Triggers and Causes

Dairy Products

  • By Ice Dry

    I was in the process of narrowing down. Perhaps I am still. My suspicion is dairy products – milk, cheese, creamers and the like.

    I had been keeping a log of food I ate before a migraine but never suspected dairy. However, I read somewhere that it is also an accumulation of ‘bad’ stuff in the body which ultimately triggers the migraine. Thus, I had a tough time figuring out what triggered it because it sometimes triggered a migraine and other times not. Possibly if I hadn’t eaten a lot of dairy products for the week, it gets excreated before it builds up. At other times, the amount consumed accumulated over a few days was so large, it just triggered.

    Mhy journey – I ate fish noodle soup with milk one night and I had a migraine the next day. I thought it could be the fish or perhaps MSG. I asked my sis after the migraine and she denied putting MSG. On a separate occasion, I ate a cheese birthday cake – only a tiny slice. I almost died with migraine the next day. I had pizza another time and had migraine the next day again. But I was puzzled since I eat pizza regularly and it never occurred to me.

    So I decide to stop eating dairy products and 6 weeks ago. Lo and behold, my migraines was at bay.

    One day before sleeping, I decided to have a 3 in 1 hot chocolate. The next day I felt terrible and knew a migraine was coming. I looked at the hot chocolate package and true enough – there was milk products in it.

    One thing I realized was I always threw up when I had a migraine. So, I was thinking, is it the upset stomach which affected the head or vice versa. A little research confirmed that the stomach and brain are linked – thus the term gut feeling. Thinking back, I do remember my stomach feeling queasy before a migraine.

    Interestingly, the cheese in a Mac’s Fish O Fillet doesn’t affect me; nor does Hagen Daz and Magnum ice cream. Then again, as I mentioned, it could be an accumulated amount of dairy before it triggers my migraine and the amount I ate those times was not much.

    I hope it helps someone reading this.

    * I had been drinking coffee with milk my whole life and now drink black coffee. I heard that coffee helped headaches. Unfortunately, the more I drank coffee with milk, the more my migraine became worse.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Ice Dry,

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Diary, and many other foods can trigger a migraine attack for some people with migraine disease. On the other hand, there are folks who don’t have any food triggers!

    Coffee and migraine disease can be a double edged sword. Some people find coffee helpful in relieving migraine pain. There is a small subset of people with migraine disease for whom coffee can make migraine disease worse. This is the case for me. I have 1-2 cups of coffee a day, any more and I’ll get rebound headache.

    Keep us posted on how you are doing,

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