Migraines & Food

Migraines & Food

Everyone seems to know a migraine sufferer, or struggles with migraine themselves.  Some of the statistics from the CDC are really alarming:

  • Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with migraine.
  • Amazingly, 12% of the population – including children – suffers from migraine.
  • 18% of American women, 6% of men, and 10% of children experience migraines.
  • Migraine is most common between the ages of 25 and 55.
  • Migraine tends to run in families. About 90% of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine.

Most people don’t realize how serious and incapacitating migraine can be. 

  • Migraine is the 6th most disabling illness in the world.
  • Every 10 seconds, someone in the U.S. goes to the emergency room complaining of head pain, and approximately 1.2 million visits are for acute migraine attacks.
  • While most sufferers experience attacks once or twice a month, more than 4 million people have chronic daily migraine, with at least 15 migraine days per month.
  • More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine.

One of the suggestions that are being looked into that may help chronic migraine suffers is being vigilant with the foods that you consume   

1. Lunch Meats:  Most lunchmeat is processed, likely containing tyramine and preservatives that trigger migraines. Sadly,  these ingredients can be found in bacon, sausages, and hotdogs.

2. Bananas are the perfect compact snack. They’re high in potassium and energy, and they’re make a delicious topper for your morning cereal. However, bananas are high in 2 migraine culprits—tyramine and histamine.

3. Excessive Caffeine. Often moderate caffeine is used to alleviate migraine headaches. So be aware, aim to drink no more than 2 to 3 cups per day.

4. Aged Cheese I know; it’s not fair when the foods we like the most cause us to feel badly. So the older that block of Swiss, cheddar, gouda, or blue cheese—the more tyramine it will contain!

5. Pizza dough (yeast-based breads) contains coumarin, a naturally occurring chemical that can trigger migraines.

6 Soy Sauce & Monosodium glutamate (or MSG), a common food additive in soy-based sauces, contain a lot of salt—which also triggers dehydration and migraines.

7. Whole Milk Choline and casein, both active ingredients in whole milk will often start the rumblings of a nasty migraine headache. Sadly, also yogurt or sour cream, may also  leave you with a throbbing headache.

8. Beans Black beans, lima beans, string beans, navy beans, kidney beans—oh my! The tannin in most beans can increase the pressure in your head.

9. Alcohol Even if it’s just a small glass of wine with dinner, you might be exacerbating your migraines. Alcohol, particularly red wine, contains tyramine, a common migraine culprit. The sulfates in red wine are also known headache trigger

So, pay attention to what you eat before the migraines arrive. Then make a few changes?  Be your own best advocate and take control………… Be Healthy

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