Migraine Awareness Month: Can Certain Foods Trigger Migraines?

Migraine Awareness Month: Can Certain Foods Trigger Migraines?

The foods you eat may contribute to the onset of a migraine. While the way your body reacts to certain foods is highly individualized and may be influenced by other health conditions, there are some common substances in foods that have been shown to increase the risk of having a migraine. Since migraines can be triggered by a combination of stimuli, there may be occasions where you can consume trigger foods and be fine, whereas other times it may result in the development of a migraine. Because the way your body reacts to triggers is so personal, you may need the advice of a professional nutritional counselor to learn what foods increase your likelihood of experiencing a migraine. This Migraine Awareness Month, take note of the common trigger foods presented in this list and why they may be responsible for your migraines.

Foods That Commonly Cause Or Contribute To Migraines

Caffeine
This substance has a complicated relationship with migraines. For some people, drinking caffeine can actually prevent migraines, as caffeine withdrawal is an incredibly common source of migraines. But for many other people, drinking any amount of caffeine causes migraines. There is yet another category of caffeine drinkers, whose overuse of caffeine can cause them to develop chronic migraines. Because the relationship between caffeine and migraines is so varied, it is recommended to see a nutritional counselor to determine if caffeine is one of the causes of your migraines or if it is one of the elements that helps prevent them.

Nitrates And Nitrites
Manufacturers add nitrites to meats to preserve them, add color, and add flavor. This means nitrites can be found in hot dogs, sausages, deli meats, and more. These foods can release nitric oxide, which can dilate the blood vessels in the brain; this is thought to be linked to migraine attacks. 

Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners in general are possible migraine triggers and they are often added to foods, most commonly in diet sodas. Aspartame, in particular, tends to trigger migraines. 

Alcohol
This is a common trigger for migraines, as alcohol is dehydrating and a diuretic (makes you have to pee frequently), causes inflammation, and thins the blood. Some alcohols such as red wine also contain tannins, which spurs the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin that can easily cause headaches or migraines when too much is produced. Some people may experience a migraine several hours after drinking or only if they had several beverages, while other people may start to experience a migraine after only a few sips.

Cold Or Frozen Foods
If you’ve ever eaten something cold too fast, you’ve likely experienced a brain freeze. While a brain freeze itself is nowhere near the debilitating pain and other symptoms of a migraine, it can be a trigger for it. A brain freeze can cause a migraine to start.

Not Drinking Enough Water
While this isn’t a food to avoid, it is an important reminder. Water is one of the best things you can consume for your health in general. Not only does water keep you hydrated, but it also flushes toxins from your body. Dehydration and toxins can trigger migraines as well as other health issues, so make sure you sip on water all day long.

Nutritional Counseling In Irvine

While many factors can trigger a migraine, the food you eat can be one of these. To help reduce the debilitating pain of a migraine, seek nutritional counseling and learn what your food triggers are. Since each person is different and has unique triggers and combinations of triggers, it is not enough to know what the most common food triggers are. Your migraines are related to your overall health and lifestyle as are your reactions to food. A personal nutritional counseling program will help you learn more about your body and your condition. The nutritional counseling program at Performance Health and Wellness provides you with nutritional counselors who listen to your concerns and work with you to create an individualized nutrition plan. To learn how to manage your migraines with customized nutritional counseling in Irvine, contact Performance Health and Wellness at 1-949-476-1250 or fill out the contact form.

FAQ

Personal nutrition tailors nutrition recommendations and interventions for individuals. Personalized nutrition is a wellness plan determined by what each person's body needs. This includes a diet based on your medical history, including your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, and more. It also includes exercise routines that are most effective for your specific needs, such as workouts that are easy on the joints for those with arthritis. Personalized nutrition is not like a usual diet where everyone on the diet avoids a certain food or adheres to strict calorie intake; instead, personalized nutrition focuses on creating shifts in your everyday life that facilitate a healthier lifestyle.

No, there is currently no cure for migraines, but nutritional counseling can help reduce their frequency. Migraines can be triggered by many factors, including emotions, stress levels, amount of sleep, exposure to stimuli (such as bright/flashing lights, smells, sounds, and more), hormones, weather changes, medications, and more. A nutritional counseling program will help to reduce any food-related triggers and can help you learn exercises that will not trigger migraines. This in turn may help with mental and physical health and may improve sleep patterns. While nutritional counseling may not cure migraines, it can help with migraine management overall.

Only certified nutritionists and other qualified medical professionals can give personalized nutrition counseling.

Comprehensive Health In Irvine California

Comprehensive Health In Irvine California

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