Migraine Food Triggers: An Introduction
We’ve all heard about foods that are potential migraine triggers and many of us have tried avoiding those foods to some degree.
Migraine food triggers are hard to identify
Unfortunately, individual triggers can be elusive. Figuring out which foods are problematic for you can be maddening. Some people have no food triggers at all, while others have so many food triggers that every meal triggers a migraine. The latter describes me.
Trying elimination diets
I have tried a variety of elimination diets – avoiding typical migraine triggers, gluten, dairy, and a whole list of foods that allergy testing showed were problematic for me – for different lengths of time and still couldn’t figure out what my food triggers were.
Still, I knew I had to have some issue with food because I always felt worse after I ate. It took work and I still have fine-tuning to do, but I’ve made tremendous progress. Last year was the best year I’ve had in more than 12 years.
Learning a lot about food triggers
For me, the biggest culprit is one that gets almost no attention in the migraine world: dietary histamine. Figuring that out was arduous (and involved a stint into malnutrition), but it also taught me a ton about food triggers -- and that there are safe and easier ways to sleuth them out than my original approach. This is the start of a series on migraine and food triggers. Some of the topics I’ll address include:
- What, exactly, an elimination diet is (and isn’t)
- Why it can be difficult to determine your triggers
- Which foods are most commonly considered migraine triggers
- Which naturally occurring food chemicals can be culprits
- Other foods that could be triggers and why
- Food allergy testing
- Elimination diet pitfalls
Have other questions I haven't mentioned? Please leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to cover them in the series.
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?