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Triggers and Causes

Following elimination diet

  • By Jo1950

    I have been studying the migraine elimination diet posted here and every time I read it I find another food group I missed. It’s a work in process. Most of the foods I love I have to eliminate, but hey, if it means a reduction in migraine I’m all for it. Also have been studying the website “Truth In Labeling” about MSG and all the hidden sources and finding it everywhere now. Most of the time I spend copious hours just reading labels online. I have narrowed down my food source to just the basics for now and will keep this way for several months to see if I made a dent in the number of migraines I get. I have been having them 3-4 times a week and can’t take that anymore, so have to try elimination of my food source.

    Zonegran has stopped working and so has Imitrex. Will try Maxalt as my next abortive but not sure what my neurologist has up his sleeve for the preventive as I have tried everything else.

    Debbie

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Debbie,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I understand how challenging an elimination diet can be – good for you! The thing about triggers in general is they can change over time. Once we think we have them down, another could crop up!

    I’m sorry to hear those medications seem to be losing their effectiveness, which can also happen over time with migraine disease. I don’t have any luck using the pill form of triptans, but can use the nasal sprays. You may want to try another delivery system and see how that works.

    Try not to lose hope, there are over 100 medications and supplements that can be used for migraine prevention! Let me share this article with you on migraine prevention medications; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-preventives-start/.

    Let me know what you think,
    Nancy

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  • By Ronan

    Really Nancy,

    Over 100 medications and supplements. I’m reading that article too.

    Jo1950, I make most of my own food now. Turns out, I love to cook. MSG, Aspartame, sulfites, and anything labeled as half-fat are usual culprits for me. Wish food would be called food again and not Organic or Modified. It would help alleviate some of the Migraines. Let us know what foods really work for you and which ones don’t. I am still able to learn a thing or two.

    Warm Regards
    Ronan

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  • By elisekloster

    I am about to jump into the elimination diet for the 2nd time. I did it in 2015, but only the elimination part. Taking out everything worked great. I went from having a headache nearly every day to almost never having a headache. It was amazing!

    The problem was, I never systematically tested putting things back in. I just eliminated everything until I couldn’t take it anymore and then let things slip back in until I had pretty much given up.

    I’ve tried to get started again a few times since then, but the feeling of severe deprivation is quite immediate.

    I’m going to try to keep the reward (fewer migraines) and end goal (figuring out my triggers) in mind so I can get through the first weeks!

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      Hi elisekloster,

      Good for you! I know an elimination diet is not easy, but as you said may be rewarding in the end! Please let me know if I can help in any way, and keep us posted!

      Nancy

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  • By Jo1950

    Just an update. Well I cut out too many food groups and then I started missing meals which led to a stomach acid crisis and had to be put back on a Proton Pump Inhibitor. Was in bed for almost two weeks with nausea and pain and lost 12 pounds, so now just starting back to feeling less nauseas and can start to eat again. So, I went to far in one direction by cutting out too much food so I was almost afraid to eat anything.

    Ronan ~ I make my own food from scratch too, like you, but do read labels extensively. I found that Haagen-Dazs Vanilla is the only ice cream I could find that does not have any “gum” in the ingredients. Gum comes from a tree and is a form of a nut. It seems all ice cream has this stabilizer in it until I found Haagen-Dazs Vanilla, which is very basic ice cream. It has cream, skim milk, cane sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract. So I take a tablespoon at a time (finding all things in moderation helps too) and so far have not had a reaction to it. I just added Giant Food Greek nonfat yogurt back into the mix, but it does have citric acid, bean gum, natural flavors. I use yogurt as a rescue food for my hypoglycemia only. I started munching on Triscuits Original at night. It has Whole Grain Wheat, Canola Oil and sea salt. Then for peanut butter I opted for adding in Smuckers Natural Creamy. It’s pure peanut butter with just a bit of salt. For fruit, I am learning to like pears again and kiwi and that’s it for fruit. I wish I could eat tomatoes and potatoes as I am strictly on rice and that’s so boring. I tried flavored rice and had a migraine within the hour, so had to toss those out, sadly. I am going to bake Salmon and have it with rice and asparagus tonight. I wish I could put lemon juice on the fish, but not risking it until I have gone a whole month without a migraine. I’m learning to live without my comfort food for now.

    I am keeping track of migraines with my calendar and finding that every 5 days I have a migraine, so last night being the 5th day I started to feel one coming back on and so took a Maxalt, went to bed and woke up and feel fine. Hoping it beat it this time around. Just started with Maxalt and like it much better than Imitrex which seemed to keep me feeling awful for days on end.

    Elisekloster ~ I, too, am on my first two weeks of the elimination diet. Be careful that you don’t cut to much out of your regular diet to start, read what happened to me. Good luck and keep in touch to let us know how it goes for you !!

    Nancy ~ Thank you for your responses and keeping on top of things here 🙂 I got the survey for this group and put in a kudos to your moderator status in keeping things moving here with your responses !!

    Debbie

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Debbie,

    Thank yo for the update. I know how exhausting an elimination diet can be and good for you! I am sorry to hear you initially had a rough time with it, that doesn’t sound pleasant. Good to hear things are on an upswing!

    And your kind words made my day – thank you!!

    Looking forward to future updates!

    Nancy

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  • By Ronan

    Thank you Debbie 🙂

    Haagan Das ice-cream is the only brand I can eat. Dang! Gotta go for the good stuff. LOL You may want to try the full-fat yogurt and see if that helps. I have to stay away from no fat, low-fat products. One other idea so the rice isn’t so boring (I get it) is to use actual herbs. I put Sumac on mine. Tumeric, Poultry Seasoning, other dried spices are all in my pantry. I can’t eat the pre-spiced mixes. Those bring on terrible attacks.

    I’m happy you’re finding things to munch on. For me, it’s been a lesson in creative eating. And eating things from around the world. Doesn’t extinguish the attacks altogether, but everything helps.

    Warm Regards
    Ronan

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  • By Jo1950

    Ronan ~ Thank you for responding to my postings and for the tips with the rice. I just found out I have gallbladder issues and food with high fat can trigger the attacks which have been horrible. So, the Haagan Das ice cream is out as it is made with pure cream and has a high fat content 🙁 Just when I find something good to eat, sheesh.

    Debbie

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  • By Anonymous

    My neurologist told me to focus on lowering 3 things in my diet: salt, alcohol and caffeine. She said to eat no more than 1500mg of sodium per day, eliminate alcohol and try to cut down to one cup of coffee per day.

    I decided to focus on salt reduction first (one thing at a time!). I had no idea how much sodium I was eating until I took a look at my diet. I’ve only been doing low sodium for a week and I already feel better, not really from a migraine perspective but from an overall wellness perspective. I don’t wake up thirsty and puffy in the morning anymore.

    I’m not sure if lowering sodium is on the elimination diet (I should probably read it!) but something to think about. Diets are so hard for me, actually pretty much impossible. Tell me I can’t have something and I want to eat it even more. But cutting out sodium hasn’t been as hard. It just means cooking versus buying packaged or canned products.

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  • By Jo1950

    Snoopy ~ If you live in the US, I buy a salt substitute called “No Salt”, but run that by your doctor as the ingredient potassium chloride, potassium bitartrate, adipic acid, silicon dioxide, mineral oil and fumeric acid. Also, I drink half my body weight in fluid ounces daily. I grab a large pitcher first thing in the morning and measure this out and then sip off of the container throughout the day.

    I have slowly been adding back in yogurt and regular ice cream from my elimination diet, however, I lost alot of weight in the first two weeks, so today, going back on the elimination diet as I felt much better.

    Good luck Snoopy !!

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