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Nutrition and Health

When it comes to managing your migraines, what nutritional challenges do you have and/or have you faced? Do you have any tips or advice you would like to share? Are you able to drink and eat many of your favorite foods? How about physical activity, is it a trigger for you and/or have you been able to find ways to stay active if so?

Lets get this discussion started and share with us what you would like to talk about when it comes to nutrition and health!

  1. Thanks Joanna, great topic.

    I find staying gluten free has been pretty helpful. It seems I am able to eat a little gluten, but if I overdo, I will trigger a migraine attack. Drinking enough water is very important for me as well.

    I try and stay away from lunch meat and Chinese food with MSG!

    I recently started yoga, but haven't seen a difference yet - I'll keep you posted!

    1. hello ,
      i am constantly nauseated even when migraine is disssipating. i have mucus buildup and always blowing my nose or spitting. for 3 weeks i have not been able to eat square meals. weather patterns shifting dramatically for me this year. i tend to eat more veggies and protein in small amounts and REALLY try to curb sugar intake which is sometimes all i want or need to get me through. some gluten free foods work but rarely because they have so much sodium.
      i cook alot of my food especially dinnertime. i do not add seasonings and if i do it is totally organic and very few ingredients.
      going to the grocery is always an ordeal ... i will spend a long time deciding what will not trigger a migraine. i am neurotic about food as you can read.
      holistic nutritional counseling is what i need. someone who specializes in migraine treatment. really it should be a practice all by itself .
      happy and healthy days to come.

      1. Thanksgiving and Christmas are rough with the food. I'm like you, I can't eat ANYTHING we don't make from scratch without getting a very long migraine.

        We manage by educating my family on my diet--what is safe for me and what isn't. My parents know not to sprinkle the turkey with bad spices. It's easy to make things like mashed potatoes, plain green beans and corn bread safe. My sister is making one stuffing for the rest of the family with all the spices and onions and a small dish for me without anything dangerous, or store bread (just cornbread and special chicken broth from an actual chicken instead of canned.) With the pies, apple pie is easy to make safe if you make the crust with salted butter instead of shortening. So, there's enough things I can eat that I can fill a plate, and then I just skip all the things on the table that aren't safe.

        If I was going somewhere non-family where I didn't feel comfortable asking about how something was being cooked or asking someone to leave something out, I would consider bringing my own food, which I've done some years, like when my mom was having ham, I just brought a dish of grilled chicken, no biggie. Or there will be fluffy yeast rolls that I can't have, but we'll bring cornbread I can.

      2. Hi rachel20,

        Thank you for the update! I am sorry you are running into so many food triggers, but happy you have been able to identify so many.

        Not all of us with migraine disease have food triggers, but for those of us who do (myself included) it can be challenging. I've also found my triggers, including food, change over time.

        Hopefully you'll be able to cook a fairly trigger free Thanksgiving. This link has some information on how to handle it:

        I hope that helps!

    2. lisa c santa cruz

      First I'm not a health professional, I'm 65 and have lived with migraine since I was 9. So I've had a lot of time to learn to live with migraines.

      I'm betting that barometric pressure changes affect your migraine patterns as well as pollen. Unfortunately the weather connection can not be changed. For the nasal drainage and stomach upset, I've found that a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 1-2 cups of water helps both the drainage and the stomach churning. Repeat every 4 hours or so. Sometimes I do this while taking my morning meds when I can't face the one cup of coffee I allow myself each day. Saline nasal flush or one/both vapor misters for nose.

      Are you avoiding artificial sweet additives and foods? Eating fresh meat only? Protein held food are held cooked no more than 24 hours (freeze leftovers immediately after cooking)? No deli or sandwich foods? Have an established sleep pattern? Do not become dehydrated? Taking preventive meds? Take pain med proactively instead of holding out too long?

      At least try eating steamed vegetables instead of eating them raw. Yes, I know raw is supposed to be good for you but if you've already determined gluten is problematic, then your body's allergic response has other issues also, and possibly the lining of your stomach. During certain periods I've eaten applesauce, loose watered mashed potatoes, and cream of chicken soup, ginger ale, crackers, nothing solid or raw until my system resets. Constipation doesn't help if you have allergic food responses. Dairy can take up to 4 days or so to clear your system. Just saying...

      Ice at the back of my neck and heat on upper back helps. Cold wash cloth over eyes. Dark quiet cool room.

      1. thank you for the input... greatly appreciated . yes, finally started apple cider and the mucus was improving rapidly but could not handle while migraining... now i will add honey which i love. never have additives and i seldom to never eat raw foods. steamed has always been the best for me. i eat 90 %organic and seldom have dairy unless i am on a good streak. i live my life for my diet and my menses.
        weather is huge and thank you for noticing . migraine america has had wonderful articles pertaining to this topic.
        thank you ,lisa

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