Published On: Thu, Feb 1st, 2018

Which Food To Avoid To Bring Migraine Relief

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Migraine is most often described as a pulsing or throbbing pain in one side of the head, often accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. For many people, the pain is preceded by an “aura,” a visual disturbance of neon flashing lights, zig-zag lines, shimmering spots or a temporary loss of vision.

Which Food To Avoid To Bring Migraine Relief

Women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than men, and more than a quarter of migraine sufferers have a specific trigger – including food – according to Dr. Seymour Diamond, founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic.

Foods That Can Trigger Migraines

Dietary triggers may affect migraines by influencing the release of serotonin, causing constriction and dilation of blood vessels, or by directly stimulating areas of the brain. For migraine sufferers whose headaches are triggered by food, beverages or additives, identifying the culprits and avoiding the triggers may help prevent or reduce the effects of a migraine attack. A typical list of the offending foods include:

-aged cheese
-citrus fruits
-hot dogs
-monosodium glutamate (and related substances)
-fatty foods
-ice cream
-caffeine withdrawal
-alcoholic drinks, especially beer and wine

Tyramine, a substance that forms from the breakdown of protein in certain foods, is the culprit in aged cheese. The longer a food ages, the bigger the tyramine content. Some of the tastiest cheeses, such as blue, brie, cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, Gorgonzola and feta, should be avoided if a migraine sufferer is found to be sensitive to tyramine. Other foods high in tyramine include processed meats, pickles, onions, olives, certain types of beans, raisins, nuts, avocados, canned soups and red wines.

Lifestyle Changes for Migraine Relief

In addition to avoiding known migraine food triggers, migraine sufferers can also modify their lifestyle to better prevent or mitigate migraine attacks. Some recommended changes include:

-Improve sleep habits . Regular bedtimes should be observed; seven to eight hours of sleep per night is recommended.
-Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that is low in fat and high in carbohydrates.
-Eat regularly. Don’t skip meals.
-Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise, in particular, may help prevent migraine.
-Beware of “brain freeze.” Ice cream and other cold foods can launch a migraine attack.
-Keep a diet diary. Faithfully record everything eaten, with the corresponding headache response.

Migraines can be effectively managed with the help of a health care provider. A medication treatment regimen usually falls into two categories: preventive and abortive. Combined with the lifestyle changes mentioned above, and avoidance of known triggers, such as migraine food triggers, migraine sufferers have a chance to control the horrible and debilitating pain of a migraine headache or ocular migraine. And perhaps sufferers can generate a reduction of the13 percent of the U.S. population who are afflicted with migraine headaches, causing an estimated $31 billion in losses to industry due to absenteeism, lost productivity and medical expenses due to migraine.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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