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Eating during a migraine attack

If you search the internet on ‘migraine‘ and ‘food’ or ‘eating,’ you will find a plethora of information on foods not to eat to prevent migraines or foods to eat to prevent migraines. You will find virtually nothing on foods to eat DURING a migraine. I wonder if it’s because the people that write these articles don’t actually suffer from migraines?

It’s all well and good to suggest a sweet potato, but when my head is hammering and my stomach is twisting I’m not taking the time to wash and cook a vegetable. In fact, I’m not concerned at all about my nutritional intake when I’m just trying to keep food from being vomited back up.

I’m currently working with a trainer who is having me keep a food journal – which I’ve also done for migraine triggers, not just calorie counting. When I mentioned the gluten free mac and cheese I ate and told her I had a migraine that day, she suggested I keep red potatoes on hand instead. Perfectly…reasonable…suggestion. BUT, when I’ve already spent the whole day being pummeled with pain, dizziness, fatigue, aura, nausea, and everything else, whatever I can think about eating, and not want to barf, is going to be dinner that night.

For me, the usual go to with my worst nausea is salty french fries and an unsweetened iced tea. If the migraine’s really, really bad, I’ll go for a diet coke.

What’s your go to during a migraine attack?

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  • lisa c santa cruz
    2 years ago

    i eat only organic veggies… radishes, celery, sometimes avocado with a dash of salt. these foods have proven to help decrease nausea and pain… at least for me.
    now for the crash ,dire straits go to foods, french fries no salt, potato chips with low salt, green tea always unsweetened or with honey boba pearls, i eat a few pieces of raw boxed pasta for the riboflavin if i am beyond crazy with nausea which is very frequent … i starve or sip ice cold water. food is huge and deciding what to eat daily is a major concern in my life. lisa

  • Tamara
    2 years ago

    I am so bad now nutrition wise …..stupid chronic pain. Sugar is my go to – blast the brain with some feel good chemicals and distracts me from the pain long enough to get a bit of calories in. Downside ….. obviously weight gain (40 pounds and it’s all around my middle), causes spikes in blood sugar and then tanks which increases pain layer, very little nutritional value.

    I also have another problem. I have ultra bad TMJ issues as well (which are worsen by migraines of course). No suggestions please – I have one more $600 treatment of PRP and literally exhausted every option for relief of pain. I can barely open my mouth, severe pain – even cooked vegetables are too hard for me most days. It is excruciatingly painful to eat – I hate food.

    And I’m with you – can’t focus on worse pain days so cooking is a bad idea. I have burned myself or dropped a pot of boiling water when I have tried.

    Smoothies if I can stand the noise for a brief minute. I also have got to the point I keep around those baby food pouches – easy to grab, no chewing, veggies/fruit so I can pretend it’s healthy. Chicken strips and sweet potato (although they are horrible for you if you read the package) … creature comfort from days past. Yes I know it only takes a minute to make my own but you don’t understand I DONT HAVE THAT MOMENT OR ENERGY TO DO IT.

    I’m forgetting a few points but migraine is reaching past point I can play on computer. Hopefully this post is readable …. sorry

  • Sharwain
    2 years ago

    Lay’s potato chips and a coke. If I’m starting to feel better, boiled egg whites, potato chips and coke or gatorade. Occasionally apple slices but only if the vomiting stage is over.

  • GardensatNight
    2 years ago

    For me, it’s toast. Or pasta.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi there Anne!
    So awesome of you to take the time to share your thoughts on food during an attack! You are absolutely not alone in grabbing for some salty goodness! I thought you might enjoy reading some of what our members have shared over time on what their “go to essentials” are during an attack!

    What are your “go to” essentials that bring you comfort during a migraine?

    Migraines & Food: Cravings, Triggers, Comfort & Freedom

    Always an interesting topic to hear what others go to and we appreciate you taking the time to share your story!
    Take good care,
    Joanna ( Team)

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