of what works…

Let me know your thoughts…

Emma

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#2

Hi Emma,

I tried to do the migraine diet but it appears I have no will power at all and was barely able to cut out or even cut down on some of my beloved foods (cheese, chocolate). So I am in no position to offer opinion or advice, however, I did ask Dr Halmagyi about this when I saw him a week or so ago. His take on it is that foods are not a trigger as such (although with some exceptions, which I’ll get to in a minute), but that in the aura phase the migraineur will get cravings and then perhaps pig out on that food eg chocolate. The migraineur then makes a connection that the food was a trigger as it and the migraine happened in close proximity. He did say to steer clear of red wine (histamines or amines or tiramines - can’t remember, something with an ines) and foods with MSG (which includes lots of pre packaged things like chips, snacks etc).

Personally I have never noticed a connection with migraine and food. Changes in barometric pressure, especially when coupled with fatigue or flickering lights - different story. From what I’ve read though, it does seem like the migraine diet is pretty well established as sound prophylactic so I really should give it another go. Is very healthy anyway so it certainly wouldn’t hurt!

Food for thought (deliberate but rather lame pun) :slight_smile: .

Victoria


#3

— Begin quote from “emmasaga”

How many of you still drink coffee? How many feel that the migraine diet is working? is it making you less dizzy? have less headaches???
Scott, told me about the book “Heal your Headache” and I haven’t read the whole book yet but I got the concept behind it…
How many of you have tried Dr. Buchholz method and found that it has worked?

— End quote

Hi Emma,

Just as we are all different when it comes to our responses to medication, we are different in terms of food triggers too. However, there are common trends. It seems the chemicals and additives are the most common triggers. I followed Dr. Buchholz’ version of the migraine diet (my neurologist recommended it to me) for several months last year and eventually found my own migraine diet that works for me. My “almost every time” triggers are MSG, nitrates, and aspartame. My “sometimes” triggers are chocolate, onions, and caffeine. Here’s the big diet issue for me. I feel MUCH better if I follow a low carb diet along with avoiding the aforementioned triggers. I discovered this by accident. I have strayed many times from my diet, including recently, and after a few days I feel much sicker. I don’t know why this is the case for sure, although I have a few theories, but it works for me.

Coffee was/is a tough one for me. I gave it up when I went on the migraine diet. When I had bad vertigo, caffeine was a major trigger. Giving it up was key to getting my vertigo under control. However, I gradually let a limited amount of caffeine back into my diet. I am not a morning person by nature, and my MAV associated brain fog and fatigue are worse in the morning, so I have one cup of coffee just to get myself going. The reason I say caffeine is a tough one for me is because sometimes it triggers vertigo and/or my other MAV symptoms and other times it actually makes me feel better. :?

I recommend everyone try the migraine diet to identify their individual triggers, or to rule out food triggers altogether. I don’t think it is necessary to follow the entire diet perfectly forever. Just find your triggers and avoid those foods. For me completely changing my diet was not an easy thing to do, but dietary change has made the biggest difference in my recovery process. I would estimate dietary change alone moved me from an average of 40% to 75% of normal.

I think you should give the diet a try. It isn’t much fun, but it is worth the effort.

Take care,

Marci :slight_smile:


#4

— Begin quote from ____

Scott, told me about the book “Heal your Headache” and I haven’t read the whole book yet but I got the concept behind it…
How many of you have tried Dr. Buchholz method and found that it has worked?

When I asked Hain if it was ok to drink coffee he said it was fine. I’m confused about this. It seems like all the doctor have different ideas of what works…

— End quote

I have read the whole book and implemented his process and will say that it made a huge difference in the way I started to feel. It took about two months once I went on the diet but for me it made a big difference, for me I felt so bad I was willing to try anything to feel better and the diet and other life style changes have helped. Since i have been unable to tolerate any medication it is the only thing that has showed some improvement.

I am slowly adding a few things back to my diet but the big ones like MSG, chocolate , caffeine I know I will never be able to eat or drink and I accept that …

It takes will power and discipline but for me it was a no brainer feeling as awful as I did when I started the diet modification. Plus the sleep issue for me is also huge and I must be in bed no later than 10PM every night.

I know it seems like it is so hard , but to me it was well worth it.

I am not sure why Dr. Hain says there is no problem with caffeine as I have always heard that is a trigger for migraine long before I got the vertigo part of this…


#5

For me, unfortunately, diet hasn’t helped. I used to see Dr. Buchholtz and tried it strictly for at least 6 mos. However, many if I was on the correct med it would work well in combination. I don’t know? The only thing that I know is that chocolate, wine and MSG trigger headaches for me. As far as the dizziness, I am always so very sick that it is difficult to see any changes from diet.


#6

I’m like Victoria - I haven’t seen an absolute connection between migraine (and MAV) and foods for me. The only thing that I DID have a obvious reaction to was Doritos chips. Caused me to feel really out of it (surreal) and generally ill. My migraine triggers have always been light - particularly flickering, glare or a flash of light, such as reflection off a car mirror or window or snow. I also think hormones cause some of it and possibly weather. As for foods, I have changed my diet somewhat, but I still eat what I like to a certain extent, only lesser amounts. (Keep in mind I also had to make changes due to my digestive issues, so I still haven’t eaten steak). I try to stay away from artificial coloring and flavoring, MSG, and caffeine. Ironically though, when I have a classic migraine attack (meaning aura, headache, nausea), it is OTC Excedrin with caffeine that stops it and makes me feel better! However, when I do stop it, I feel kind of out of it for the rest of the day and it some times just comes back. I kind of look at my MAV as a different issue than the classic migraine (even though they are comorbid now.) My MAV symptoms are daily and vary in intensity; when I have a migraine headache I have the classic type that goes away.

PS. Oh yes, strong scents can trigger it too, such as perfumes, cleaning fluids, etc.


#7

Because of the increased vertigo, I have put myself on the low salt diet just recently, because of this I am eating the migraine diet also. I have made my own shepherds pie, cut into 8 pieces and frozen it, this is my lunch. Also, cooked and froze chicken pieces, these are to snack throughout the day as I get low blood sugar. Oat cereal in the morning, the odd cream horn for a treat. Dinner is as low salt and free of additives as possible. My migraine and dizziness and daily stuff is no different whatsoever. Years ago, I did the elimination diet for 3 months, beef, parsnips and rice for 3 months. The heads were slightly reduced but still there. It is not a big trigger for me.

Sleep, too much, lack of it, is, as is low blood sugar, too much sun. The vertigo has calmed down with the low salt (so far). Too much physical stuff sets off a migraine next day and the biggest one for me is stress. Chemicals are a worse trigger for me than food. Paint etc.
Christine


#8

I also lack the willpower to steer clear of all the foods listed in Heal Your Headache. My top doc gave me a list of foods to avoid and it was semi long but not nearly like buchholtz. His MSG was just mainly like chinese food type avoidence, as well as some others. I am not really sure if food is really a trigger for me anyway, I seem to have sooo many!!! Barometric pressure, flashing lights, snow falling, flourescent lights, strong smells, heat, stress, etc!!!
I wish it was a clear answer too from all the docs!!! :mrgreen:

Pam


#9

You know, it seems that there’s a bit of a pattern emerging here for (some) women. The bad foods look like wine (red?) and MSG with other suspects chocolate and caffeine. The other commonality seems to be that fatigue and stress are bad news and that we’re sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and flickering or strong lights and glare. Interesting…

Victoria


#10

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts about Migraine foods. It has helped me a lot.
I’m still working on quitting coffee though… :frowning:

Emma


#11

Hi Emma,
My name is Penny. I started the diet 2 days ago to try and control dizziness. I never get headaches, or didn’t until the last 2 days without coffee! but have a feeling of instabilty and weirdness all the time. I have heard endless positive things about cutting out the food triggers although everyone is different so who knows if it will work for us… I am desperate enough to try anything to get back to my normal active energetic life that has been taken away from me in the last months. I have done this kind of diet in the past for other things. Stay with it; the first week is the hardest then things start to feel normal for you.
I hope you stick with it. Good luck, I know it is tough.
Penny