Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder that features intense headaches on one or both sides of the head. Migraine attacks may resolve in few hours or may take as long as several days. They are most often triggered by factors such as your menstrual periods, stress, lack of sleep, and even some medications. Certain foods have also been identified as triggers for migraines. These include:
- Chocolate: Chocolate is the most popular trigger for migraines as per many studies. Some experts think the tyramine content of chocolate is the culprit.
- Caffeine: Some people drink regular (caffeine-containing) coffee to relieve their headaches, whereas for some people with migraines, coffee can bring on migraine attacks. This is because coffee affects the level of a substance called adenosine in the blood. Caffeine addiction and its withdrawal are often a migraine trigger. A person addicted to coffee who wants to cut back on the caffeine content should do so gradually and not stop it all at once. This gives time for the body to acclimatize to the decrease in coffee intake. Look for the labels. Caffeine is not only present in coffee but also present in other drinks such as sodas.
- Alcohol: Red wine is known to trigger migraine attacks in some. However, there are reports of people getting migraine attacks after consuming alcoholic drinks such as beer, champagne, beer, and whisky. A single peg can also trigger migraines.
- Food additives:
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG): A common additive in Chinese cuisine and the main ingredient in soy sauce and meat tenderizer, MSG is primarily used to enhance the taste of the food.
- Nitrates and nitrites: These are used as food preservatives in processed food items such as hot dogs, bacon, ham, sausage, lunch meats, and some types of cheese. These can cause the blood vessels to dilate (expand) and trigger migraine headaches.
- Aspartame: A sugar substitute, aspartame is 150 times sweeter than sugar. It is not known how it triggers a headache.
- Spicy foods: These can irritate your stomach and cause hyperacidity. Hyperacidity can give rise to a migraine attack.
- Cheese: Tyramine present in certain types of cheese can trigger migraines. These include:
Other food triggers include:
- Baked foods
- Nuts and nut butter (such as peanuts and peanut butter)
- Citrus fruits
- Other fruits such as:
- Red plums
- Passion fruit
Soy products such as:
- Soy milk
- Soy sauce
Vegetables such as:
- Some beans
Not all these foods will trigger your migraine headache. The food that triggers some other person with a migraine might not be the food trigger for you.
To identify what foods are responsible for triggering your migraines, maintaining a food journal is a good idea. Whenever you get a migraine attack, note whatever food items you had at least 2 hours before. Try avoiding that particular food or drink to prevent migraine attacks.
You may also get migraine attacks when you skip meals or drink less water. Consuming a heavy meal at a time and long intervals between two meals can also cause migraine attacks. Hence, instead of having three large meals a day, you should have small five to six meals spread throughout the day.
Food Triggers for Migraines. https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/migraine-trigger-foods
Top What Foods Trigger Migraines? Related Articles
aspirinAspirin (Aspirin, Arthritis Foundation Safety Coated Aspirin, Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Children's Aspirin, Ecotrin, and many others) is a NSAID used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation in the body that results from forms of arthritis, and soft tissue injuries. Aspirin is also used for decreasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Side effects, drug interactions, pregnancy information, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
atenololAtenolol is a beta-adrenergic blocking agent, blocking the action of the sympathetic nervous system, a portion of the involuntary nervous system. Atenolol is prescribed for patients with high blood pressure (hypertension), used to treat chest pain (angina pectoris) related to coronary artery disease, and is also useful in slowing and regulating certain types of abnormally rapid heart rates (tachycardias). Other uses for atenolol include the prevention of migraine headaches.
onabotulinumtoxinA, Botox, Botox CosmeticOnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox, Botox Cosmetic) is an injectable neuro-toxin used for the treatment of chronic migraine headache, axillary hyperhidrosis, upper limb spasticity, cervical dystonia, strabismus, and frown lines. Side effects of onabotulinumtoxinA include allergic reactions, rash, itching, headache, neck pain, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, nausea, weakness, and dry mouth.
Can You Take Time Off Work for a Migraine?Migraines are most common in adults of working age. Since migraines are still misunderstood, there's not typically a lot of support at work. Talk to your employer and discuss sick policies. They may have information about managing migraines and work. You should also tread your company's Equality and Diversity and Health and Safety policies.
Celebrities With MigrainesSee how celebrities cope with the pain caused by migraines. Learn their methods used to prevent and relieve migraine pain.
Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
divalproex sodiumDivalproex sodium is an anticonvulsant medication used in the treatment of manic phase of bipolar disorder, and epilepsy, and in the prevention of migraine headaches. Divalproex sodium is toxic to the liver and can cause liver failure that can be fatal. Common side effects of divalproex sodium include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite (anorexia), indigestion (dyspepsia), constipation, increased appetite, weight loss or gain, swelling of extremities (peripheral edema), weakness (asthenia), accidental injury, headache, fever, back pain, drowsiness (somnolence), tremor, dizziness, impaired coordination/balance/speech (ataxia), insomnia, nervousness, amnesia, depression, abnormal thinking, mood swings (emotional lability), double vision (diplopia), blurred vision, lazy eye (amblyopia), and others. Divalproex sodium overdose may cause somnolence, heart block, and deep coma that can lead to death.
feverfewFeverfew is a medicinal plant traditionally used to prevent migraine headaches, and in the treatment of fevers, rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders, and other conditions. Common side effects of feverfew include allergic reaction, mouth ulcers, loss of taste, swelling of lips/tongue/mouth, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, indigestion, heartburn, gas (flatulence) and bloating, diarrhea, and menstrual changes. Do not use feverfew if pregnant or breastfeeding, or have ragweed allergies.
Fiorinal with Codeine (butalbital, aspirin, caffeine, and codeine phosphate)Fiorinal with Codeine (butalbital, aspirin, caffeine, and codeine phosphate) is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of Tension Headache. Fiorinal with Codeine may be used alone or with other medications. Serious side effects of Fiorinal with Codeine include risk of addiction, abuse, and misuse; life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression; and fatal overdose in children caused by accidental ingestion.
ibuprofen (NSAID)Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat inflammation, fever, and mild to moderate pain caused by the common cold, headache, toothache, menstrual cramps, muscular pains, and joint pain and inflammation (arthritis). Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, upper abdominal (epigastric) pain, heartburn, abdominal distress, diarrhea, indigestion (dyspepsia), constipation, abdominal cramps, bloating and flatulence, dizziness, headache, nervousness, and others. Consult your doctor before taking ibuprofen if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Is CADASIL a Terminal Illness?Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is a genetic disorder that affects the small arteries in the brain, leading to stroke-like episodes, cognitive decline, and other symptoms. It can be life-threatening in some cases, but symptoms, severity, and progression of the disease varies. The exact mortality rate for people with CADASIL is not known, but a person with CADASIL on average lives for 61 years.
l-tryptophanL-tryptophan supplements are used as an adjunct to antidepressant therapy to treat depressive disorders. L-tryptophan supplements are also used for many other conditions including anxiety, insomnia, teeth grinding (bruxism), premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and migraine headaches. Common side effects of l-tryptophan include nausea, dry mouth (xerostomia), loss of appetite (anorexia), vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, rash, hives (urticaria), itching (pruritus), swelling (edema), muscle pain (myalgia), wheezing, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, blurry vision, serotonin syndrome, and sexual disinhibition. Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Migraine HeadacheMigraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeineButalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine is a combination medication prescribed to treat headaches. Butalbital is a narcotic that depresses the central nervous system. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. Caffeine has pain relieving properties and may boost the action of other pain relievers. Side effects of butalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine are lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, dry mouth, increase heart rate, and tremors. Tolerance, dependence, and physical dependence may occur after prolonged periods of use of barbiturates (butalbital). Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Non-Drug Migraine HelpLearn about 14 non-drug treatments for migraines. Acupuncture, biofeedback and massage therapy are among this list of non-drug migraine treatments that may help ease pain.
primidonePrimidone is an anticonvulsant medication used alone or in combination with other antiepileptic drugs to control certain types of epileptic seizures by reducing the frequency and intensity of seizures. Common side effects of primidone include vertigo, impaired coordination/balance/speech (ataxia), abnormal skin sensations (paresthesia), and difficulty with speech or slurred speech (dysarthria). Consult your doctor before taking primidone if pregnant or breastfeeding.
tizanidineTizanidine is a medication used in the management of muscle spasticity, a condition with high muscle tone and stiffness that leads to pain and impaired mobility. Tizanidine is used to treat chronic neck and/or lower back pain, chronic migraine headaches, rebound headaches, regional musculoskeletal pain syndromes, and refractory insomnia in spastic quadriplegic patients. Common side effects of tizanidine include drowsiness (somnolence), dry mouth (xerostomia), weakness or/and fatigue (asthenia), dizziness, slow heart rate (bradycardia), low blood pressure (hypotension), urinary tract infection, infections, constipation, liver injury, and elevated liver enzymes.